Knowing when to replace your training shoes

Knowing when to replace your training shoes

by Pamela Ng 02 Feb 2020

Most forms of sports and exercise benefit from having a solid pair of shoes to optimise your performance and prevent injuries. After all, most physical activities rely heavily on the proper use of one’s legs. Not all sports shoes are equal, especially where midsoles are concerned.


Depending on the frequency and intensity of your workout and exercise routine, the time of which the shoes get worn out may vary. If you exercise intensely and frequently, your shoes will get worn within a short time. The wearing out of the midsole gives more reason to replace them, as it is one of the more important parts of the shoes. Here are the reasons why:


1. Comfort

Whether it is clothes or shoes, comfort is important. The comfort level of a pair of shoes depends heavily on the midsole of the shoe. It is where the wearer feels its softness or the hardness, and whether it is comfortable or not. An uncomfortable pair of shoes may affect exercise performance, so if your shoes don’t feel good on your first try, take it as a big red flag.


2. Safety and protection

The midsole prevents the ankle from rotating excessively by edging the foot-landing into a toe-off. This potentially protects you from spraining your ankle which in turn will most definitely affect your daily activities.


3. Shock absorbance

Having a pair of good footwear to absorb shock helps reduce the risk of injuries and pain. Plantar fasciitis is one of the conditions that can arise due to excessive use of improper or worn-out shoes. It causes a sharp and excruciating painful sensation due to the inflammation of the bottom of the foot. As a general rule of thumb, the softer the shoe, the more shock it can absorb. At the same time, that also means that the shoes will wear down faster as well.


It is also important to consider how well the midsole construction caters to the demand of a particular sport or activity. For long distance runners, a significantly padded midsole (like those that feature thick layers of EVA) will prove most beneficial when it comes to conquering events like marathons. The reverse is also true for the sport of weightlifting, where minimal cushioning and an unyielding surface are considered desirable for maximising power output and stability.  If you are a runner aim for around 400 to 500 miles to trade in your shoes as that is usually the optimal time.


It is always wise to invest a bit more in a pair of shoes that are properly constructed. However, be mindful that the price tag is not everything and that branding can play a huge role in determining the selling price of a shoe. Always consider other factors such as the fit and the heel cup of the shoes, along with the outsole and even the security of the eyelets. Ultimately, a good pair of shoes is one that is safe and minimises any risk of injury.