The American Podiatric Medical Association estimates that an average American takes between 8,000 and 10,000 steps every day. Each step accepts the full weight of your body as you shift from foot to foot. Now think about how much your body weight is amplified as you run and step down on each foot. Whether your running style prefers a heel strike or toe strike, it is important to have the proper cushioning that footwear supplies to your foot. That new heel pain that has been creeping up on you may be a case of too many miles on your shoes.
You may have heard that you should replace your running shoes every 6 months. This number is based on a runner logging 3 to 5 miles a day, 4 days a week or an average of 300- 500 miles in a 6 month period. Since loss of support and cushioning can lead to pain and discomfort during and after your run, you need to discover where in this recommendation you fall. Obviously, a 120 pound person doesn’t exert they same wear on a pair of shoes as a 200 pound person. The speed and style of your run can also increase or decrease the time it takes to wear down a pair of shoes.
Consider keeping a log of your miles for each pair of running shoes you have. You can then correlate any new aches or pains that may occur as you put more miles on a pair of shoes. If you notice that you get ‘shin splints’ after only 250 miles, then you are wearing out your shoes quicker than the average. While it may take a bit of organization, it is a good idea to rotate through several pairs of shoes. In addition to the benefits we mentioned in the previous blog, you can prevent shocking your feet with a new pair of shoes by having various pairs at different stages of wear. No one wants foot or heel pain to limit their ability to run. Keep this simple idea in mind when assessing your running shoes!