I always say running is all about the shoes. So if you are still slogging around in the shoes you raced and trained in last year it’s about time to get out and get a fresh pair.
One of the biggest reasons I see runners get injured is running in worn out shoes with no cushioning or life left in them.
So here are a few shoe tips to try on for size the next time you go shopping at your local running specialty store. If you live in Houston we highly recommend shopping at any of the Houston area Fleet Feet stores for your running shoes and gear
- Log the date of purchase and the miles you put on each pair – Many experts say to limit miles to 500 miles or so but In Houston, I like to jack that down to 300 – 350 miles due to our hot climate. The Houston heat, humidity and the added amount of sweat breaks down shoes much faster.
- Use the wobble test – This is a little test I learned from my good friend, running podiatrist Dr. Jeffrey Ross. When you narrow your choice down to your top shoe pair pick set both shoes on a flat surface and thump each one with your finger. If the shoe wobbles or sets unevenly on a flat surface request another pair. If the shoe comes out of the box with a wobble chances are it will not wear evenly and may create problems down the road.
- If you have your favorite model buy two pairs and alternate between them – This approach will allow you to get more wear out of each pair of shoes.
- After each run pull the inserts out of the shoe so they dry out quicker – This limits the amount of moisture, salt, sweat etc that can potentially absorb into your shoes and break them down much quicker.
- Only use your running shoes for running – Not shopping, not cross fit, not playing soccer or driveway hoops with your kids, only quality running miles. Use your old running shoes or buy some cross trainers for other none running activities so you don’t limit the life of your running shoes
- Forget about making a fashion statement. Make your decision on the best fit – Ladies this is more for you but if you love pink and the shoes that fit you like a glove are lime green go with the lime green. A runner diva somewhere is rolling her eyes at me now but ti’s about the fit, not the fashion. Form and function wins out over fashion any day and prevents injury along the way.
- Off season is a good time to experiment with shoes – Stick your neck out and try a new brand or model. Off season, usually spring time in Houston after our Marathon in late January, is the best time to experiment before the miles build for your next big race fall or winter race.
- Buy shoes for a variety of running purposes – You may find that one shoe works better for long runs, a lighter weight minimalist shoe works better for short runs, trail shoes work better on trails and hills and a racing flat for track workouts. It does put more of a hit on your budget but a shoe for each purpose with your training can put less load on the body, keep you out of the doctor’s office and save you money in the end.
- If you get wind that your shoe manufacturer is discontinuing your favorite model jump on-line and buy an extra pair or two – Just don’t over do it because even brand new shoes that sit in the closet too long with no wear will still loose their bounce. Also, talk to your local running store for updates on the latest shoe offerings and which shoes will be discontinued so you can plan ahead for future training choices.