Injury Prevention Through Running Shoes
The first thing I do when working with a runner complaining of running injuries or pain is look at their shoes. At least 20% of the time I determine the cause of the pain is worn out shoes. We buy shoes for comfort and protection. Those two apparently are not co-dependent. In other words it appears the comfort out lasts the protection.
Ask around at all the running stores around the world and they will tell you the average running shoe will last between 300-400 miles. The difference between 300-400 is not in the different shoes. Sure some shoes will last longer than others but the real difference is in your running style. If you tread heavily the shoes will last less, if you tread lightly they will last longer.
- Heavier runners will wear through shoes faster.
- Lighter runners will wear through shoes more slowly.
If you’ve gained weight since your last running shoe purchase it is safe to expect the shoes to break down faster.
Running Form- Foot Strike
- Heel Strikers will wear through the heel quickly
- Forefoot runners, those on their toes – will wear through shoes faster than any other runner. The force of impact and force of toe off occur in the same place.
- Midfoot – Runners who land mostly flat with center pressure on the midfoot will get the most durability out of their shoes.
How do you know your shoes are worn out?
- Be consistent in your running – If you haven’t run in a long time 3 months or more, start your new running program with a new pair of shoes.
- Look at the bottom of your shoes – No. If you wait for the rubber to wear down you are way past the risk and into full on injury danger. Your shoes are no longer protecting you, all of that is on your body and many bodies (about 20% of all injuries) don’t absorb well.
- If you have been consistent in your running and you wake up one morning after a consistent type run and you are sore – It’s your shoes. Don’t hesitate, replace them immediately.
- If you run in multiple different shoes on a regular basis which you should, put a date or log your miles in the shoes. At 400 miles replace your shoes. It’s easy to log your miles in a shoe, practice it and you will be sure to replace your shoes at the right time.
Running injuries are a part of running. They can all be controlled by smart training, a solid mobility program and simply paying attention to your shoes. You surely don’t want the be the runner that has to explain your runing injury came from worn out shoes.