The east coast is experiencing a record- setting heat wave this February. Apparently, the groundhog didn’t let Mother Nature know that he saw his shadow. That shadow means we’re supposed to experience six more weeks of winter weather, but it’s nearing 70 degrees! Forget the groundhog, grab your jogging shoes. It’s time for a run!
But wait. Stop. Before you slide your feet into your old faithful jogging shoes and lace them up, hold them up and take a real hard look at them. Are they misshapen? How long ago did you purchase your shoes? How many miles have you put on them? Do they ‘twist’ easily in your hand? Is the tread on the bottom gone? What does the outsole look like? Does the midsole, the ethylene vinyl acetate, EVA, feel like it’s been pushed down, collapsed or does it fall out? How did you feel the last time you wore them, invigorated or achy?
This game of 20 questions can mean the difference between starting your jogging regime off on the right foot, or enduring a lot of unnecessary pain. Or even worse, you can develop lifelong injuries. No one wants jogging pain or injuries, so remembering a few of these important tips can make a world of difference.
When we wear jogging shoes too long, they become misshapen and lose their supportive features. The midsole, EVA, stops supporting our arch. This means each time a foot lands down, that midsole cushion is not protecting us. That ‘pounding’ feels much more pronounced in our legs or back. As we age, this becomes even more important because we really need that midsole shock absorber effect.
Doctors recommend jogging shoes should be traded out every 300-500 miles. At least three factors impact this wide variance. It’s affected by the surfaces you run on, your personal biomechanics, (in a nutshell, the way you run) and your weight. If you’re lithe, jog on your treadmill and land ever so lightly on your heels, your shoes may retain their usefulness for 500 miles. On the other hand, if you weigh 275, run on pavement, and slam your heels down hard, your shoes will probably be ready for retirement at 300 miles.
A couple of good ideas when you purchase jogging shoes is to purchase more than one pair at a time. Having two different pairs of shoes allows your feet to exercise different muscles each time you wear them. In addition. it allows the midsole to refresh on one pair of shoes while you’re wearing the second pair.
You may want to write the date you purchase your shoes inside of them when you buy them. Having the date you purchased them, along with knowing how many miles you run, will serve as an easy reminder when it’s replacement time. An even easier rule of thumb is to get new jogging shoes at least twice a year.
There are lots and lots of different jogging shoe styles and types. If you’re new to jogging, consider going to one of the running shoe stores to get fitted properly. The sales clerk will help determine your biomechanics, your pronation, (the pressure you place on your shoes when you walk) and then help you find the shoes that fit you best. The links below will help you get started. Enjoy your run!
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