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The start of a new year is the perfect time to get rid of the old and start fresh. That’s why Herbalife’s Senior Director of Fitness Education Samantha Clayton suggests assessing your running shoes at the start of the year, so you are prepared to tackle your resolutions with the proper footwear. As an Olympic athlete, personal trainer and track coach, Samantha knows the importance of keeping track of the state of your sneakers. Take note of the following five tips from Sam to evaluate if it’s time to buy a new set of trainers.
Look: “Most of the time you can simply look at your current running shoes and know that it’s time to get a new pair. Keep an eye out for loose stitching, separation of the glued sole to the shoe or if the heels look stretched out and/or there are places on the outsoles that have completely worn down. However, if your shoes are in good shape, but just look dirty—don’t throw them out. Just clean them up and invest in a new pair of laces!”
Comfort: “We all love to wear comfortable shoes, but if your current shoes have completely molded to the shape of your foot they may no longer be providing you with the support that you need. Also, if your old shoes start to give you blisters or discomfort it may be because they have lost their shape completely and are now affecting the way you run.”
Size: “If your current shoes start to feel too tight or too lose you must get fitted for a new pair. I know we all think that our feet stop growing in our teen years but there are many things that can affect the shoe size that you wear. Pregnancy, weight gain or weight loss can change your shoe size especially the width fitting.”
Function: “Worn tread increases chances of slipping but also indicates an overall aging and breakdown of the shoe’s support. If there are wrinkles and cracks on the bottom of the shoe this is an indication the material in the sole is starting to deteriorate and getting a new pair is essential. If your shoes are making squeaking sounds it’s also a sign that the glue is coming loose.”
Smell: “Most running shoes will smell a little right after taking them off but if your shoes have a terrible odor it’s time to get some new ones, because it’s a sign that they have become permeated with moisture and bacteria. This is an unhealthy environment for feet.”
“Many brands test their product to ensure their shoes can last for up to 500 miles of wear, but we are all truly individuals and the length of time your shoes will last depends on so many factors, including how you run, your weight, if you are getting them wet, the terrain that you are running on, how many days of the week are you wearing them and of course the quality of the brand you are buying. Basically if you are tough on your shoes the less time they will last. Investing in 1-2 new pairs per year for an average gym goer/runner is sufficient and if you are an avid exerciser and runner, 2-4 pairs a year will seem normal.”