When To Replace Your Running Shoes | How To Test If Your Trainers Are Worn Out

- Have you found the perfect running shoes

that you never want to part with?

Are you guilty of waring your trainers

until they're literally falling off your feet?

If you are, then you're greatly at risk of injury.

Knowing when to part with your trainers is difficult.

There's so many numbers out there and different opinions.

Well, in this video, we're going to show you

the signs and what to look out for

when you do need to part with those

very worn, much loved, shoes.

(smooth, groovy instrumental)

Now, it might sound obvious,

but your trainers won't last forever.

Now, I have heard the odd horror story

when a friend proudly announces

that they've been wearing the same trainers for three years,

and they've not had an injury.

But, I warn you, this is an exception to the rule.

We wear trainers to protect our feet

from the surfaces that we run on,

as well as to keep optimum function

of our muscles and our joints.

Now, now as trainers wear,

their form, their grip, and support

all diminish at different rates,

but some of them, are more visible than others.

With wear, your running shoes will become thinner,

and the midsole layer of cushioning will decrease.

Now, our bodies are great at adapting,

so your hips, knees, and ankles will compensate for this,

but, eventually, when the midsole becomes so thin,

it will lead to injury, and the key is changing your shoes

before you get to this stage.

When to change your shoes is such a grey area.

There are so many different suggestions out there,

and the miles and time that you can run in your shoes

before you need to throw them in the bin

vary so much from person to person.

Now, this is a really rough guide,

but people say somewhere between

three- to five-hundred miles or 450 to 600 kilometres.

And, when it comes to the timeframe, that's even more vague,

but somewhere maybe between 12 to 18 months.

These numbers are such rough guides,

as your weight, your running style,

the surface you run on, the type of running, and so on,

are all affecting factors.

Whether your shoes have air, gel, or springs,

it makes little difference,

as it's actually the foam midsole layer

that most shoes will have made of

EVA or Ethylene Vinyl Acetate that wears at similar rate,

meaning there's no significant difference between brands.

Now, EVA is extremely elastic, similar to rubber,

but a little bit tougher.

That said, it does still wear out.

Running shoes are made up of three different parts,

all of which need to be taken into consideration

when you're looking at the wear of your shoe.

So, we'll start with the upper which consists of

the mesh, the laces, the eyelets, and the heal counter.

Now, obviously, you want to be

able to tighten your laces correctly.

So, if you're missing any eyelets, that's not good,

if you're not getting the full support.

Also, keep an eye on the stitching,

cuz if your trainers get wet regularly that can start to go.

Now, when it comes to the mesh,

you might be surprised to know

that having a hole sort of on the top or somewhere

that's not affecting the support or the comfort of the shoe,

isn't necessarily a problem.

So, my shoes often used to go on the toe,

cuz my big toe, it'd extend.

But as long as I was still getting full support,

that didn't matter.

However, if you do start to notice a hole

where the upper joins the midsole,

so anywhere along this line on either side,

then that's a sign it's time to change your shoes.

The final, and most common wear on the upper,

is actually the back of the shoe, the heal counter in here.

Now, inside of this, there's a plastic cup

that's designed to help prevent overpronation.

So, as your foot lands, to prevent rolling inwards too much.

And it's also there just to cup your heal,

and hold your foot firmly in the shoe,

connecting it to the midsole.

Now, if you can actually see this bit

of plastic inside of here already,

and you've not thrown your shoes away

due to blisters or pain, please do so right now.

The midsole is the hardest part to notice,

but often the first to go.

And it's also critical when it comes to wear,

as it's designed to cushion the foot,

and act as a shock absorber.

Therefore, it's essential to look closely

for signs of wrinkles or discoloration.

Now, like I said earlier, the midsole is usually made of

EVA and it's often white in colour.

So, if you can start to see a discoloration,

going a yellow-y brown type colour,

and I don't just mean dirt,

then it's a sign that the shock absorbing properties

are going to be compromised.

And the same goes if you see

the development of fine, horizontal lines.

It's a common misconception to think

that you only need to look at the sole

of your shoe to work out the wear.

Now, you'll gather by now, that that isn't true,

but there's still value in checking it.

Now, the sole of your shoe will usually have black rubber

that's designed to protect the softer EVA midsole,

as well as providing some grip.

You can easily detect your wear pattern just by looking.

For example, Mark's shoes have got signs of wear,

but nothing actually too dramatic.

If, however, you can start to see the midsole coming through

then your shoes are definitely dead.

And, also, if you do require a decent grip

for the type of running you're doing, keep an eye on that.

It's time to physically test your shoe to back-up

the visual signs of wear that you've already found.

Now, this first, simple test is for the midsole.

Basically, we're going to look at the midfoot and the heal,

as that's the areas that take the most amount of impact,

and, therefore, the cushioning

is most likely to go there first.

So, it's very simply:

You're going to squeeze through

the midfoot and then the heal,

and you should feel slight amount amount of give,

and then a bit of a pushback as you let go.

Now, if it feels dead, or there's no return there at all,

the cushioning is gone, so throw your shoes out.

If you're not quite sure how it should feel,

then try and get a hold of a new pair of shoes,

and give them a feel for comparison.

Step two, fold the midsole.

So, push the toe towards the heal,

and this shouldn't be easy to do.

If, however, your shoe just folds in half,

it's a good sign that the midsole is warn out.

Next, is a twist test.

Now, motion control is vital in trainers,

as it controls your foot as it hits the ground;

therefore, you shouldn't be able to twist your shoes.

So, this test, you'll simply try and move the toe,

or the front of the shoe, in the different direction

to the heal, like this, and it shouldn't move easily.

If, however, you trainer just rings out no problem at all,

it's a good sign the midsole's warn out.

Now, with all of these tests,

just remember to check both shoes and compare them,

as one can wear out more quickly than the other.

And if you're still not sure,

then go into your local sports shop,

and try and find a similar shoe,

do the same tests, and then compare.

Finally, lightly draw a line, or use some tape,

to go directly down the middle of the heal counter.

So, do this holding it so that

you're not distracted by the angle already.

And, then, once you've done that on both shoes,

place them on a table or flat surface in front of you.

And have a look to see if the line is perpendicular.

Now, I've used Mark's trainers here,

and he's done about 500 kilometres, he reckons, in them,

but it looks like he has still got

a very nice perpendicular line.

If, however, the line is off to one side or the other,

then it's a sure sign that the midsole

is more compressed on one side than the other,

and that will then exacerbate any gate issues you might have

and will lead to injury.

In summary, you need to check

the wear of your shoes regularly.

So, get into the habit of trying to do this

about once a month as a guide.

Now, the basic tests you need to remember

is the compression, the fold, and the twist,

as this will give you a good idea of the state

of the shock absorbing and support properties.

I know trainers aren't cheap,

but replacing them regularly will

actually save you in the longterm.

So, throwout or recycle any old ones,

before you get injured,

as it will save you from time and miss-training,

and money money potentially spent on physiotherapy.

If you haven't done so already,

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And, once we're talking about repair and wearing out,

if you've got a hole in your wetsuit,

and you want some tips on how to repair that,

then there's a video for you just here.

And if you're looking to run a fast half-marathon,

then we've got a great video for you right here.