You often hear people say “you should listen to your body”. Your body will give subtle hints when you need new running shoes. Over time, your running shoes lose shock absorption, cushioning, and stability. If you run in worn-out shoes, it increases the stress and impact on your legs and joints. When this occurs, it causes overuse injuries such as: fatigue, shin splints, joint/heel pain, or even achy knees. All of these ailments are the result of an over worn shoe. The symptoms listed above are great indicators that you need new running shoes. If you are experiencing pain, even if your shoes are relatively new, you may want to consult with a professional, at a specialized shoe store. Speaking to a professional will help determine if you are wearing the correct shoe for your foot type or activity.

One of the biggest “RED FLAGS” that your running shoes need replacing is if the tread on the soles are worn-out. The rubber in the soles of your shoe will last longer than the shoe’s cushioning and shock absorbency. If you notice any uneven, wear pattern in the tread and it is favoring only one side, then this could be a possible gait issue. Making adjustments to your running form may help but it could ultimately be the shoe.

Talking to an expert at a local shoe store that offers gait evaluations is a way to help you find a correction, or help you understand your unique wear pattern. Alternatively, your shoes may require additional support, depending on your unique foot type. No two feet are the same. To test of the integrity of your shoes, follow these 3 easy steps listed below:

  1. If you hold your running shoe at both ends and twist the shoe, an old shoe or one that does not have proper support will twist easily, like twisting a wet rag.
  2. While holding the toe and heel of the shoe, bend the shoe upwards. If the shoe folds easily in the half, it needs to be replaced.
  3. Check the tread on the soles of your shoe. Flip the shoe over and view the bottom. If the tread is worn, consider getting a replacement.

Instead of wearing the same pair of shoes every day, consider buying at least two pairs of shoes. When you own multiple running shoes, it gives time for the damp/wet shoes to fully air-dry between runs. You can also separate the activities performed in your running shoes. For instance, if you wear a sneaker to work, your second pair of sneakers could be used for running. You should never run in shoes that have worn down soles.

Save the broken down shoes for working in the garden, or mowing the lawn. If you are currently wearing a pair of running shoes that you have any questions or concerns about, please feel free to bring the shoes with you to a local specialized shoe store. During your visit, a professional will help you decide if your running shoes are ready to be replaced, and if you need additional support in your shoes.

Listening to your body daily is one of the best ways to live a healthy active life.