A few years ago I announced I would be running my first road race since 2014, I knew I would need one piece of running gear- running shoes. I invested in some new shoes and then purchase the same pair again the next year. Today I want to talk about when you should buy new shoes.
I recently was in the market to buy new shoes again. The process for buying running shoes is one I go back to again and again. I will share the details of my process along with running shoe tips.
New Running Shoes
Running Shoes for Runners
I had taken a few years off from running when I had my daughter and when I did run it was only a few miles at a time. I had come to a point where I had also not purchased any new runner 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 shoes for running.
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 sneakers, 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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As I mentioned during my past running updates, since purchasing new running cleats, I’ve was happy to report little to no aches or pains during this last 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.
Types of 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 on clearance markdown when I lived and ran in I. What a deal!
Tips for Selecting 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 kicks every year or so. While you can add new shoes for a runner 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 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.
New Runner Footwear
Running Shoe Brands
At some point I switched to Asics and now after my most recent running shoe fitting, I am wearing Brooks. I have stayed with brooks now for three years. 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 more expensive, but high quality running shoes are important to me.
Shoes for Running
If you are wondering when to get new shoes for running, 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.
6 thoughts on “New Running Shoes Tips for Purchase”
I totally need new running shoes, but I get overwhelmed by all the options at the store.
If you go to a “running store” not a big box type store, they can help you sort through the options and fit you. It’s totally worth it! Fleet Fleet is a national chain so maybe you can find a location near you.
ohh my running shoes…I love to buy running shoes, I have way to many running shoes. I definitely try to stop wearing them about 500 miles and I really notice that when my knees start to hurt it's time for them to go
@ Wells L. I got my first pair @3RRCo and I was fitted — so this was what they recommended. Really hoping the shoes are not causing my knee probs.
I figure I could go back for a fitting again next time they have a sale. Maybe they will have a fall clean out event too.
I used my Brooks Defyance 2's for 400 miles and when I went to 3RRCo to get a replacement pair, they asked if I had any aches and pains. I said sometimes I get shin splints. They said it was because of the shoes so they gave me some Pearl Izumi SyncroFloats3 (though they are bright yellow . . UGLY!)- these have completely fixed my shin splints. Just thinking – could your shoes be causing your knee pain? Might be worth chatting with Casey or Eric at 3RRCo about it.
Right now I have Asics Nimbus 11 and they have 500 miles and I use them for easy, short runs. Then I have Asics 1150 and they have 350 miles and I use them for most long and interval runs but I will soon be retiring them. I just bought new Asics 2150 and will be using them for long runs and my half marathon. This is the first time I have had more than one pair of shoes to use during training and I like it because then you can alternate the shoes.