You may have your favorite workout shoes that you’ve had for years. Even though you’ve used Gorilla glue to glue the sole back on or ignored the hole on top, that doesn’t mean they’re gymworthy. In fact, it’s probably time for new workout shoes, not because they’re really tattered but because they’re dangerous and can cause injury when you workout.
How can workout shoes cause injury?
There are a number of reasons. One is that they lose their spring. If the midsole is worn, they lose their ability to absorb shocks and also may lead to excess foot motion. The midsole can also change formation after months of use and change the way your foot aligns. That stresses parts of the foot that weren’t meant to be stressed and causes injuries that come from overuse.
There’s no specific amount of time or usage that you can use.
There’s a wide range of estimates on how long a shoe should last. If you have a high quality shoe, it’s going to last far longer than one that’s not as good, which in some cases translates to cost less. One constant is the ability to absorb shock when you jump. In other words, the shoe’s compression ability. The NSCA—National Strength and Conditioning Association—estimated that the average wear for running shoes is about 300 to 500 miles, approximately 6 months, before the compression capabilities are lost. If you’re doing floor pounding cardio, it could be before that. Working with weights and less intense floor pounding give the same shoes a longer lifespan.
The ball of the foot and the heel receive a pounding when you workout and show it.
If your heel is well worn and shows more wear on one side or the other, they’re no longer good for the gym. That means it’s broken down and allows more heel motion. Can you say injury waiting to happen? You can also tell if the heel compresses when you squeeze from side to side.
- Take a look at the shoe. If the ball of the foot shows a lot of wear, it’s time for new shoes.
- Shoes can wear without wearing them. If they’ve been with you for ages from that last failed attempt at getting fit, the materials might have dried out in the midsole, outsole and upper area. That affects their functionality, even though they may look great.
- If you find your feet or knees hurt after a workout, suspect wear on your shoes immediately.
- Give a good visual inspection. Check the shoe from the side, look at the underside and check the wear at the heel. You’ll notice excessive wear if they’re ready for retirement.