When is it time for your shoes to retire?

FOR SHOES, HOW LONG CAN THEY BE USED BEFORE THEY ARE NO LONGER WEARABLE? AND WHAT CARE TIPS DO YOU HAVE TO MAKE FOOTWEAR LAST LONGER?  DOES THE SAME PRINCIPLE APPLY FOR WORKOUT SHOES OR SHOULD THOSE BE REPLACED MORE OFTEN?

Shoes are no longer wearable if the heel is more worn down on one side compared to the other, causing the shoe to lean on one side  The same is true for walking shoes when the sole tread pattern is more worn down on one side.  

Good walking shoes are designed to last for 400 to 500 miles (640 to 800 km).  As a result, your shoes will need to be replaced approximately every six months (if you are running) and approximately 10 months (if you are just walking). It doesn't matter if they still look new, if the support has been worn out you're at a much higher risk of injury.  I also recommend taking note of the date each time you buy a new pair of walking shoes, this will help you to keep track of when you're due for a new pair.

 

WHAT ARE SURE SIGNS THAT THEY ARE WORN DOWN & YOU NEED TO BUY NEW ONES?
Pain: Shin splints or foot pain.  Failed twist test: Shoes should be firm.  Make sure they can't bend when you attempt to twist them.  Soles are worn down. Shoes don't feel as comfortable as a new pair.

 

CAN OLD RUNNING SHOES ACTUALLY LEAD TO INFECTIONS?
Yes, but not because they are old, but because people don’t care for them. The organisms that cause most foot infections tend to grow in dark moist areas – common in old running shoes that you have frequently poured sweat into. The three most common foot infections are caused by a virus, bacteria, or fungi. Plantar warts are caused by the human papilloma virus.  Athletes foot is caused by fungus, an organism similar to a mold, that feeds on dead skin and nails. Cellulitis is an infection caused by bacteria that may result in red, hot, swollen, and painful feet. Each of these germs are contagious and are commonly found in dark and moist environments such as communal bathing facilities and shoes. Lysol disinfectant spray kills 99.9% of viruses and bacteria.  I commonly inform my patients to use Lysol Spray to eliminate these germs by sanitizing their shoes, shoe inserts, and shower floors regularly.  

 

TIPS FOR MAKING FOOTWEAR LAST LONGER

Rotate your shoes: Footwear rotation is important for everyone.  Shoes need to air out in order to stop the breeding of bacteria and fungus to protect the health of your  feet and also the durability of the shoe.

Use Lysol:  I recommend spraying Lysol into your sneakers to help kill any microbes that may cross contaminate the outside environment to the inside of the shoe.  Lysol disinfectant spray kills 99.9% of viruses and bacteria. I commonly inform my patients to use Lysol Spray to eliminate these germs by sanitizing their shoes, shoe inserts, and shower floors regularly. 

Air dry: If you wash the shoes, utilize a gentle soap and cold water and skip the dryer.  The heat from an air dryer breaks down the glue and destroys your shoes.

 

DOES THE SAME PRINCIPLE APPLY FOR WORKOUT SHOES OR SHOULD THOSE BE REPLACED MORE OFTEN 

Yes, appropriate workout shoes are designed to last for 400 to 500 miles (640 to 800 km).  If you are working out or running specifically, you will need to replace your shoes approximately every six months depending on the distance you put on your shoes.

 

 

Author
Dr. Miguel Cunha Dr. Miguel Cunha, founder of Gotham Footcare and a leading podiatrist in Manhattan, is a highly trained and skilled foot and ankle surgeon with experience treating a wide array of foot and ankle conditions from minor problems to complex reconstructive foot and ankle surgery. Dr. Cunha takes pride in having a genuine interest in each and every one of his patients while providing them the utmost compassion and exceptional care.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Not all rain boots are created equal.

As rain season is quickly approaching it's important to keep in mind which rain boots will keep you pain free and dry. Most rain boots are hard on your feet and can potentially cause them harm.