You’ve been running in the same shoes for about four months now, and you’re wondering– is it time to replace my shoes? Am I risking injury?


If you’re a runner, you’ve seen your fair share of shoes. You’ve had some you loved, some you liked and some that you couldn’t wait to throw out. Whether you run at our gym in Mt. Laurel, on roads throughout your neighborhood or through nature trails, your shoes can be your best friend or your worst enemy. So how do you know when it’s time to get rid of your shoes?


First, what are running shoes?


Don’t Believe the Hype


What is in the sole of a running shoe? Contrary to what you might hear in sneaker stores, running shoes haven’t changed a lot in the past two decades (except for those toe-shoe things, nobody saw that coming). Running shoes provide runners protection and ‘bounce’ thanks to a little thing called E.V.A. foam. On most running shoes, you’ll see a white space along the side between where the bottom of your foot is supposed to rest and where the shoe touches the ground; that’s where the magic happens. E.V.A. foam absorbs shock, provides stability to ankles and provides a slight bounce that most runners find useful. That foam is what makes a running shoe, a running shoe.


I Would Walk 500 Miles


Generally, most shoe companies recommend replacing your sneakers between 300-500 miles. This is by no means a bad idea, but it’s also a bit misleading. We know that on average the E.V.A. foam in a running shoe degrades by 20% by the time you hit 500 miles, that doesn’t necessarily warrant replacement though. Sneakers are built to take a beating, so a 20% loss doesn’t mean they’re done for. A good test is to place two fingers inside the shoe and the other hand on the bottom of the shoe and then press. If you can feel your fingers through the bottom of the shoe, it’s probably time to invest in a new pair.


The wear you put on your shoes can vary depending on whether you’re running at one of our gyms in Burlington County, NJ or out in one of the parks across South Jersey. If you’re wondering whether or not it’s time to replace your shoes, listen to your body. If you’re starting to have aches and pains in places you weren’t before, try a new pair and see if things change.