Do your Shoes have an “Best Before” Date?

Oakville foot clinic, toe nail care, warts, corns, calluses, foot clinic

A common question or concern we hear when speaking with Chiropody (foot care) or Physiotherapy patients at our clinic in Oakville, especially people who have lower extremity issues such as heel and arch pain, knee issues and low back pain, is: “how often running shoes should be replaced?” The answer varies and is not always time specific. It is more about how many miles you’ve put in.

While the bottom of a shoe provide information about your walking and running pattern, the midsole (which provides cushioning and stability) breaks down first. That being said, take a look at the bottom of your shoes and the wear pattern. With an ideal walking or running gait there should be a  specific wear pattern at the bottom of our shoes. Some things to note is if there is a very heavy wear pattern on the outside or inside of the sole, or if the foot bed is shifted. If you notice one foot is different than the other or a severe wear pattern looking into something like a  true Custom Orthotic may help even out the pattern. When we let our shoes become too worked in, we increase our chances of certain injuries and aches and pains such as plantar fasciitis, shin splints and knee pain. As a general rule a person should get new walking or running shoes every 300 to 400 miles, some suggest replacing shoes at 400-550 miles. This  also depends also on the shoe type, other joint issues, the surface you use the shoe on and the size and weight of a person. A smaller runner/walker can get away with hanging on to shoes longer than a larger runner/walker, and someone who primarily uses a treadmill longer than someone using the sidewalk.

A Chiropodist, or foot care specialist, is able to assist people in assessing when to get new running shoes, give the opinion of if they would benefit from custom orthotics, as well as provide a skilled and professional opinion of what type of walking or running shoe would be best suited for the individual.