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It’s Okay To Say Goodbye To Your Shoes—And Here’s Why

Sometimes it's just for the best.

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It’s hard enough to toss away your favorite pair of running shoes and upgrade to the newer model, but to switch brands completely…now that can be heartbreaking.

Related: 4 Signs You Should Retire Your Shoes

As a runner, one of the hardest things to deal with is switching shoes. You love the color and know the model works for your foot, stride and pace. But moving on to a different model, let alone brand, can be painstakingly difficult. It’s one of the hardest break-ups a runner has to endure.

However, sometimes switching makes and models can be good for your foot. If you have an injury, dealing with a different distance, striving for a new goal, or taking part in a new activity, might require you to change your shoe.

As an avid ASICS Kayano runner, the thought of slipping on a new type of shoe was mind-boggling. However, given the opportunity to test the Altra One 2.5, opened my mind to actually wear these as my regular running shoe.

How I Came to This Conclusion

At first I was wary. So I took the Altras out for a test run, an easy mile run around the neighborhood. Then I came home and changed into my Kayanos for my regular 5-mile run. For about a week I didn’t touch the Altras. I just love my Kayanos. We have many fond memories together: long training runs and crossing finish lines together.

About 12 days later I took the One 2.5 out for another easy run, about 2 miles. I noticed my feet felt happy and I loved the wide toe box…my stomach dropped. I felt like I was cheating on my trust-worthy ASICS.

A few more days passed and my guilt grew stronger. However, I loved the fit, feel and support. So I looked at my log journal and realized my Kayanos were due to be retired (I put shoes away after 6 months or 500 miles). So instead of going to my trusted running store to purchase another pair of Kayanos, I told myself to give these new ones a few more miles. If my feet feel happy, no injuries occur, and my pace stays on track, then keep them. And that’s what happened.

I still have a pair of Kayanos as my back-up for non-training days, but for the next race I’m taking these new Altras out. I discovered is that it’s okay to change shoes. In fact, some models change technology that actually might not be supportive for your foot. So when it’s time to upgrade your shoe, it might be ideal to go to your running store and speak with an expert to see if the upgraded model is actually okay for your foot.

Tips to Switch Shoes

  • Break them in: Run an easy mile or 2 in your new shoes to make sure they fit and feel okay.
  • Increase your distance gradually: Just like training, you don’t run 10 miles right away. You work your way up. Do the same with the shoes. Give them a few easy runs before you take them out on a long 10-mile run.
  • Keep a journal: Log how many miles you ran in the new shoes and how you felt. This will help you keep track of your workout and whether or not the shoe felt good.
  • Alternate days: If your older shoes are still okay to run in, wear them one day and wear the new ones the next to help break them in.
  • Bid farewell: Once your new shoes are good to go, take the old ones and donate them to a charity. There are a great deal of charities that take old running shoes to recycle them or donate to less-fortunate men, women and children. Here are a few to consider: Share Your Soles, Give Your Sole, Reuse A Shoe.