I buy new running shoes frequently. Love my Asics Gel-Noosa Tri-8!! If you are going to start any new exercise program to get healthy in 2013, start by buying new shoes designed for your particular workouts....i.e., running, aerobics, hiking, etc.
Runners often push through the last few miles during a workout, but when it comes to replacing a pair of running shoes, those last few miles could be the catalyst for an injury.
“The shoes are really your first line of defense against a lot of injuries,” said Dr. Darrin Bright, medical director for the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon and the Capital City and Dublin’s Emerald City half-marathons.
“Every time your foot strikes the ground, four to five times your body weight has to be absorbed by your body.”
Shoes take some of the bullets for runners. Bright said the typical life of a well-built running shoe is 250 to 500 miles. When a shoe reaches that age, it has lost about 40 percent of its shock-absorbing capacity.
“If your shoes aren’t doing it, then it’s your shins, your knees and your hips,” Bright said.
But 250 to 500 miles is a big gap, Bright said, and there are plenty of other factors that help dictate the death of a shoe, such as running surfaces.
“Concrete is a little bit harder than some of the other surfaces we run on,” Bright said. “I think the ideal surface is more asphalt or a very hard, packed-down trail — it’s not quite as hard, and we don’t see the same forces.”
The stature of a runner also influences wear and tear, Bright said. People with larger frames who come down hard can wear out a shoe quickly. On the other hand (or foot, in this case), shoes belonging to light runners with quick gaits could last 500 miles.
Others measure their shoes’ life in months. Bright said, depending on how much a runner hits the trails, running shoes could last six to 12 months.
Bright has completed about 50 marathons and typically runs 50 to 70 miles a week. He replaces his shoes every six to eight weeks and writes on his new pair with a black Sharpie to remember when he bought them and when they should be discarded.
Running on a worn-down shoe can lead to injuries. Bright, the OhioHealth sports medicine physician at MAX Sports Medicine, said the injuries he worries about are shin splints, stress fractures, Achilles tendinitis and other strains. Stress fractures account for about 15 percent of all running injuries.
Some injuries build up over time. When a shoe is worn out, runners can often feel a new ache or pain that might indicate they need a new pair. But other acute injuries could happen without warning.
“I look at running shoes as more of an investment than an expense,” Bright said.
Zach Webster, a sales associate for Second Sole Racing, said the typical pair of running shoes or cross-trainers costs about $100.
But Webster said an athlete can’t judge a shoe’s life by its appearance.
“The shoes can still look good aesthetically, but the internal components start to go,” he said.
Brooke Miller, a 19-year-old Ohio State University student who runs half-marathons, said she buys a shoe that has good support, but even that’s not enough.
“I put different insoles in my shoe,” Miller said. “I want to protect my legs as long as I can.”& amp; amp; amp; amp; lt; /p>
Brice Allen, associate head coach of the OSU track team, said he doesn’t take any chances with his distance runners’ footwear.
Six pairs of shoes are pre-ordered for each athlete at the beginning of the season, and the coaches issue the shoes in two pairs. The runners are expected to rotate the pairs so they last longer.
Allen said that with their workouts, the male distance runners average about 50 miles a week and reach their shoes’ mileage limit in five or six weeks.
Injuries caused by worn-out shoes are a risk Allen said he is unwilling to take.
“It’s not worth it for $90,” he said. “It’s better to be in good equipment.”