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When To Replace Your Athletic Shoes

Man tying sneakers

Like so many things, we only notice that we need to replace our athletic shoes when it’s well past the time. The expense can be off-putting, but the health of your foot and risk of injury is what’s really at stake. Because everyone’s physical activity differs, the amount of time between purchases varies. So, how do you know when it’s time to replace athletic shoes?

Wear and tear to athletic shoes affects the midsole. After repeated wear and miles, repetitive load is placed on the midsole, breaking it down. Eventually the foam will compress — not rebound — and will not absorb the shock to the foot as well. In some cases, the midsole can deform and compress unevenly which can create an alignment change of the foot leaving the feet, knees and hips vulnerable to injury.

Your Athletic Shoes are Considered Worn Out:

  • After 300-500 miles of running or walking
  • 45-60 hours of basketball, aerobic dance or tennis
  • They show signs of unevenness on a flat surface
  • They display noticeable creasing

There are several precautions you can take to reduce your running and walking risks of injury:

  • Use established training programs that gradually increase distance or time of running and provide appropriate rest
  • Take advantage of orthoses and heel lifts to correct malalignments of the leg
  • Select running shoes appropriate for runners' foot types
  • Add lower-extremity strength and flexibility programs to training
  • Select appropriate surfaces for training and introduce changes gradually

Make sure to pick out a good running shoe, designed to address the effects that your gait will cause. Runners generally have three types of pronation (natural movement of the foot that occurs during foot landing while running or walking): overpronation, underpronation and neutral pronation. A good sports retailer should be able to take an analysis of your gait and recommend the best athletic shoe to reduce injury and help you get the most mileage.


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