When was the last time you checked your running shoes??
Like your car, your running shoes need to be checked on a regular basis - and just like your car tyres, after a certain amount of kilometres they need to be replaced.
The 'spongy stuff' that shoes are made from in most cases is called EVA (ethyl vinyl acetate). EVA has only so many compressions before it starts to loose its structure and function. You can tell where this is occurring by looking at the wear patterns on the sole - as the tread starts to become thinner, this is an indication that this particular part of the shoe is under higher load. You may also start to see creases looking at the side of the sole where the EVA has compressed.
A shoe that has worn past its use by date can lead to injury as your foot does not have a flat plane to make contact with the ground. The use by date differs from person to person based on how many kilometres you run, what type of training you do, the running surface you are on, your run technique and biomechanics, your weight and even if you are male or female.
If you are serious about your running, keep a record of how far you run and check your shoes every couple of hundred kilometres. You can also increase the life of your shoe if you have two pairs of shoes on the go at the same time, alternating between the two pairs in your training. If you have an event coming up, you will then know which shoe you feel most comfortable in and can use for race day.
Next time you start to get running pain - have a look at your shoes. It may be a sign they are past their use by date and make an appointment with our podiatrists to ensure nothing else is contributing to the problem. They can also steer you in the right direction to select your new shoes!