Make Running Shoes Last

I bought new running shoes at the most inopportune time. Busy with school and teaching, especially since the semester was ending, and finding a new job took up more time than I thought.

Women's Running ShoeIn that time, too, my shin splints decided to heal. The second I get back out there, I know I am going to be in so much pain.

Hopefully, since the semester is almost officially over, I will have more than enough time to make use of my running shoes.

I may have purchased the shoes in November, but I am not going to count that month in their age. I barely wore them!

I have six more months… from January… to wear these shoes… at least.

I hope they last.

Wait. No. I do not hope they last. I am going to make them last!

I want my running shoes to last as long as they possibly can. I want to run them into the ground until they split in the toes and the both soles are shredded. However, that’s terrible for my form and shins so I’ll settle for what professionals do.

Seven Ways to Make Your Running Shoes Last Longer
by Jenny Hadfield, Marathoning for Mortals and Running for Mortals

No. 1
Celebrate their birthday! Mark the purchase date on the side of your shoes with permanent marker. Log your miles.

No. 2
Conserve. Do not wear your running shoes to do anything but run. Get a pair of Keds to walk around in. OK. Maybe not Keds.

No. 3
Avoid the dryer at all costs. Dryers are bad for shoes like hot irons are bad for hair. Hand wash and air dry. The article suggested stuffing them with newspapers or paper towels to absorb water. I chose paper towels. Newspapers are inky.

No. 4
Rotate your shoes. Wait, what? Rotating two pairs of shoes for one season? That sounds more expensive than just replacing one pair of shoes. However, according to Hadfield, when you’re training for a longer race or putting in a lot of miles, rotating your shoes gives them a chance to “rest.” Apparently, shoes like shins need rest days. It will extend the life of each pair.

No. 5
Buy fresh and local. I thought we were talking about shoes… We are? OK. Local specialty shoe shops stock new, fresh shoes year round. Warehouses (like where I buy shoes) may have discounted prices, but that pair of shoes may have been sitting on the shelf for years. Time takes its toll – used or not.

No. 6
Improve your form. I run like a duck. It’s bad. The article says to run mindfully and rhythmically. When I focus, I’m sure I can, but that comic is true…

Running comic troll memeNo. 7
Avoid leaving them in extreme elements. Extreme heat and cold can ruin your shoe! I put my shoes on top of the dog crate. He doesn’t use it anymore because he’s a good boy.

No. 8 (I know. It confused me, too.)
Run within your means. Bonus tip! Train wisely, go slow to run stronger and hold more efficient form. Pushing beyond your means takes a toll on your body and your shoes.

What I’ve gathered: Your shoes will last as long as you do, and they grow with you (unless your feet get bigger). I changed my shoes when my fitness changed.

When my fitness changes again, I’ll get new shoes! (I’m sure my body will let me know.)