Tuesday, June 16, 2015

The Mystery of Running Shoes

Do any of you actually know when your running shoes are done? You know, that point when you can longer use them anymore for running?

Based on my experience, I'm kind of surprised no one has come up with something -anything, really- that lets us know for sure, that your shoes are done. That person would make a lot of money with that.

The thing is, that all the running shoes I have bought so far (OK, most of them) look just as good after I've used them as when I bought them. Right now, I have two identical pairs of Brooks Beasts: One new, one spent. They look the same and yet I can't run on the old ones without major knee pain.

I used to go by pain. When I ran and my joints, hips and back started to hurt I knew it was time for a new pair. Most (sane) people will tell you that when you reach that point you are past the time to change them but that's what I did. But that was before I started to have knee issues. Now, the knee is the first thing that starts to hurt. Way before anything else. What's worse, I can't yet identify if the knee is hurting because I need new shoes or simply because it hurts. (Yes, it will hurt from time to time)
Ahhh... fresh pair of Beasties.
The newest pair of Beasties I bought last week were long overdue apparently. When I talked about my running funk and about how running didn't feel right, it seems the shoes where part of the problem. On the first run with the new shoes, I ran the fastest 3 miles I've been able to run in a long while. Probably since the Puerto Rico Half Marathon in March. Why? No knee pain.

This is bad news. Not because of the knee perse. I'm learning to deal with that and I'm hoping it gets better as I lose more weight. It's because now I have to buy shoes more often. On average, I've heard running shoes can go 300-500 miles before they are spent. I was already below that, reaching 250 miles if I pushed hard enough. This last pair was done with 210 miles. Crap.

Such is life. You know, Brooks Running should sponsor more Fat Runners. That, or I also hear that there's a bunch of stuff in the human body that there's two of that you could survive without one of them. You know, like kidneys and lungs and stuff like that. Apparently there is a market for that...

How about you guys? How long do your running shoes last? How do you know it's time to change them? Any tricks you can show me?

15 comments:

  1. I feel like I go through running shoes fast. I also go by feel. Once my knees or shins start to feel it, I run one or two more runs in them just to make sure it wasn't a bad run and then it's off to the store for a new pair. My training cycle is anywhere from 16-20 weeks and I go can through 3 pair!

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  2. I am so torn on this issue. As you know, my knee injury goes way beyond just the shoe! My physical therapist made me bring in all my old running shoes so he could evaluate my running pattern. Surprisingly an old pair of running shoes that I ran hard in for over a year ( and I had since taken them out of running circulation because I thought they were done for) he said STILL had a lot of miles left in them. That surprised me. He said that I don't wear shoes out because I am a light runner. Now my mom on the other hand, every time she has the slightest bit of pain , she automatically thinks it's the shoes (even if she just bought the last pair 2 months ago) .I think it's a mental thing with her...lol. But to each their own I guess. So to answer your question, No, I don't know how to "really" tell when I need new shoes. I usually just look at the tread and see how it is wearing. Enjoy your new Beasts!!!!

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    1. That actually makes me feel a little better. lol It confirms what I was thinking: Heavier weight = less mileage from your shoe. Also, that injuries make you more sensitive to shoe wear.

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  3. I think there should be a time in shoes thing instead of miles. Yes, a mile is a mile no matter time but when it comes to shoes I feel like the more time I spend with them the faster they are done. I'm on my second pair of Brooks Adrenaline GTS and the first pair lasted a bit less than 250 miles. (Not their recommended 300 miles)

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    Replies
    1. I would settle for some sort of marker. Time or mileage, we need something to let us know. While I don't mind using pain as reference, I don't think it0's a sensible way to switch shoes. I mean, if you're already in pain...

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  4. I'm not rich. And GOOD running shoes take financial planning for. So I put aside $ periodically earmarked for new shoes. And I buy them on a schedule. Now if I feel like the old shoes have some life left in them, I keep them around to play in. Because if you have new shoes sitting there waiting to be used... the old ones will hurt no matter what.

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    1. It makes me laugh when people say that running is cheap because it requires no equipment. Why am I certain that the people that say that don't run?

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  5. I tend to do the same thing, I change shoes when I notice more foot and knee pain. But I've noticed that it's around every 6 months so now I have a schedule and buy shoes in the Spring and the Fall.

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    1. Around 6 months seems to be the time frame for me as well.

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  6. This is a little disheartening. I've never actually retired running shoes because of breakdowns. Some I've decided just weren't for me or I stopped running for one reason or anything. I feel like I've finally found *my* shoe, Brooks Adrenalines. And I just passed the 100 mile mark. I was hoping they would get me through the bulk of training for my first half marathon, so I could buy new ones maybe a month or so before to break them in. Why do they have to be so awesome yet so expensive?!

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    Replies
    1. It's required by law: If you love something enough to be passionate about, it's related costs are gonna be huge. LOL

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