What Are Your Shoes Trying to Tell You?
Did you know your shoes have a set distance life expectancy? We get a lot of questions about how long to keep shoes and how to repurpose old gym shoes. Your shoes, and your feet may be trying to get your attention. What are your shoes trying to tell you?
When Should I Replace My Shoes?
Shoes have a life span like any other apparel, except that we tax our shoes unlike anything else in the closet. According to the American Journal of Sports Medicine, shoe wear is based on mileage. Depending on your use, the life span of shoes is between 350-500 miles. Many people wear their athletic shoes as their primary go to shoe, which shortens the time that that pair will provide adequate cushion and support. If you wear your athletic shoes as your primary shoe, they should be replaced every six months.
By the time you have walked, run, and mowed your way to 500 miles, only 30% of the original support remains and the glue that holds the components together has started to degrade.
One way to prolong the life of your shoes is by using your athletic running or walking shoes for only your workouts or outdoor treks and maintaining a separate, supportive pair as a work shoe. It takes longer to reach your mileage limit when the distance is shared across your shoes.
What Are Your Feet Are Telling You?
Foot pain is one way your feet communicate there is a problem. Ignoring foot pain can exacerbate injuries and is also just uncomfortable. Replacing shoes when they become worn is a great prevention habit that can save you from back pain, strains, or injury.
The best shoes for healthy feet mimic the foot’s natural shape, while offering support in the arch and a supportive sole underneath. Look over your shoes for wear and tear as well as shape.
Pro Tip: If your toes poke holes in the top of your tennis shoes, you may be wearing the wrong shoe size and shape. We recommend having your feet measured by a professional at major life stages. Shoe sizes are not standardized, and your feet may have changed sizes since your last measurement.
My Old Shoes are Still Good for Yard Work, Right?
We all want to be economical and squeeze all the value out of old shoes, but old and worn shoes no longer offer the support and protection that you need for yard or housework. Manual tasks around your house are tough on your back and body. Proper support in your shoes provides stability as well as protects you against some injuries.
Using old running shoes for yard work may seem like a good way to extend the life of your trainers but can cause lower back pain or injury as they no longer protect your feet from yard debris, rocks, or uneven terrain. While no one wants to get grass stains on new shoes, one dedicated pair of good athletic shoes will last a long time as well as leave you feeling less achy after tough work.
Shoe Recycling programs are available all over the Twin Cities for gently used shoes as well as those really torn up old sneakers. Old sneakers are ground up for playground material or running tracks, while others can be salvaged for reuse.
Shoe Style vs. Foot Function
We all have made a shoe buy or two purely because we loved how they looked. Sometimes that is in sacrifice of foot care. The type or shoe you wear really can impact your comfort. In a higher-heeled shoe, natural movement is altered. The initial effect is redistribution of weight; an enormous amount of pressure is redistributed onto the forefoot, affecting the ability of the toes to push off and changing a person’s gait. With long-term usage, higher heels also have a ripple effect on the upper body: pressures on the feet create pressures on upper joints, muscles and tendons.
Shoe Care 101
Prolong the life of your shoes with these simple tips:
- Dedicate shoes to one purpose like yard work, hiking and the gym. Each pair will last longer without the added use in differing functions
- Read more tips in our How to Care For Your Favorite Boots And Shoes post
- Replace the insoles when worn
- Wear a good moisture wicking sock and cotton is not usually your best sock option. Read all about sock options in our Sock Talk!
- When you wash your running shoes, dry them completely and allow air to flow freely. This prevents bacteria from growing inside the shoe.
Not sure which shoe style is right for your feet? Our trained footwear consultants can help you identify any problems you may be having, and recommend a brand, style and any add-ons to maximize your foot comfort and health, and shoe longevity. Contact Peterson Shoes at (763) 421-3433, schedule an evaluation, or visit our Anoka shoe store to find your perfect pair.
Peterson Shoes is a family-owned shoe store and shoe repair shop serving the Andover, Anoka, Brooklyn Park, Coon Rapids and Minneapolis areas. We specialize in orthotic shoe inserts, shoes for plantar fasciitis and shoes for tendinitis. Come check out our selection of Women’s shoes, apparel and accessories, and Men’s shoes at 209 E. Main Street, Anoka, MN. Or shop our selection online now.