Ask the Coach – When do I get new shoes?
I just purchased a new pair of running shoes, which reminded me of Kevin’s recent question: “How soon before a half-marathon should I get a new pair of shoes?”
Proper running shoes are critical to any runner or triathlete, and shoes should definitely be considered a consumable product. How soon you purchase new shoes before an event depends on the condition of your current pair of shoes. The general rule of thumb is to replace running shoes every 300-500 miles. How much you run, where you run, your weight, and your running mechanics also play a role in when you will need to get new shoes.
Shoes these days are high quality and shouldn’t really need “breaking in,” although I find mine most comfortable for longer distances about three weeks after purchase. (I’m usually running about three times a week.) I can tell I wear my shoes down on the shorter end of the mileage recommendation, and usually need to replace them about every three months or about 300 miles. (I do probably average 20-25 miles per week during half-ironman training). How can I tell I am ready for new shoes? My shins start to hurt. I have a moderately heavy stride and run a tad flat-footed (working on this!) rather than mid-to-forefoot, so I wear out the support a little quicker than most. Ideally I would get new shoes BEFORE any pain sets in!
Here are some general rules of thumb on determining you might need new running shoes:
- Pain that wasn’t there before (shin, calf, hips)
- You have more than 500 miles on your shoes
- The tread is worn
- There are creases in the support cushioning
- They just don’t “feel” the same and you aren’t liking it
Here are some more details on how to go running shoe-shopping.