Treading Lightly
Treading Lightly

How to Make Running Shoes Last

As a journalist, I think my addiction to magazines is completely justifiable (let’s just go with it). One of my favorites is Runner’s World, but it seems like in every issue there is an article telling me that my shoes are too old and that I need a new pair. Now maybe if you run marathons or are training for an Ironman seasonal shoes are a good idea (or if you live somewhere where you really need winter shoes), but for most runners it’s a constant struggle to decide when to get new shoes.

Nike free tiffany blues running shoes

Everyone has a different estimate of when you need new shoes (every 3 months, every 100 miles, every 500 miles…etc.), but instead of sticking to a strict number, I am just trying to make mine last as long as I can.

Ways to make running shoes last

1. Give it a rest. Have shoes specifically for running. I know they are the most comfortable shoes you own, but wearing them all day, every day will wear them out quickly and make them less supportive (or if you are running in minimalist shoes, less protective).

2. Spray them down. I spritz my shoes (all of them, not just my running shoes) after every wear to keep the smell under control. With only two ingredients, the recipe is easy and effective. My running shoes could be used as a stink bomb if I don’t keep on top of frequently spraying them.

3. Wash them. Toss your shoes in the washer on a cold, gentle cycle and leave them out to dry (no dryer!). I use a full scoop of my homemade laundry soap and spray them down with vinegar before they go in. They don’t smell at all when they come out – it’s great. I wash my barefoot shoes once a week because I don’t wear them with socks, but my other shoes get washed as needed. They come out looking like new and they won’t clear a room anymore.

4. It’s all about form. If you are dragging your feet or running with poor form your shoes will wear unevenly and leave you with unstable shoes that need to be frequently replaced. A local running shop can look at your form and make sure you are running the best you can and fit you for the right shoe for your gait.

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