Friday, December 3, 2010

shoes, shoes, shoes

So... the question of the hour is, how often do you replace your running shoes?  How many miles do you estimate that you get out of them?

My shoes (the ones I trained for the marathon in, and have been running in since) seem to be finished.  They look ok, a little dirty, a little hole in a part of the inside lining, but according to my best interpretation of garmin data they only have about 350ish miles on them.

I talked to my chiropractor about it and he says that he replaces his with even less (he either said 200 miles or 280 miles).  But my two primary running buddies run in their shoes until they're nearly falling apart.  I think Sam replaces his maybe yearly, and John even worse--he waits for the shoes to fall apart.  His current pair is over a year old, and I think it's a pair he got at Kohl's or something rather than a regular running store.  His previous pair was a couple years old.

This sucks because I'm in graduate school.  It's hard to drop $100 on shoes more than once a year.  Sam and John act like there's some problem with me, like maybe my need to replace them is mental rather than real, because I "just got those shoes."  Trust me, I don't want to go spend $100 right now.  The idea that this is some subconscious desire of mine to always be buying new shoes, rather than a real need, is kind of insulting and also makes me doubt whether I really need new shoes or not.

In the past I'll get this dull ache in my knees behind my kneecaps--it doesn't start to happen until immediately after a run.  I'll just be sitting around post-run and my knees will ache SO BADLY inside.  Sometimes it goes away in a few hours, or sometimes they're still a little stiff the next day.  If this is happening, in the past, I've gotten new shoes and it's stopped completely.  Immediately.  How can that be mental?  More than once, I've experienced the same knee ache and then cured it immediately by just putting on new shoes.  That HAS to be what this is again right now.

In all fairness, in the time I've had this most recent pair of shoes, I've ran about double Sam's mileage (for at least part of the time--probably most of the time).  But when I mention the shoes thing he still looks at me like I'm completely nuts and wasteful.  The chiro said "everyone's different," but if that's the case why do I, the person without a real job, have to be the person who has crappy aching knees, while my two running buddies with good jobs never have to buy new shoes? :(  *whine.*

I wish I could be awesome and get sponsored like Frayed Laces, so I could have sweet gear and not go broke from it while I'm finishing graduate school :(

On another note, cast your vote now.  Should I:
*get re-examined/re-fitted at the running store and possibly try something new, since in the time that I've had these shoes I've trained for and run a marathon, run in vibrams, and seen a chiropractor weekly who is trying to work on some minor alignment issues--so maybe something about my running gait has changed?  or
*just get the same pair of shoes I have, leaving well enough alone?



  1. Funny you should mention FL. I was thinking of her and her Brooks while I was reading your post.

    I generally run my shoes for about 300 miles. I've heard up to 500, but I'm pretty tall, and therefore, heavier, so I figured 300 was a good number.

    I have suggested new shoes to people who are complaining about knee pain and they have the same thing happen as disappears. So it does make a difference.

    I think I suggested to you before is using two pairs of shoes and alternating. They seem to last longer that way. I know when finances are an issue it may be impossible, but it helps in the long run.

    I like the idea of getting refitted. It can't hurt and may help.

  2. Definitely take another look at your options. I agree that $100 is a lot. But I don't think you need to spend that much. I always buy end of line stuff, i.e. last year's model (or sometimes even 2 years ago), and they're usually pretty heavily reduced. One thing people are sucker's for is new *models*. And pretty colours. Get the ugly grey shoe from 18 months ago and it's less than half price.

    As for the new shoes controversy.. Well, I don't know. There's a lot of debate about this eh. And it's impossible to draw firm conclusions from either way. But given that you've found it beneficial in the past; and given that it's recommended by your chiro, I think it's worth it. Boys be damned ;-)

  3. Hey lady! I replace mine as soon as I get "that feeling" and I find that it ends up being right around the 6 month/about 400 mile mark. I think it's incredibly important to take care of your feet by getting new shoes when they tell you it's time - but yes, the cost does suck. I would ask around at local running stores, I know a lot of them offer discounts for various things, maybe your school is associated with one of the stores and you could get a student discount?? Good luck.

  4. With all of the talk of barefoot running (which I'm not particularly akin to), I figure my shoes are probably good to go for a million miles. Regardless if they wear down or fall apart, then I'll just be "running barefoot", but with some material on my feet. So, I wear my shoes until a new pair steals my heart -- maybe once or twice a year. I'm up to about 1,600 miles this year and I'm at the tail end of my second pair now, but I also did a bunch of wear testing for Brooks in the meantime (I think i wear tested 4 pairs this year). All in all, my "regular" running shoes probably have close to 700 miles on them.

  5. I replace mine when I start to hurt or get niggling injuries in my feet/lower legs. I got new shoes after my marathon due to having my feet start swelling up after ever single run of any real distance.

    They still do, but less. I think I may have done a number on a tendon or something running in shoes that weren't supportive enough anymore for MY feet. Are you friends neutral runners? Are you? I overpronate like whoa and, thus, my shoes need to do their job or I hurt things. So, I replace mine more often. I've been running two years and I've got five or six pairs of shoes? I just use the old ones for daily wear or cross training purposes so they don't go to waste.

    I guess I'd rather replace too soon than wait to long and get another goddamn stress fracture! LOL. Some of those old shoes from my earlier running days are probably still fine but I'm too worried about my feet to run long in them. I'd use them for shorty runs, though. The ones I trained for the marathon in are dead, though. Definitely!

  6. Oh man, I hate dropping huge amounts on shoes!!

    I am dreading having to replace my current set for some new ones. I think I'm going to have to pay more than I did (got away with 65.00 shoes this time) to get the right type to do serious marathon training in!!