How to tell if my sports shoes are worn out?

How to tell if my sports shoes are worn out?

Do you have a favourite pair of sports shoes? If so, it's not a good idea to run them into the ground. Even if they look okay, a worn out pair of sports shoes can cause you harm. So, how can you tell if your sports shoes are worn out? We explain in this post.

How long do sports shoes last?

Like with the old “how long is a piece of string” question, the answer is it depends.  You see, a person’s size and form (running style) affect the lifespan of a pair of shoes. So, if you are a small person with a good running form, your shoes should last longer than if you were bigger with poor form.

Rule of thumb: A sports shoe should last between 560 and 800 kilometres, depending on your size and form.

How can I tell if my sports shoes are worn out?

Before you lace up your current pair of sports shoes, answer the following questions:

  1. Though you run consistently, have you suddenly started feeling sore?
  2. Are there compression wrinkles in the midsole?
  3. Can you remember when or where you purchased your shoes?

If you answered yes to questions one or two and no to question three, you probably need to go shopping. 

Tip: If you run more than three days a week, get a couple of pairs of running shoes to wear on alternate days.

How do worn out sports shoes cause injury?

When running, every time your foot hits the pavement, it creates a force of up to three times your body weight. The purpose of your running shoes is to absorb the impact, so when they are past their best, this ability is diminished. The extra shock can cause several kinds of injuries.

  • Runner’s knee: Otherwise known as patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS), this is a common injury for runners. The pain is caused by irritation between the kneecap (patella) and thighbone.
  • Shin splints: This is a painful cumulative stress disorder that occurs when the two tendons along your shin swell up. Shin splints are a common complaint in people who participate in strenuous activities such as tennis and soccer.
  • Swollen IT band: The iliotibial (IT) band is a length of connective tissue (fascia) from the outside of the hip to the knee. Running on uneven surfaces or with unevenly worn shoes can cause the IT band to swell.

Three tips for choosing the right sports shoes

Get a professional evaluation: There are many different foot types. So, go to a specialty store with equipment to analyse your gait. This will help you make a more informed decision.

  1. Choose half a size larger: When running, the strain on your feet can cause them to swell. So, many runners purchase shoes half a size larger than their normal shoe size.
  2. Try on in the afternoon: During the day, your feet can become swollen — even without vigorous exercise. So, by trying on sports a pair of sports shoes later in the day, you’re more likely to choose the correct size.

So, what is the condition of your sports shoes? Don't be sentimental. If they are past their used-by date, get a new pair.

If you enjoyed this post, please share.

This content is provided by TXG for information purposes only. We advise anyone interested in this subject to seek qualified professional advice.

 


Heather Gatland
Heather Gatland

Author