Most people who own a car know the importance of rotating the tires to prevent excessive wear and prolong the life of the tires; runners should consider doing the same with their running shoes. NO, not wearing the left shoe on the right foot, but rotating 2 or 3 pairs of shoes for every other run. Having a couple of differing style shoes can help extend the life of the shoes as well as help to avoid overuse injuries and repetitive strain. Daily runs can vary from long easy run, a speed workout, a trail run or simply a recovery run; there are various shoes that are best suited for each of these run types.
When asked to contribute to the “Tip Tuesday” series the topic of shoe rotation came to me right away. I’ve been running for 50 years now and I’ve been practicing this for the last 30 based on gut instincts, but I figured I should back this up with some research. I googled “Why rotate running shoes” and quite a lot of sites came up supporting my gut instinct. Marathonhandbook.com has an article: ”Running Shoe Rotation: Rotate Your Shoes For Better Running” written by Amber Sayer, SM, CPT, CNC, a Fitness, Nutrition and Wellness writer and editor. In the article she lists a few benefits which align with what I mentioned above:
1. Reduce the Risk of Injury
2. Can Prolong the Life of Your Shoes
3. Can Improve Your Workouts
4. Can Help you Learn Your Shoe Preferences (Brand, Model, Type)
Two more bits of advice:
1. Track the mileage of your shoes – helps you understand how long certain models last and can let you know when to consider ditching them.
2. Loosely stuff newspaper into the shoes if they get wet from rain, puddles, snow, etc. this can help dry them overnight.
One last note, when you decide that a pair of shoes have no more running life in them, please don’t throw them in the trash. Besides Goodwill, the Salvation Army and the Sain Vincent de ’Paul Society, there are many other organizations that can find good use for your used shoes. HCS club member Vincent Hughes does a yearly collection of used running shoes (as well as all types of shoes) for the Soles4Souls charity. He will start collecting in the March to April timeframe to align with the Boston Marathon and Spring-Cleaning time.