Runner's World (UK)

Two myths and a truth about shoes


Myth: Replace your shoes every 300 miles.

There are way too many variables to make a blanket recommenda­tion, says Matt Trudeau, a senior manager for running shoe brand Brooks. Your weight, the type of foam used in the shoe, your running surfaces and your gait pattern will all impact shoe wear. As there’s no hard mileage rule, look for external clues: when the outsole’s lugs begin to disappear, the shoe may not be offering as much cushioning and traction as it used to, says Trudeau. Also, pay attention to any new post-run soreness in your ankles, hips or knees, which can be a sign that the shoe’s midsole is not offering the support it once did.

Myth: Your shoes will last longer if you rotate them.

Not really, says Trudeau. They’ll just hang around on the shoe rack longer. This myth comes from the idea that midsole foam needs time to recover after runs. But the foam should bounce back in minutes, not days.

You may, however, want to consider rotating your shoes for injury prevention. Dr Willy recommends that you alternate between two similar pairs of shoes. You’ll move slightly differentl­y in the two pairs and possibly help keep repetitive-use injuries at bay. A study published in the

Scandinavi­an Journal Of Medicine & Science In Sports saw a 60% reduction in injury rate for runners who used multiple shoes versus those who stuck to a single pair.

Truth: Removing your shoes without unlacing them breaks them down.

The foam in the heel helps keep your foot in place. Crunching that foam down every time you step on the back of one shoe to slip out of the other, then jamming your heels in when you put them back on, will break the foam down faster, says Trudeau. Plus, torquing your shoelaces beyond what they’re built for may harm the eyelets that hold them in place. On top of that, you’re sacrificin­g the improved fit and efficiency that laces provide in order for you to get outside just a few seconds faster.

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