If your feet are feeling tired and sore after a long day of wearing tennis shoes, it may be time to think about replacing them. Take a look at your shoes. Are there any signs of wear such as a weak sole or little tread left? Our feet work best when the shoes we wear are in good shape and have adequate support. Old shoes that are loose and worn increase our likelihood of developing health problems and injuries such as plantar fasciitis, bunions, ingrown toenails, stress fractures, shin splints and more. So, whether you are an avid marathoner or just enjoy a walk in the park now and then, it is important to know when to change your shoes.
Mileage and Age
A good rule of thumb is to replace your shoes every 350-500 miles. For some shoes that could mean six months, but others could last longer. If you don’t keep track of your shoe mileage, replacing a pair that you use often every 8-12 months is good practice.
There are several other factors to take into account such as the material of the shoe, how hard you are on your feet, what activity is performed in the shoes, body weight, how often you wear the shoes, and the terrain. These are all important variables when determining the shoe age.
The Old Shoe Test
You can also perform an old shoe test to see if your shoes are still worth keeping in your closet. If you can bend the forefoot of the shoe backward with ease, then it is time to replace your shoes.
Laying your shoe on a flat surface is another good test, good shoes should lay evenly on the ground with no tipping or rocking. If your shoe tilts to one side it is most likely worn down.
Press your thumb against the cushion of your shoe. There should be some resistance against your thumb for shock absorption. If there is no resistance, then your shoes have likely reached their time for retirement.
Mileage isn’t the only way to measure the age of your shoes. Here are some red flags to look for when deciding whether or not to replace your shoes:
- If your shoes do not feel as comfortable or supportive as when they were new, it may be time to replace them. Shoes should not feel loose and you shouldn’t have to constantly retie them to tighten or maintain their support.
- If you notice any distress such as tears or wrinkles in the material on the exterior, they may be worn out.
- Look at the tread and pay attention to the grip of your shoe, if the tread is smoothed out or disappeared it is time for a new pair of shoes.
Don’t wait until your feet are aching or for a hole to appear in your shoes to justify buying a new pair. Most people wait too long before replacing their shoes and as a result, suffer pain from wearing the same worn pair day after day. Heel spurs, achy soles and ankles, tender knees, and stress fractures are all common complaints from patients who have waited too long to replace their shoes. For more information on when to replace your shoes or how to treat foot pain from tired shoes, please contact Loren Miller, DPM today.