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When Should You Replace Your Running Shoes – Part 1

It might sound like an obvious question, but when should you replace your running shoes? Running is an extremely cheap sport as you don’t need a lot of gear, but the one thing you do need is proper running shoes in good nick. You will need to replace them on a fairly regular manner if you are a keen runner, there is no definitive answer to the question, it all depends how often you run and under what conditions.

Why Running Shoes Need to be Replaced

The shoe you wear for running is designed to support the foot and protect it, once the protective material of the tread or sole, midsole or upper have wear and damage, then your feet, ankles and knees will also suffer as they must absorb more of the pounding when you run. The midsole is particularly vulnerable as this provides most of the shock absorption when landing, when it has been compressed so many times it loses its cushion impact and will not be as effective.

For a midsole to work correctly it needs air in between the foams that make up the cushioning, but as time goes by and you pound the ground the foams get compressed and push the important air out, when this happens the foam is breaking down and will not be effective, this is hard to see by the naked eye and is a gradual wearing or attrition so you may not notice it at first.

How Long Does a Running Shoe Last?

As stated before this is a how long is a piece of string question, it all depends how often you run, how long you run, and what type of terrain you run on. But in mileage terms the average time for a midsole to totally degrade is between three and five hundred miles. There is a big variance in the figures, but this also depends on the person running, their running style and their weight. Don’t judge your midsole breakdown by time, you may not always run the same amount each week so that would be foolish.

Another factor to the midsole breaking down is the outsole rubber which protects the whole of the midshoe, it wears down similar to a tire on your truck. To keep your feet and lower leg joints in the best condition your shoes will need to be changed regularly. This will maximize the cushioning under your foot and give support and comfort to the underside of your feet.

Why is There Midsole Breakdown?

There is a host of factors that contribute to your midsole breaking down, and the rate of the breakdown differs greatly from person to person. Possibly the one largest solitary component to the midsole breaking down is the weight of the runner. But the way the foam is manufactured and the quality of the materials used in its construction is also a massive factor.

In part two of our blog we are going to talk when you should replace your running shoes, we are going to look at the individual factors that need to be addressed and considered when you need to go out and buy a new pair.