As the headline implies, the subject of the candid shot at left is a member of my own family. Because I find the photo so embarrassing I decided to hide the wearer’s identity, but I hope it’s not giving away too much information to say it’s somebody whose shoes I cannot simply throw in the garbage.
Don’t wait for Pain or Injury
The man in the photo actually prides himself on not throwing out a pair of shoes until the uppers are in tatters.
He has kept his current pair for three years because the uppers haven’t torn yet. The only (sic!) reason he is ready to replace his running shoes it that his feet are starting to hurt. No surprises there.
Different Criteria for Throwing out Shoes
Some people are accustomed to tearing through the uppers of their running and other shoes before the sole goes. This can be as a result of hallux valgus (bunions), toe lifting stride, hammer toe or crossed toes, among other causes. Kids wear through their uppers by using their toes to brake their bikes or by playing sports for which their shoes were never intended. Severe pronators, especially women, can wear a hole in the uppers of their boots where the inside of the upper part of the boot actually drags along the floor.
Some of us throw our shoes out when we can no longer deal with or get rid of the smell. People who care about ergonomics and have the disposable cash replace their shoes once a year or every 600k, whichever comes first.
Whatever your criterion, when the soles of your shoes look like this, it is time to throw them out, period.
The Cost of not Replacing your shoes.
Don’t wait until your feet, shins, knees, hips, or back are hurting you to replace your running shoes. Professional basketball players receive a new pair of shoes from the team’s sponsor before each game. Their teams cannot afford an injury. You probably cannot afford an injury either.
I am the importer of an outstanding semi custom footbed www.yoursole.co.il. Unfortunately, when your shoes look like this, no orthotic can help. The wear pattern above reveals a pronation of the right foot. The wear pattern on the shoes suggests that the wearer should outfit his new pair of shoes with a footbed that supports the arch and lifts the right ankle into alignment.
Mark the date of purchase on your shoes in indelible marker.
Knowing when you bought your shoes and how often you should replace them is a good idea. If you lose track, take a look at your shoes. Look at the soles, feel the cushioning, be aware of the support they are giving you, and replace your shoes before you are in pain. The younger you are, the later you will notice the pain. Whatever your age, try and pre-empt pain and injury.