There are many products and pieces of equipment out there that can make you a more prepared, comfortable and better-looking runner, but the one essential piece of gear that cannot be overlooked are your shoes.
If your shoes aren’t comfortable, your running won’t be comfortable. You can ensure that you find the right pair by purchasing your shoes from a specialty retailer such as Rogue Equipment that employs trained experts who take the time to work with you individually, but how do you know when it’s time to retire your current pair?
The general rule for modern running shoes is to replace them every 300-350 miles. The most accurate way to track this, of course, is through a running log, whether it’s something that you jot down in a notebook or record in an online log such as the one in your Rogue locker room . If you’re someone who maintains a consistent weekly mileage, you can also write the purchase date on your shoes in permanent marker, allowing a pretty fair guess at when it’s time to trade them in. Remember that excessive sweating (ie summertime) and heavier impact (ie a heavier runner) will also contribute to a more rapid breakdown of materials.
If you’re reading this now and realize that you’ve done little to no tracking of your current pair of shoes, there are other signs that will let you know it’s time to change. Little aches and pains will start to flare up when your shoes are worn out, notably in the knees, shins and ankles. Your legs may feel “beat up,” and not as fresh as usual, or you may have some IT Band issues arise. Ignored, these things can and usually do become actual injuries - make sure you address them!
Still not sure if your shoes are finished? A good shoe specialist will be able to identify midsole degeneration and other issues, and pretty accurately tell you how much life your shoes have left (or don’t have left!).
300-350 miles can happen quickly. Marathoners regularly running 50mpw will hit the mark in 6-7 weeks, and even beginners will approach that number sooner than they probably imagine. Rotating two pairs of shoes will help you squeeze a bit more life out of them, as you won’t constantly be running in and further breaking down damp, sweaty shoes, but awareness is key. Track your miles, listen to what your body is telling you and make sure you are working with a specialist – Rogue has a full staff of shoe experts to help ensure that you get exactly what you need to remain a happy, healthy runner.