Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Quick Running Tip Tuesday - Shoe Rotation (May 15, 2012)

Let me introduce you to some friends of mine. 

To the right, you'll see my current active running shoe fleet.  On the left is "Pair 1" with approximately 180 miles on them... in the middle is "Pair 2" with approximately 10 miles on them... and on the right is "Pair 3" who have yet to see mileage.  They are all Nike+ Pegasus edition shoes.  (Pair 1 is model 27 and Pairs 2 and 3 are model 28 if you care.)

Why show you my shoes? 

I wrote a couple of months ago about getting your shoes properly fitted (HERE).  A quick tip that most don't realize until they've discovered it for themselves... I didn't... is that your shoes last longer when you rotate them!

Totally floored me. 

An example will suffice.  I have a tendency to wear one pair of shoes and wear them until they wear out and then get a new pair.  My wife hates this.  But it's just easier to match.  Anyway!  I did the same thing with my running shoes.  I bought a new pair of running shoes.  Then I'd wear them every day, on every run, all the time.  Day after day, most days back to back and sometimes back to back to back on runs.  I'm a bigger guy (weighing in around 240... hopefully about 220 by Chicago time) and I can abuse a pair of shoes pretty quickly.  I would quickly rack up about 250 to 275 miles on a pair of shoes.  They would feel heavy and the tread would be wore out.  So, I'd declare them "retired" and move onto another pair. 

Then a friend challenged me to try rotating them.  Buy an extra pair and skip a day with one pair, while wearing the other and then vise versa.  I discovered that I could get about 400-500 miles out of a single pair of shoes if I rotated them!  That's huge!  That saves buying one new pair of shoes ($60-$75 where I buy my Nike's online). 

When you wear your shoes, you compress the cushioning and the insoles.  This happens a lot more with running because of the impact on the shoes.  When you wear them repeatedly back to back, it doesn't give the insoles and cushioning a chance to rebound (re-expand).  So when you wear them again and again and again, they don't have a chance to recover and they wear out faster. 

Take it from me, and I watch my shoe mileage very closely, if you rotate your shoes... they will last longer.  If they last longer, that saves money (that you can spend on race fees or other goodies).  Rotate your shoes.  This summer, because I am attacking the Chicago Marathon with a little more fierceness, I will be racking up about 800 miles between May and mid-October.  So I'm going to go ahead and rotate in a third pair just to make them last a little longer. 

Keep running friends!  I'll likely see you out there!

Disclaimer (if you're into that sort of thing): Jim is not a professional runner nor is this blog endorsed by any company.  These thoughts are merely the thoughts and experiences on one runner.  What works and what doesn't work from a practical level.  Jim hasn't set any records, but he's run a few races (Marathon: 4h 22m / Half-Marathon: 2h 3m / 5k: 22m 57s) and he's been around the block!

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