To New Shoe or… Not?

I have heard that if you workout daily, you need to replace your shoes often. Add to that: don’t skimp on your workout shoes… buy quality. And I have ignored that advice for quite a while. Okay, I have ignored it since I started working out regularly – years and years ago.

So, as I laced up my 5 year-old sneaks the other day for an intense workout in the insane 80-day program that I started on January 15, 2018, I wondered….

Hmmmm. Does it REALLY make a difference? Or is this all just hype to get the sneaker manufactures more money. So I started digging.

I am no expert; but I do know how to research. And the overall consensus is that, well, YES, yes you DO need to replace your workout shoes often…and…quality matters a LOT.

When it comes to exercise, failure, as in pushing your muscles to the brink of failure, is a GOOD thing. Your muscles recover, and then grow stronger. Shoes, on the other hand, are very different; if they are expired, they are expired. End of story. Once the ability for your workout shoes to absorb the shock of you running, jumping, lifting is done, it’s done, and it’s time to get new shoes.

According to experts, shoes lose about 50 percent of their compression ability after about 300 to 500 miles of use. Therefore, your workout shoes should be replaced within that mileage – or about every six months, whichever comes first. So…minimally about twice a year, but more often if you are running a lot or doing a very high intensity program such as Insanity, Insanity Max 30, Turbo Fire, or running and sprinting. Programs such as P90X, Body Beast, 80 Day Obsession (click on the picture above for more information on the 80 Day Obsession) may be more forgiving on the time span as these programs have less jumping, running, etc.

A visual inspection will give you a good idea. Look for wear in areas that hold the most load, specifically the heel and the ball of the foot. You can also visually inspect the material of the shoe for tears and wear/weakening.

So when I inspected the sneakers I was using for my daily intense workouts, walks outside… well, everything… I found the heels worn, the inside padding almost gone, and the the ball of the foot area smooth from wear.

Clearly, it was time to get new shoes. So where to start? I went to the store and was immediately overwhelmed. A young man came to my rescue and walked me through all of the shoes – yes, he spent that much time with me. He pointed out the difference between quality shoes and, well, not so quality shoes. He showed the me difference between running shoes and training shoes and trail shoes.

And I ended up with a pair of Asics, doctor approved, with an incredible arch support, made for training shoe. I have done a few workouts in these shoes and I can’t believe I didn’t heed this advice sooner and replace my shoes with good, quality shoes. I had been dealing with some knee and back pain after my workouts and that pain was non-existent simply by replacing my shoes, and replacing them with quality shoes. Expensive? Maybe. But the way I see it, I can take care of myself with preventative care, spending a little bit more on shoes now, and perhaps saving myself from spending thousands of dollars (not to mention the time and pain!) later to fix knee, joint, and back issues from being too stubborn to listen to my own research.

I wish I had listened to the advice sooner; so glad I listened now. I can’t wait for tomorrow’s workout so I can slip into these shoes and know I am doing something good for my body – just as important as nutrition, fitness, and
emotional and spiritual health.

Oh! And if you like to dance, you can’t beat these dance shoes for ease of turning and moving – they feature a turning disc on the sole of the shoe… I did invest in these when I obtained my license to teach hip hop and country dancing. I actually listened the advice given to me then. Hmmm. I guess I’m not ALWAYS stubborn!

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