Retiring A Shoe - It's Not A Joke
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When a Shoe Reaches Its End

A strange topic to say the least. Who would have thought that a shoe has a lifespan. A running shoe I mean. Of course, when a shoe is torn and knackered it is easy to say that it is past its prime but a normal looking shoe, can it reach its end?

But the Shoe Looks Fine

One day, after completing my run, my Nike+ app signalled a warning. It flashed at me that I need to retire my shoe! No way I thought, already. I had been running in the same shoes even before I started using the app and thought there was nothing wrong with them. The warning came after 350 miles - ha, I had actually done more than double that in those shoes. Great marketing ploy I thought (especially since I registered that I am using Nike shoes). So I continued to run in the same shoes. But shortly after, I started developing a pain in my knee. I had similar pain in my other knee a month before but that went away after about a week. Figured same would happen this time.

Can a Shoe Cause Injury

As I continued running and resting, the pain would not go away. Some days it would be very mild, others, severe. More interestingly, it kept moving to different places in the knee. I had read a bit on the subject, and know that many injuries can be overcome by strengthening the muscles, meaning focusing on the ideal stride and movement. And true enough, if I put my foot down in an ideal way, the pain was not noticeable but slightest twitch and it was back again. I finally came to the conclusion that I need to seek advice from more experienced runners. So I posted a message on different forums, asking how often they recommend to change their shoes. And guess what? Majority said that after 500 to 600 miles they change theirs. This meant that I had done more than 200 miles extra in my shoes - first signs of injury came 100 - 150 miles earlier.

New Shoes - What a Difference

Sitting here, 5 days since my last run, unable to bear much more of this inactivity, I urge you to retire your shoes! I finally changed mine and what a difference. The first most obvious sign I noticed was that the reinforcement on the external side of the foot is much greater. I looked at my old shoes and could not see any wear on the sides of the shoes but the inside support was not there when running. I had a few runs in my new shoes, and although the injury is still there, I can see that it was caused due to the lack of support. The muscles and ligaments on the outer part of my knee had weakened, putting extra pressure on the rest of the knee. So now, a few more days rest and then I will go back out, most likely on the treadmill, to rebuild the weakened muscles.

How many miles have you run in your shoes? Maybe it is time to retire them too?!

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