Hi & Welcome!  Here you can find fitness,  yummy goods, inspiration, motivation, lifestyle, & travel. So have fun, and enjoy! It's all about creating & living a life fit for you!  xoxo,  Sandy

Hi & Welcome!

Here you can find fitness,  yummy goods, inspiration, motivation, lifestyle, & travel. So have fun, and enjoy! It's all about creating & living a life fit for you!

xoxo,

Sandy

The Life Expectancy of Our Running Shoes

The Life Expectancy of Our Running Shoes

Recently, I’ve had to say goodbye to one of my favorite pair of running sneakers due to wear and tear. I was upset. But I was even more upset in the fact that I had only owned the beauty for 6 months! And, at the time since I was less educated about this topic, I felt rather… cheated. What was my thought? Because although running is definitely one of the least expensive ways of being active in your fitness journey, and an awesome way to get your tan on in the warmer days (even though my shorts tan is funny looking now…) the shoes on the other hand are not so cheap and nice for your wallet. Running shoes can cost around $100 a pair. So I felt that it should have served me longer.

Boy oh boy was my mindset wrong.

This thought process and frustration is what I shared with the store associate when I went shopping for a new pair of running shoes. The store associate had kindly acknowledged my frustrations, and then dropped his knowledge on me. KABOOM!

I was totally wrong about the life expectancy of my shoes. And it was due to so many factors! This blew my mind and was so interesting to me, so I decided to explore it a little more. Here’s what I’ve learned!

Warning: about to drop knowledge* ;)

Why do we need to replace our baes ?

(a.k.a running shoes)

Most running shoes incorporate lightweight materials that cushion the foot from the trauma of running. The material often used is the EVA foam – a lightweight material injected with air cells designed to absorb impact.

With each foot strike the cushioning system compresses and rebounds. Overtime with use, the foam eventually loses its pizazz. Research has shown that this can happen between 300-500 miles from the first wear. Shoes will wear and tear, but this is the wear that most affects the biomechanics, and can lead to injury.

As the foam loses its effect, the body begins to absorb more of the impact force during your activity, which can put additional wear and tear on the joints, ligaments and tendons of our bodies. While some overuse injuries (like shin splints) are minor, others (like tendinitis) might require more serious treatment and serious time off from your training. Totally not what we want! Especially in the mist of training for something – in my case, my first 10k run!!

 

So when is it time to say goodbye then?

Warning: no specific answer coming your way… Sorry?

Standard recommendations by shoe companies and running stores state that running shoes should be replaced after 400-500 miles to avoid injury. So if someone is tracking about 10 miles per week, from walking, running and what not, then 6 months is time – or rather overtime – to replace the shoes.

(Shaking the finger at myself… plus the store associate's finger)

But there are so many variables that can affect how long our shoe will last, outside of the miles. For example,

(1) running on a soft surface such as a trail or treadmill will be easier on your shoes than if you were running on hard surfaces such as roads or sidewalks.

(2) If you wear your shoes for exercise only they will last a lot longer. But if you where your shoes to exercise, and walking for everyday errands – 7 days a week – then your shoes lifespan is decreased.

(3) And, those who are like angels and are light on their feet can wear those shoes longer than those who are like The Incredible Hulk that pound the ground.

There really isn’t an exact, specific, number of miles or time stamped on each shoe as to what its expiration date is because of so many of these existing variables. But in general, here are some guidelines to follow when deciding if it is time to invest in a new pair:

  • Tracking shoe mileage, typically after 500 miles – the structure can only take so much impact over time

  • Body is feeling new and unexpected pains and blisters – that can mean your shoes have stretched and your feet are moving around too much

  • Signs of excessive wear (ex: worn outsoles or stretched-out heels) – the unevenness and alters in the structure of the shoe will feel like the shoe is working against the natural motion of your foot; affecting your running gait

 Example of wear and tear

Example of wear and tear

 Comparison between a shoe that still has life in it to a shoe that has reached its expiration date. (Goodbye dear friend...)

Comparison between a shoe that still has life in it to a shoe that has reached its expiration date. (Goodbye dear friend...)

Extending the lifespan

Here is some good news. You CAN improve your relationship with your shoes, and thus improving it’s lifespan to live longer for your glorious runs! Consider these tips:

Rotate between shoes:

Try to switch around between two pairs of shoes. Shoe rotation gives midsoles time to decompress and time for the entire shoe to dry out. The EVA has more time to recover or bounce back from being compressed when they are rotated. Research has shown that you can get a 50% improvement on the wear of that mid-sole section.

Remove your shoes properly:

This is definitely a habit I am working that is hard to break! I’m so guilty of using the opposite foot to push down on the back of the heel and yank my shoes off. Laces still on and all. But it is best to unlace each one and use your hands to slip it off your feet individually. Be gentle and treat your baby with care.

Use them only for running:

Keep in mind that miles are miles. When you wear your running shoes to do other activities such as walking for everyday errands, all the additionally activity will prematurely wear your shoes down. The main purpose of my shoe is for running, but I need to remember that miles from wearing them casually also count. So if you have a favorite pair of running sneakers, it’s probably best to keep them for running days and only for running days.

Give them a good home:

Exposing the shoe to extreme temperatures can cause serious trauma on the shoes, especially the heat. In general, try to store your shoes in a cool, dry place. Treat your running shoes well, give them a good home, and they won’t throw a tantrum but will instead treat you well right back.

Buy fresh & local:

I’ve never considered this, ever. But it makes sense. Buying straight from the store can be a big plus, besides just being able to try on the sizing in person. Retail stores work hard to keep a constant flow of fresh shoes in store. I’m always happy to snag a pair of sneakers online at a discount. But the shoes could have been sitting in a warehouse for years. Time also wears on the shoe life. And (going back to the previous point) could have been in a not so great environment. Sometimes buying a discounted shoe online may seem like a great idea for your wallet at the time, but not so cost effective long-term since its life term is effected already.

And finally -

Check yo’self before you wreck… everything:

And finally, the way you run can affect both your body and the shoe. So run wisely. Good form above all. If you train wisely and run effectively and efficiently, you can run stronger during the entire run and hold your form. If you push beyond and slack in your attention to form, then you will find yourself trotting along in bad form. Bad form will take a toll on your body and your shoes due to the greater impact forces on both parties.

So check yo’self first!

Well I hope you guys & gals found this as interesting as I did.

The more you know, right? 

BRB while I go and try to make this relationship last longer with bae #41623546152631752350000 ;)

Until next time - chat soon!

xoxo,

Sandy

Completing My First Ever 10K Race!

Completing My First Ever 10K Race!

Throwback to South Korea & Vietnam

Throwback to South Korea & Vietnam