You’d be amazed at how many patients I’ve seen with lower limb pain that have seen significant improvement with just a new pair of shoes.

So when should I replace my runners?

You should suspect that you’re due for a new pair if you start to experience any new pain with walking/running. Even without pain, you should replace your shoes when they are:

  1. Worn out
  2. Damaged
  3. Of poor fit/quality

How can I tell if my shoes are worn out?

As a general rule, you should get approximately 700-1000km out of a good quality running shoe before the midsole starts to deteriorate. So if you run about 5km, 3x/week, you should be looking at a new pair of shoes every year (sooner than you thought, right?)

Here are three ‘tests’ I do to determine whether I think a shoe needs to be replaced:

  1. The eyeball test – have a good look. Sometimes damage or excessive wear is very obvious (i.e. the dog ate your shoe), other times you need to look for signs of compression, wrinkling or wear in the outsole and midsole.
  2. The counter test – put the shoes on a level counter/table and look for excessive wear by checking whether one or both are tilting in/out significantly (usually one is more than the other)
  3. Twist-n-fold test – Grab one end of the shoe in each hand and have a go at twisting the shoe in opposite directions (like a Chinese burn) If they twist easily, the shoe has probably lost its stability. Now try to fold the shoe in half (toe to heel) – the shoe should bend a little closer to the toe end. A shoe that folds down the middle easily has also lost some stability.

How do I make sure I get the right shoe for me?

This is an important question. Any new pair of shoes will make you feel lighter and more springy than your old, worn out pair. But the right pair of shoes will also be of good quality and be suited to your foot and walking/running pattern. There are a number of specialty running stores now, and even some major footwear chains, that do a pretty good assessment of your foot type and biomechanics. It’s worth paying them a visit. Try to avoid buying a nice looking pair in a big sports store without an assessment – even if they’re on sale, it can be a costly mistake!

* GLOW Physio will always do a good assessment of your shoes when you’ve got exercise-related pain/injury and can offer advice on the best type of footwear for you!*

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