If you’ve made the investment in a pair of quality running shoes, then you already know that a good pair isn’t cheap. They’re worth every penny, but no runner wants to buy them more often than needed. To make sure you get the most mileage possible out of each and every pair, try following these tips:
1. Rotate between two pairs: It might sound counterintuitive, but rotating between two pairs of shoes gets you more mileage in a variety of ways. First, you have the obvious: switching between two pairs of shoes means that you rack up half the mileage on each pair in a given amount of time. But more importantly, giving your shoes a “break” between runs allows the cushioning to re-expand. This not only helps your shoes last longer and reduces wear and tear, it also will help reduce your risk of injury. Whether you rotate between two of the same type of shoe or two different shoes, you’ll get the same benefits.
2. Try the newspaper trick: Struggling to get your shoes to dry after a soggy or sweaty run? Don’t throw them in the dryer. Remove the insoles and stuff the insides with newspaper. The newspaper will help absorb the moisture quickly without the damage that comes from the heat of the dryer.
3. Keep them out of the trunk: They’re just shoes, right? Who cares where you keep them? Wrong! Storing your shoes in harsh conditions, like extreme heat, cold, or dampness, breaks down the materials faster. If you’re a runner who keeps your shoes in your truck, try and break the habit. Bring your shoes indoors with you in a gym bag if you need to go to the office, or store them in your closet at home.
4. Make them special: Say it with me: “I will not do anything in my running shoes besides run.” As comfortable as running shoes are, try and resist the urge to wear them to run errands or do chores. Running shoes are built specifically for running, and you’ll get more mileage out of them if you limit their work to running only. Think about it – all that extra mileage running around Home Depot and cleaning your house adds up! Retired pairs of running shoes are great for this purpose, but keep your active pairs limited to running.
5. Work on your form: If you’re really dedicated to getting more out of your running shoes, start working with a running coach to improve your form. Runners with poor form can cause uneven wear and tear to appear on the bottom of their shoes – think extreme heel striking or wearing on the outer edges of the shoes from pronation. You can start by getting a gait evaluation at your local running store and asking if there are any local coaches who you can work with to correct your form. Who knows – you might even find yourself getting a little faster, too!