Photo credit: 123RF – Marcos Calvo Meso

Now that the weather is getting warmer, chances are you’ve probably started running again. But are you still wearing last year’s running shoes? If so, it’s time to check your shoes for wear and tear.

Over time, with use, your running shoes can lose cushioning, shock absorption and stability. Running on worn-out shoes can lead to problems like sore knees, plantar fasciitis, shin splints, tight quads or muscle fatigue due to the increased stress on your feet, legs, and joints. And contrary to what you may think – running doesn’t have to hurt. So, the best way to prevent overuse injuries is to replace your shoes when they’re worn out.

How to Determine Your Running Shoes Need to Be Pitched

If you not sure whether your shoes need to be thrown out, look for these signs.

Check the midsoles for compression wrinkles.

The midsoles are usually the first part of your shoes to show wear. The midsole is designed to protect your feet from hard or sharp objects. It also provides stability against overpronation. Additionally, the midsole supplies your foot with impact absorption since it can bear the impact force of up to 3 times your body’s weight with every step. If the midsoles are showing signs of wear, your shoes are no longer providing you with adequate cushioning.

Look at the tread on your running shoes.

If the trend is worn smooth, it’s definitely time for a new pair of shoes. But tread wear also can reveal whether you overpronate, supinate, or overstride as you run.

  • Even wear: Tread that’s worn across the heel and under the ball of the foot, with additional wear under the big toe area, are signs that you have a normal stride.
  • Edge wear: Tread that’s worn along the outside of the shoe, with possible holes in the upper part of the shoe, are indications you’re supinating (rolling your ankles inward) as you strike the ground with the outside edges of your shoes.
  • Heel and forefoot wear: Tread that’s worn on the heel and the ball of the foot extending to the big toe means you’re overpronating (rolling your feet inward) as you run.
  • Heel wear: If your heels are worn down to the midsole with slight wear around the ball of the foot, then you’re overstriding as you run – running with your feet too far in front of your body.

How Often Should You Buy New Shoes?

Running sites say you replace your shoes every 300 to 500 miles, depending on body weight, running style and the surface you’re running on. Runners weighing more will need to replace their shoes at the lower range.  Lighter runners can wait longer. Also if you’re running on rough roads versus a treadmill, you’ll need to change your shoes more often.

If you run more than 3 days a week, it’s also a good idea to buy another pair of running shoes so you can rotate your shoes. Your shoes will last longer this way, and you’ll be able to let them dry out between your workouts.

What if I Suffer from Overpronation, Oversupination or Other Foot Problems?

If you think you may overpronate or oversupinate as you run, you should have your feet and gait evaluated by a certified professional. These conditions, along with other foot issues like corns, calluses, bunions or arch pain, can be reduced or corrected by wearing a customized arch support, like the ezWalker® Custom Fit Orthotics. Since these insoles are made specifically for your individual feet, ezWalker® Custom Orthotics can align your feet into the proper biomechanical position they need as you run. Since these insoles guide and better control each step, you’ll also have greater balance and stability while you run. And your feet will feel better, too.

For more information on ezWalker® Custom Fit Orthotics, visit the WalkEZStore. Or, order your ezWalker® Custom Orthotics today for maximum comfort when you run.

Because … when your feet feel good, you feel good.®

Disclaimer: The information included in this article is for educational purposes only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.