When I announced I would be running my first road race since 2014, I knew I would need one piece of running gear – new running shoes. As a 2017 Cleveland Marathon Ambassador I will be running the 8K portion of the race on Saturday, May 20.
New Running Shoes
I had also not purchased any new running shoes since 2014. I had been feeling a little bit of knee discomfort while running and for peace of mind, wanted new kicks. In the past I had read that you should run 500 miles on a pair of shoes, at the most, before you need new running shoes. I wasn’t sure how many miles my last pair had on them.
The shoes showed little signs of wear, which was also noted by the running shoe specialist I worked with at Fleet Feet Sports in Westlake, Ohio. Visible wear can be a sign you need new running shoes, but mileage is a better indicator. I’m pretty meticulous about my belongings so often my shoes do not look as old as they really are.
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• Official 2017 Cleveland Marathon Ambassador
• My Running Journey: A Look Back
• 12 Interesting Cleveland Marathon Facts You Didn’t Know
• New to Running? 5 Items You Need to Have
As I mentioned during my last training update, since purchasing new running shoes, I’ve been happy to report little to no aches or pains during this training cycle. I think my running form has improved over the years, and I was surprised to learn during my shoe fitting that I should be wearing neutral running shoes.
For years I had a tendency to overpronate and wore high stability running shoes. The shoe fitting reminded me of my first official running shoe fitting back in 2010. I purchased a pair of New Balance 858s at Three Rivers Running Company in Fort Wayne, Indiana for only $35. What a deal!
New Running Shoes
After purchasing that first pair I began the follow the 500 mile rule. How do you know how many miles are on your shoes?
- Only wear your running shoes for running
- It helps if you track your mileage, as many runners do
- Pay attention to your comfort, aches and pains may indicate a need for new shoes
- Look for signs of visible wear, which may appear on your shoes, depending on your form
For a long time I was running roughly 500 miles per year so I knew I would need to rotate in new running shoes every year or so. While you can add new running shoes into your training at an any point, it’s always fun to have newer shoes for race day. One caveat, be sure to break your new running shoes in before the race by running in them several times. Do not wear them for the first time on race day.
After purchasing that first pair of running shoes back in 2010, I decided to add another pair into the mix because I was training for a half-marathon. Another tactic to make your shoes last longer is to rotate them between runs and have more than one pair in the rotation. Many shoe companies will release a new version of the same model every year. I was able to purchase New Balance 850s online and wore them for another year. Those shoes are no longer available, but were similar to this pair.
At some point I switched to Asics and now after my most recent running shoe fitting, I am wearing Brooks for the first time. The shoes I have, Brooks Ghost 9, have a wider toe box, which has been comfortable. While I’m running low mileage, I have not had any rubbing or blistering – which is a good sign the shoes fit well. My new shoes were $120, but high quality running shoes are important to me.
It’s important to get fitted for running shoes periodically, as my experience shows, running form can change over time. Local running stores like Fleet Fleet Sports can do this for you. A specialist will measure your foot, ask questions about your running habits and examine your gait. Then you can try on shoes and even run in them.
Disclosure: As a 2017 Cleveland Marathon Ambassador, I will receive complimentary entry into the race of my choice, an ambassador shirt, along with special access to pre and post-race events, in exchange for writing about my training for this event.