Are Your Running Shoes Hurting You?

| Well Being

One of the worst things that can happen when running is when your shoes start to turn on you and cause your feet pain. These shoes were supposed to support your feet and protect them from the elements! Truthfully, it can be a number of reasons why your running shoes turned against you; they could be old and worn or maybe you just didn't buy the right pair for your style of running.

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The rule of thumb for running shoes is that you should replace them every 300 to 500 miles. But, keeping track is difficult and you may not be tracking how many miles you run, or you might not run consistently throughout the year. Lukcily, you can also replace your shoes based on how often you run.

  • If you run two days a week, replace your shoes every year
  • If you run three days a week, replace your shoes every eight months
  • If you run four to five days a week, replace your shoes every six months
  • If you run six to seven days a week, replace your shoes every four months

Another bit of advice is to have two pairs of running shoes so you can rotate them; they'll last longer and your feet will thank you! (via Road Runner Sports)

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Be sure to keep in mind how you run when you're buying shoes. There are three main arches that feet can have that affect the way you run: you can have flat, high or normal arches.

Flat arches cause you to over-pronate, which causes your feet to roll inward. Your feet and ankles will have problems stabilizing your body and absorbing the shock. It can often lead to knee pain or patellofemoral syndrome. You should look for a shoe that has stability and motion-control features.

A high arch causes your feet to under-pronate, leading to your foot having less rolling than people with flat or normal arches. With high arches, the forces of impact are concentrated on a smaller area of the foot, meaning that the shock is not distributed as efficiently and cannot be absorbed. It can lead to leg pain and many injuries. You should look for a shoe with a softer midsole.

If you have normal arches, this means the outside part of your heel hits the ground first when you run. Your foot rolls inward about 15 degrees and can support your body weight without any problem. It distributes the forces of impact evenly and absorbs the shock properly. When looking for a shoe, you should find one that has a moderate amount of stability and cushioning.

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You can easily check the inside of your shoes to see which way your feet pronate. If your shoes sag inward then you over-pronate, if they're worn around the outside you under-pronate and if worn evenly then you pronate normally. Keep in mind that if you want to avoid shoe-caused foot pain, you need to not only know how to buy the right types of shoes, but you also need to replace your shoes.

Source: Runner's World and Ace Fitness