I was probably due for a new pair of running shoes prior to the half marathon in Nashville. But by the time I realized that it was too close to the race day to get a new pair.
There are many different opinions out there about when to get new shoes. I usually ask my Mom! Ha! She has been running since I was born - 34 years - so I consider her an expert in when is the right time to switch out shoes.
The shoes I ran with for the half marathon in Nashville had trained for and ran a 30k race at the end of March. I got them shortly after the half marathon in Montreal so that was 7 months and lots of miles!
I went to a running store our group often ran from during our winter training program. It's an independent store in downtown Oakville, Ontario called the Running Company. Not to be confused with The Running/Walking Room. I really tried to avoid shopping at big corporate fitness places for something as important as shoes. I feel like they aren't often staffed with knowledgable people and could steer you in the wrong direction. Your feet are the most important piece of "equipment" in this sport of running so I don't trust mine to just anyone.
I've got to know the owner, Greg at the Running Company well and feel confident that he is placing me in the best shoe for me. He is quite up front that if something isn't working with the shoe - even after running with it outside, I could bring it back for a new pair. I had similar service at an independent store in the Minneapolis area of Minnesota where we used to live called TC Running.
So when should you get new running shoes? There are a lot of different opinions, but I think it comes down to how much running you are doing. A pair of shoes could last you a year or more if you are training for and running 5 or 10k's. You are probably not accumulating too much mileage on them. However, if you are training for and running a couple half marathons or a full marathon you may need to get new shoes every 6-9 months.
I was ready to donate my shoes to Greg at the Running Company this week because of how wet they got at the Nashville Half Marathon (see my recap of the race here and read about my wet shoes here). But Greg recommended I get them dried out and then alternate when I wear my old pair with my new pair in order to get my new pair broken in, but not worn out for Chicago Marathon in October. He said I should wear my new pair for my Saturday long runs and wear my old pair for my weekday short runs. Sounds good to me! I will give it a try.
As you can see I went with the exact same pair of shoes this time around. I have really narrow feet and running shoes are naturally wide. Asics run more narrow than other running brands. I have ran in Nike & Mizunos before and I have liked these Asics as of late. My Mom ran for years and years in New Balance. To me they were THE running shoes, but they are much too wide for me.
Another thing to note is that most often you will buy a pair of running shoes that are a size or more bigger than your everyday shoes. This is to give your toes more room to move and avoid those dreaded bruised toes and/or lost toe nails. I wear a size 7 every day shoe and my running shoes are a size 8.5. My toes are really sensitive and even with all that room I still get bruised and lost toe nails! But it's better than when I first started running in size 7 running shoes.
Click here for a really good summary (articulated better than I just tried to do) about when to ditch the old running shoes on the blog for the group I run with. If you find yourself looking through the blog you will also see a post on me!
How often do you change your running shoes? Do you alternate between pairs? Are you loyal to a particular brand?