How long do trainers really last?
Those of you who keep up to date with my Instagram feed (@lydsberrypie) will be aware that I recently bode a fond farewell to my trusty Asics trainers, replacing them with the latest model of running shoe: the Asics Gel Pulse 9, in the most striking bright blue colour.
Being someone who’s feet appear to grow at a snail’s pace, new shoes are a bit of a novelty. My beloved pink trainers (which were now moulded to the shape of my feet like slippers) seemed to be doing fine, keeping the first 70 or so kilometres of my Strava 100km running challenge joyfully injury free.
And then came the inevitable. The slightest little twinge in my inner foot, which, wanting to be faithful to the challenge, I ignored and continued in my almost daily long runs. The twinge faded, only to deliver a delightful little niggle in my knee. Runs by now were becoming excruciatingly painful, and after pushing through a few more agonising kilometres, I finally caved in and went to a running specialist store.
They took one speedy glance at the soles of my shoes, asked how long I’d been running in them (one and a half years to keep you informed), then put me on a treadmill to analyse my running style before hastily instructing me to say goodbye to my trusty pink trainers. Fast. I found the whole experience incredibly fascinating, if a little alarming.
Firstly, I’ve learnt some insightful details about my running style, which I think to any runner is astonishingly valuable. Watching myself run on a swanky screen, zoomed-in and slowed down was pretty cool. I remain mostly on the balls of my feet, hence some seriously sanded-down front soles (which were also hiding a few holes, horrifying to discover) and I have a neutral arch, which is why sticking with the same model trainer would be the best option (although obviously after such a long period of time, a much fresher version).
How long is too long, when it comes to replacing old trainers?
A very important question indeed, and one that I’m sure many runners are keen to find out. The Asics website recommends that trainers are replaced after around 450-550 miles. Hence why keeping a mileage log is a good idea (this is where Strava comes in very useful). Otherwise, inspect for obvious signs of wear and head to a specialist if you begin to feel a few niggles.
Running in trainers that are worn out, as I’ve come to discover, is a bad idea. Running shoes in particular are designed with a calculated shape, paramount in supporting your feet, thus preventing injury. Therefore wonky, mishapen soles are a definite hazard that could potentially land you injured – not a fun place to be.
If in doubt, a visit to a running specialist store is probably best. You might even snag a new pair of cushioned socks – AKA the most comfortable things ever – whilst updating your shoes. Trainer game, now officially strong.