People often hang onto their walking shoes, running shoes, etc. for long periods of time but what they may not realize is that with each step the shoe starts to break down which could potentially put you at risk of a foot injury. Your basic athletic shoe is built to last about 500 miles and even if you use walking shoes, no shoe is really built to last over 500 miles. Your weight can also be a factor in determining when you should replace your shoes. The more you weigh, the faster your shoes will wear out.
We tell our patients what to look for when they’re purchasing athletic shoes. There are 3 things to look for when you’re out shopping for shoes.
- Dual Density Mid-Sole – The outside should be softer and the inside of the sole should be firmer.
- Hind Foot and Mid-Foot in the Middle of Shoe – All shoes you purchase should have a supportive structure between the insole and outsole called a shank (plastic). This piece keeps the shoe stable and doesn’t allow the shoe to twist like a rag or a cloth which in turn keeps the foot stable inside.
- Solid Heel Counter – This is a rigid or sem-rigid device in the heel that holds the foot in place.
Dr. Barrett recommends running shoes over walking shoes simply because running shoes will generally provide more support and will do more to prevent foot injuries. There are all types of shoes on the market obviously however Asics, Saucony, Brooks, Etonic and Pearl Izumi’s are very good athletic shoes.