3 signs you need new running shoes

8 Apr 2020

Lisa Scott, Editor
Whether you are cooking up a storm in the kitchen, planting out a garden, or painting a masterpiece —  you need the right tools for the trade.

You wouldn’t get very far if you tried to slice a tomato with a butter knife, for example! Chances are it would slip and you could end up injuring yourself, or it would make a real mess of the tomato.

And while the right tools are important, they need to be inspected regularly to make sure they are fit for the task. When it comes to your kitchen knives, that would mean sharpening them if you notice they’ve lost their edge.

It’s the same when it comes to running. It doesn’t matter if you run for fun, or if you are a master of marathons — the most important tool in your trade is a pair of running shoes. If they aren’t up to the task, you risk slipping, injuries, and making a real mess of your body.

Unlike knives however, running shoes wear out and need to be replaced regularly. So how do you know if it’s time?

Sometimes the signs of wear and tear are obvious:

  • holes in the sole or upper
  • tread that has worn smooth
  • uneven wear patterns on the sole
  • loose stitching.

Other indicators of wear are much more subtle, and you may be doing your body damage or risking serious injury without even realising it.

So we asked Brisbane podiatrist Trevor Lane for some of the telltale signs that you should run — not walk! — to your favourite sports shoe store or website.

1. Compression wrinkles

As we get older, our skin wrinkles. Collagen productions slows, and the supportive structures under the skin break down, allowing wrinkles to form. In the same way, if you have compression wrinkles in your running shoes, the midsole is no longer providing the support that it should. Usually made of EVA foam, the midsole is arguably the most important part of your running shoes, as it is what cushions and protects your foot with each stride you take. You should also try pressing your thumb into your shoe. Does it feel soft and cushiony? If it feels hard and unyielding, it’s another sign that the midsole is no longer up to the job.

2. Twist test

Pick up the shoe and try to twist it like a wet towel. If it gives easily, you’ll know it’s time for new running shoes.

3. Tap test

When you tap the back of your shoe, it should sound hard. This can be a little frustrating — it can feel like this is when you’ve truly “broken in” a pair of shoes! However, if you can press on this area and it folds or collapses, it means it is no longer cradling your heel and holding your foot safely in place when you run.
If you are a keen runner, the last thing you want is an injury that will stop you in your tracks. With the help of this guide, you can make sure that your shoes are providing the comfort, safety and support your body deserves!
Lisa Scott

Lisa Scott

Managing Editor

Lisa is a mad-keen runner, mad-cap mum, and still can't quite grasp that she runs marathons 'for fun'. She also believes there's no coincidence about the number 42. After all, 42 is the distance of a marathon, her current age and according to the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, the meaning of life!

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