Sure, it's time for those New Years Resolutions...and a whole lot of people saying "new year, new me!" But when is it time to treat the new you to some new sneakers?
Sneakers can have a surprising impact on your workout – and health. Your feet literally support your body, and yet most people don’t think about getting new sneakers nearly as often as they should. Sneakers are your most important fitness accessory: they improve your performance in a workout and help you maintain balance, but they also help aid in injury prevention and ensure you bounce back from intense workouts.
You’ve walked/run over 300 miles in them.
Think about your shoes like the tires on your car. The treads are only good for so long, and after about 300 miles, the treads on your sneakers start to wear down. How quickly the treads wear down depends on your workout – road running breaks down your shoes faster than say, trail running or lifting weights.
You know it's time to replace your kicks when they begin to have less "pop" (or response) upon contact, there are visible signs of wear on the sole, and the upper (the part covering your foot) shows signs of breaking down, says Ted Fitzpatrick, director of product footwear running and training at Reebok.
You bought them a long time ago.
Depending on how frequently you wear your sneakers, six months or more may be a sign you need new ones. A running shoe is designed for about six months of wear and tear from regular use. Weightlifters, however, may find their shoes last much longer – the average weight lifting shoe lasts 12 months. This too depends on the frequency and type of workouts. If you’re heavily training, six months is a good point of reference.
You’re getting blisters or they’re causing you pain.
New sneakers may cause blisters at first – but if you notice them on your favorite worn in pair, it’s likely a sign that your sneakers have stretched out and don’t fit properly anymore. This is a huge sign to toss those bad boys in the trash and look for a new pair because improperly fitting sneakers can cause back, joint and hip issues.
“If you suffer from plantar fasciitis or foot pain following your workouts, there’s a good sign that your arch isn’t being supported appropriately,” says Dr. Cunha. Your toenails can tell ya, too. “If you have frequent ingrown toenails, bunions, or neuromas can be caused if you don’t have a wide enough forefront.” Naijar adds that aches and pains are telltale signs it’s time for a replacement pair, so notice when your dogs are howling post-workout.
They’re not comfortable.
A new pair of shoes should be comfortable after a few wears. If they’re still not comfortable, or they start to be less comfortable the longer you wear them, it’s time to trade in the shoes for a new pair. Heading to a store with sneaker experts can help you find the perfect kicks for your feet and make sure they’re exactly what you need for your workout. Sara Naijar, footwear product line manager at Brooks Running adds that broken-down cushioning is one major sign it’s new shoe time. “Broken down cushioning isn’t always visible,” she says. “When your shoe no longer feels as comfortable as it once did—missing the soft pillow feel, or the springy bouncy feeling—it’s probably time to change your shoes.” Her pro tip? If you’re not sure, go try on a new pair. “If you have a wow moment, it’s a good indicator it’s time for a new pair,” she says.