Thursday, January 6, 2011

New Running Shoes - It's High Time

Various sources will say all kinds of things with regard to how long you should run in a particular pair of shoes. The rule I usually follow (even if I don't actually buy shoes when I'm due) is that you should replace your shoes every 300 miles. This website says 300-500 miles. A quick Google search shows that it's a relatively common rule of thumb. Obviously this is more of a guideline than a hard and fast rule, though. I often know I need new shoes when my knees start hurting after a long run (and incidentally heard the same thing from a friend in the last few weeks). I once got a brand new pair of Nike running shoes and, after running in them a few times, could not stand to run in them any longer and ended up giving them away. For whatever reason, they made my calves hurt. I was pretty annoyed by the whole situation since, as we all know, running shoes don't come cheap. I started thinking I'd probably have to bite the bullet and have my gait analyzed at a running store, where I'd be (or at least feel) obligated to buy shoes.

I haven't done this yet because I'm not ready to drop $130 on whatever pair of shoes they'd recommend at the store. With the exception of that pair of Nikes, the ones I've found have been bearable and cost much less. Still, my shoe replacement habits have been pretty arbitrary to this point. Let me review my shoe timeline:

January 2008: Decide to train for a 10k to increase fitness. Use a pair of shoes discovered in a box in house basement.

June 2008: Find a pair of Reebok Hatanas on sale for $36 in the clearance section at DSW.

January 2009: Spend $95 on Nike Shox at Academy to train for first marathon (April 2009).

April 2009: Invest in second pair of Shox. DUDS. Revert to Hatanas.

July 2010: Find New Balance 812 All Terrains (trail running shoes) on sale for $40 at Super Runners Shop.

As an epilogue, I've since gotten rid of the Reeboks but still have (and use) the Shox and trail runners. And so you see my shoe timeline makes little to no sense. I pretty much buy shoes when I find good deals and not before. Unfortunately, though, the time has come. For real. Let me show you why. Both pairs of shoes have undergone the same problem of extreme wear, but in the exact same place:

The fabric at the back of both right shoes has torn, exposing a relatively sharp plastic edge beneath. It used to just be a nuisance, but using them is beginning to result in cuts. I ran the NYE run in the Shox and am confident that it was the last race they'll ever see. On Tuesday I ran six miles in the trail shoes to almost the same effect, though not as severe. The results:

I've run many miles in both pairs, but their time has come. In future posts, I'll cover my shoe shopping odyssey. Do you have any favorites or suggestions? Let me know!


  1. I took Szymon to Jack Rabbit Sports in park slope a couple years ago to have his running analyzed. They recommended a couple pairs at different prices, and I think we got out for 80 bucks or so with a pair that was on sale. For someone who runs as much as you do I think it would be a good investment.

    P.S. Yeah, I've been reading your blog...

  2. HBG, I run about 25 miles a week on a treadmill and buy new shoes every six months. Unless my legs (knees or shins) start hurting, then I'll buy them sooner. Spend up for good running shoes. They're worth it!

  3. Good points. I guess it's off to JackRabbit or Super Runners Shop for me!