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Is Your Running Shoe Busted?

Is your running shoe busted?

By William Henneken

With the running calendar beginning to heat up, and the Bridge to Brisbane just around the corner, it is important to take a moment to check the condition of our shoes. Due to the great differences in human physique (height, weight, bone structure, & flexibility), and running technique (fore/mid/rear foot strike) it is impossible to give a ‘one size fits all’ indication that your shoes are past their best.

This means it is extremely difficult to rely on a set time frame or number of kilometres before renewing our footwear. Unfortunately, also gone are the days of rolling the shoe over and looking at the sole for an indication of wear. So, with these common methods of assessing shoes for wear being no longer appropriate, how do we know if it is time for a new shoe?

Stand up and look straight down!

The grey shoe is a brand new shoe and we can see an even amount of the foam (midsole) on the inside and outside of the front of the shoe. The blue shoes are well past their useful life and this can be seen by an inability to visualise the foam on the outside part of the midsole. The shoe has collapsed to the outside and won’t be providing the same support as it did when it was new.

This is a nice and simple way to look for a collapsed shoe, each and every time you go for a run.

Now that the shoes have been condemned, how should I choose a new pair? 

Firstly, I would suggest trying to avoid moving to a new shoe within two weeks of an event. However, if a new pair of shoes is required and you have been running without too many issues, it would be safe to assume you can move into the same shoe again (try to avoid updating models mid season). It would also be wise to transition into the new pair of shoes over a period of two weeks, beginning with shorter runs before wearing them for your long runs. 

Of course, if you have been experiencing consistent injuries or niggles, it could be time to review with your footwear expert to take a deeper dive into your symptoms. It may be as simple as renewing the old shoe, or a further intervention might be required like a change in shoe category, addressing strength and flexibility deficits, or an orthotic. William Henneken is a consulting Podiatrist at QSMC from the Queensland Foot Centres. Will has experience working with all kinds of patients, but particularly enjoys treating sporting injuries of the foot and ankle. If you would like to book in with Will, please contact our reception team. You can reach us by calling 07 3891 2000 or email reception@qsmc.net.au

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