Wednesday, January 22, 2014

When to retire your running shoes

I'm a longtime Super Runners Shop customer (and occasional member of their running group), and I came across this post on their Facebook page that I thought was worth sharing. These are the thoughts of store manager Lawrence Riddles from their Brooklyn location, about the life of a running shoe such as my new ASICS Gel Nimbus 15 (right): 

"Most elite runners are pretty good with updating their running shoes. However, many 'weekend warriors' and new runners use their shoes too long. As a result people come in to our store experiencing symptoms such as heel pain, knee pain, and sometimes back pain. Much of this can be avoided by simply keeping up with the life of the shoes.

"A rule of thumb for running shoes is 350-500 miles, or 3-6 months. Sometimes the shoes may still look like they are in good condition but the midsole breaks down and can no longer disperse the impact involved with running. The impact instead travels to the feet , knee, and back which can result in heel pain or even metatarsalgia. The pavement is unforgiving and does not absorb any shock. Your shoes are the only thing between you and the pavement. Like a car with no shocks the impact will put premature wear and tear on your body.

"Something I like to say to customers is: 'Your running shoes should never have a birthday.'"

I usually follow the 300-400 mile rule of thumb, but I'll defer Lawrence's expertise. I am now breaking in two new pair of ASICS, Gel Kayano 20 and Gel Nimbus 15, and am planning to run the ASICS LA Marathon in the former on March 9. So those shoes should be a third of the way to retirement after that race is run, as long as I keep maintaining my course on Coach Kastor's 12-Week Training Plan!

Updated 6:46 on Jan. 23: Just followed NJ podiatrist and runner Peter Wishnie, who also posted about the need to change your running shoes frequently.

What do you do after retiring shoes? Here's my post on how to donate your running shoes.

Speaking of new running shoes...

Have you heard about the 2014 ASICS LA Marathon edition GEL-Lyte33 3? It will be almost two ounces lighter than its predecessors, and limited quantities will be available starting in early February at Let Deena Kastor and Ryan Hall tell you all about it:

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