Is it Time to Retire Your Athletic Shoes?

The intensity of your preferred workout or sport affects how long your athletic shoes last. How can you tell if it’s time for a new pair?

It Hurts to Work Out

Being sore after a hardcore workout is normal, but if you’re experiencing unusual pain in your feet, knees, hips or lower back, your athletic shoes could be to blame.

As athletic shoes age, the supportive cushion in the sole wears away and loses its ability to absorb the shock of jumping or running, leaving your foot to take most of the impact.

Athletic shoes may also become uneven, causing your stride to change and throwing your body out of alignment.

Your Feet Are a Mess

Does it seem like you see a new blister, callus or corn every time you remove your shoes?

Old athletic sneakers may no longer have the proper fit and can press or scrape against your feet, leading to uncomfortable problems. However, if your athletic shoes are fairly new and you still notice something abnormal, get it checked by a doctor to rule out potential skin conditions or other health issues.

You’ve Lost Your Sole

Shoes coming apart at the seams are too far gone for much of anything aside from a good recycling program, but your athletic sneakers will show signs of wear long before the soles begin flapping in the wind. Worn tread, spots of white midsole showing through, tears along the sides and threadbare patches on the top are all telltale red flags of an athletic shoe on its way out.

You’ve Walked 500 Miles

Yes, the song is true, especially when it comes to the athletic shoes you use for running, walking and high-impact sports or workouts. Before walking 500 more miles, you’ll want a brand-new pair of sneakers.

The general recommendation for replacing athletic shoes is to buy a new pair every 350 to 500 miles for runners and every 500 miles for walkers. If you prefer a different type of workout or don’t keep precise track of how far you travel on your feet, every three to six months is a good rule of thumb. More intense routines make athletic shoes wear out faster.

Be sure to replace your athletic shoes before they get bad enough to threaten your body mechanics when you’re working out or playing sports. Healthy feet are the foundation of healthy alignment, and good shoes provide the essential support you need. Once you’re done with a pair of athletic shoes, consider sending them to GotSneakers where they can find a second life.


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