When should you change your running shoes?
trisouq.com asked me to send a few thoughts on how and when I knew it was time for a new pair of runners…so here goes!
If you do some online research, you’ll find varying answers to how long running shoes should last. As a rule, I found that I could take on between 2 and 3 marathons (including the training period) before I need to switch up my On’s. That equates to between 500km and 750km of running.
There are a few 3 key factors that affect the longevity of your running shoes:
Your Running Style: If you’re not sure what kind of foot strike you have, look at the bottom of your favorite pair of running shoes and see which area of the sole has the most wear.
I’m a heel striker. Us heel strikers tend to go through runners a bit quicker than forefoot strikers and midfoot strikers. We also tend to have the most awkward looking marathon photos (if you know, you know).
Where are you running? My marathon adventures took me from the forests of South Africa, to the stunning backdrop of the UK’s Lake District; the rocky terrain of Wadi Shawka to the dusty roads of the pyramids in Egypt; and even a treadmill in a mall in Dubai!
Terrain played a big part in how long my shoes lasted. Key to ensuring longevity is choosing a shoe to match the terrain you’re running on.
Most of my marathons took me across multiple terrains, and I personally found the Cloudflyers perfect for navigating whatever I found underfoot.
What build are you? Terrain affects your shoes from the bottom up. But don’t forget what affects your shoes from the top down…your weight and height.
According to On, “most running shoes take in to account the ‘average’ runner for their shoes in terms of what data is available in their market. Being heavier than this profile means that often a shoe may wear down quickly, and being lighter might mean the shoes last longer than average.”
It's safe to say, my running shoes are going to take a bit more of a top-down bashing after the COVID-19 lock down!!
So how did I know when it was time to switch it up? Here are a few of the signs that On Running told me to look out for:
Don’t be a pain in the ass. Most importantly - look out for pain. A bit of pain is par for the course when it comes to running a marathon, but if you start to get pain in places where you didn’t have it before it could mean your shoes need replacing. Listening to your body is the best way to judge when to replace your runners, and to prevent injury before it’s too late.
Don’t tread lightly. The most obvious sign that is time to treat yourself to a new pair of the runners is the sole. Luckily for On fans, the bottom of the soles through the patented CloudTec show you clearly when an element is done by breaking through.
But even if your soles look good, it’s worth checking the internals of the shoe are not compromised after you’ve clocked a few hundred kilometres. If you squeeze the sole and find it solid when it was once springy, that’s a good sign the shoe needs replacing.
Don’t get worn down. If you’re going through the upper section of your shoes, quicker than the soles, its usually a sign you’re running a size (or half size) small. So make sure you try going up a size when you get your new shoes.
Similarly, early breakdown of the inner heel can be from using the wrong size shoe (your ankle causing friction as is comes out of the shoe as you run). A simple fix for this can be retying the shoe’s laces to provide greater support up the top of the foot. Try using higher length socks as well.
Let me wrap with my favourite tip for increasing the longevity of your shoes. Rotate between two or more pairs of shoes during your training, to give them a bit of time to bounce back into shape between sessions. If you’re like me, you’re probably looking for an excuse buy an extra pair of the latest and greatest On’s anyway!