Count­ing the clicks on your kicks

Guide­lines on when to re­place your run­ning shoes

Cape Breton Post - - SPORTS - BY LAUREN LA ROSE

the shoe is worn out is by looking at the mid­sole, the ma­te­rial be­tween the outer sole and the top of the shoe.

“The mid­sole — that’s be­tween the shoe it­self and the outer sole — will wear faster than the ac­tual outer sole will,” he said. “If you start see­ing that the mid­sole is creased, has lit­tle creases in it, it tells you that the mid­sole is bro­ken down, it’s time for re­pair.”

Ex­po­sure to heat and cold will also break down the mid­sole, he said.

Matthew Norminton, a buyer for The Run­ning Room, said in­di­vid­u­als should also be cog­nizant of the time spent in their shoes as part of other ac­tiv­i­ties that con­trib­ute to their wear and tear.

“If you take the dog for a walk, that’s miles on your shoes. You go shop­ping in your shoes, that adds miles to your shoes,” he said. “It’s not just when you’re work­ing out, it’s all the time that you’re wear­ing them.”

“Ba­si­cally, what hap­pens is you’re just wear­ing down the re­bound fac­tor and the re­siliency in the cush­ion­ing prop­er­ties of the shoes; so the more you stress the shoe, the more it gets worn down, and even­tu­ally, it just doesn’t re­bound any­more and you lose that cush­ion­ing re­siliency you had when you first bought the shoes.”

Dr. Mario Tu­ra­novic, pres­i­dent of the Cana­dian Po­di­atric Med­i­cal As­so­ci­a­tion, said the most im­por­tant fac­tor to con­sider is the sud­den or grad­ual de­vel­op­ment of pain dur­ing or af­ter per­for­mance of an ath­letic or sports ac­tiv­ity.

The break­down of shoe struc­ture — ei­ther the col­laps­ing of the heel counter, the rest of the shoe or both — causes an un­level plat­form that the body is stand­ing on and has the po­ten­tial to cre­ate a myr­iad of prob­lems, he wrote in an email out­lin­ing com­mon signs to be aware of.

The de­vel­op­ment of foot skin le­sions, even if not painful, is a sign that the foot is no longer be­ing held in the proper sup­ported and pro­tected po­si­tion, he added.

But how do run­ners dis­tin­guish whether aches and pains are di­rectly linked to the shoes? For McLaren, he said it’s a sub­con­scious thing more than any­thing else.

“Ob­vi­ously when you’re run­ning, you get some knee pain you say, ‘ Well, is that be­cause I’ve been do­ing dis­tance?’ And you start to think, ‘Gee, I’ve been run­ning in the same shoes for a while so maybe it’s time to change them,”’ he said. “It’s just a lit­tle nu­ance more than any­thing else.”

“I know of peo­ple in the clinic say­ing, ‘ Oh, well this hurts, this hurts,’ and I say to them first thing: ‘How long have you had your shoes?’ And then they start to think, ‘Oh yeah, maybe that’s what it is.”’

Sherkin said pur­chas­ing proper footwear to be­gin with is key. If shoes aren’t in proper con­di­tion, you are in­creas­ing the pos­si­bil­ity of in­jury to the lower ex­trem­ity, which ex­tends from your hip to your foot, he said.

As a stan­dard rule, all shoes, re­gard­less of type, should be bought in the af­ter­noon when the feet are at their most swollen, Sherkin said. In­di­vid­u­als should have their feet mea­sured in the stand­ing po­si­tion and en­sure the big­ger foot is mea­sured first.

When stand­ing, there should be a thumb­nail’s dis­tance be­tween the end of the long­est toe and the end of the shoe, Sherkin said. If there isn’t, the shoe is too small.

Since most cross-train­ers and ath­letic shoes are pre­dom­i­nantly ny­lon, which doesn’t stretch, the shoe will ei­ther fit right off the bat or it won’t, Sherkin said. McLaren agreed. “There shouldn’t be such a thing as break­ing in a pair of run­ning shoes,” he said. “If they don’t feel right when you put them on then don’t wear them. The run­ning shoes that you get, you should be able to run in them right away.”

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