**This is a guest post by my friend Meheret Hailemelekot**
Running is a high-frequency sport that requires you finding the best possible running shoes. What most people forget about is that these shoes have an expiration period and need to be replaced regularly. With this, you’re making sure that you’re preventing injuries and treating your body right. We know it’s hard to say goodbye to your favorite pair of running shoes, but here are the signs they might need a replacement:
You Can Feel Everything With Every Step
Feeling every stone with every step that you take during running is a serious sing of wear. Not changing the shoes can lead to injuries of the knees, hips, feet. Running shoes should provide protection, plus proper cushioning so that your feet land softly on the ground without you feeling stones and rocks. If you don’t toss the shoes it will eventually lead to pains, blisters, and soreness.
Running should be an enjoyable activity, which means new shoe alert! Many of us forget that ‘feel’ as a sensation matters so much whenever doing a high-intensity sport such as running. We tend to prescribe all the symptoms to either tiredness or fatigue, so we end up not blaming the shoes. Once you put on those new shoes, you’ll see what you’ve been missing on. If the old ones still look good you can do a good deed and gift them to someone less fortunate.
You Can Feel Discomfort And Pain
The second you feel discomfort or pain while running, the chances are your shoes have run their course. Aches are never a good sign, and one of the problems causing this is worn out cushioning. The pains usually appear right after a run, which is a very solid sign that you need to replace the shoes.
Yes, these symptoms can indeed appear due to other reasons, but you need to check your shoes once you notice any muscle stiffness, pain, discomfort. Always pay attention to the alerts coming from your body. The aftermath of a run should leave you happy and accomplished, not extra-tired and with painful feet, ankles, lower back, or shins. Thank God Black Friday sales are coming up, so you can choose an amazing, new, super-comfortable pair.
You Notice Slipping
It does look like an obvious pointer, unfortunately, many people decide to ignore it. Slipping while running on a dry surface usually means that it’s game over for the shoes. If you’re an experienced runner, you already know that slipping can happen, but mostly during winter months when the temperatures are cold and there’s ice on the ground. But, once you start noticing it on dry surfaces, well get ready to splurge on a new pair.
Check The Soles
Knowing where to find the first signs of wear is important. Flip your running shoes to check the soles for damage, especially in the midsole area. Different people have different running styles, which means not everyone will equally wear their shoes. They can look great on the outside at first glance, but it’s important to pay close attention to their appearance once you’ve run over 500 kilometres.
The outsole is usually the first part that shows signs of wear, and the midsole follows. Check the treads as well, if they look worn out, you have some shopping to do. Change of shape is a very obvious sign. What you also might notice is the soles becoming harder and stiffer. If they were bouncy and springy before, this is an obvious red flag.
Check The Kilometres
One of the simplest ways to know it’s time to get new shoes is to know how many kilometres you’ve spent running with that pair. According to research and experts, it’s time to start shopping once you’ve hit between 500 and 700 kilometres.
The age of running shoes is not determined by the date that you bought them, it is by the kilometres travelled. You shouldn’t be screening and tracking the kilometres just for personal satisfaction. This parameter can easily show you when it’s time to protect yourself from injuries and start scrolling for new shoes.
As we mentioned, once you hit 500 kilometres, that’s the moment to become more cautious. If you don’t really keep track with numbers, calculate by simply rounding up the kilometres you do per week and using an estimated date when you bought the running shoes. What you also need to know is that treadmill running is not the same as outdoors running. When you take the shoes outside, their running life expires a bit faster compared to when you use the treadmill.
Photo By: Unsplash
Check For Blisters
Another sign to keep in mind is constant blisters that appear on your feet after running. It can mean that you simply don’t have the right pair of running shoes, or that it’s time to retire the one you have.
First of all, getting the right fit for running shoes is extremely important. Experts advise that you should opt for half a size up and be very careful to choose a comfortable fit. The shoes shouldn’t be tight in the front part or too stiff on your heels. If you’re not sure what to buy, get help from a professional. Blisters that appear from a pair of shoes that once fitted perfectly are a tale-tale sign to throw the shoes to the curb.
So, if you suddenly have blisters, especially appearing in the middle part of the sole, unfortunately, time to ditch your old running shoes. With use, the shoes change their shape and end up being worn out and don’t fit your feet the way they’re supposed to.
It doesn’t matter if you’re an avid runner or you simply want to do a short run once in a while, having the right shoes is of utmost importance. Also, remembering to check them for signs of wear from time to time is crucial to prevent injuries and properly protect your body. These shoes don’t last for a lifetime, they eventually end up hurting your feet, causing you blisters, discomfort, pain, and even have you slipping off the ground. To prevent all these moments, make sure to know how many kilometres you’ve spent in that pair and replace them at the right time.
About the author:
Meheret Hailemelekot is a Marketing Assistant at Myer and has worked with such iconic Australians brands as Jetstar, Snooze, and UniSupe