Rotating your running shoes?

Does it add mileage?

12 messages
15/09/2012 at 16:49

I just found this quote over at

The cushioning of your shoe will compress while you're running. Most shoes take about 24-48 hours to get back to "full" cushion. Rotating shoes allows the cushion to "come back", shoes to dry after bad weather runs, and rotating different brands of shoes has been said to prevent overuse injuries.

How accurate is that - does rotating your shoes really increase mileage and/or prevent overuse injuries?  I've heard people say they've got as much as 200 miles extra by doing that.  I've just bought a new pair of Asics Gel 1160s, same as my other Gel 1160s save for the colour, and I want to know if I should use them now on rotation with the other shoes, or save them for when the first pair has had it?

Thanks in advance for any help.

Edit: This makes interesting reading as well:

Edited: 15/09/2012 at 16:54
15/09/2012 at 18:31

How accurate is that? I haven't got a clue.






Not helpful? Okay.

I do rotate my shoes, but any statement on whether or not that increases mileage or prevents injuries would be a personal judgement call. I think when someone decides their shoes has `had it` is very subjective. Likewise how would you judge if it's rotating shoes has caused or prevented an injury rather than another factor. It would be interesting if anyone has done a proper scientific/ quantitative study, but I doubt anyone has.

In the absence of any hard facts I'll believe the hearsay. What harm does it do to rotate? Other than you'll have an extra pair of smelly trainer cluttering up the place, and for most runners I know one extra pair hardly makes any difference. 

Trogs    pirate
15/09/2012 at 18:45

I also rotate two pairs of shoes but I suspect it may depend on what sort of runner you are, what distances you run and how often.  If you're heavy on your feet and/or regularly doing high mileage then I'd guess your shoes are going to take a bigger beating than if you're light on your feet and just doing shorter runs.

Like Chimpster says, it's certainly not going to do any harm.

15/09/2012 at 22:03

If you're following the fashion of minimalist forefoot running, then shoe rotation and cushion wear shouldn't be an issue surely as there is no cushion. So how long do minimalist shoe wearers keep their shoes? Is it until there's no tread? I'm guessing the shoe manufacturer's must still give a recommended milleage in order to keep the sheep buying new shoes!

Pethead    pirate
15/09/2012 at 22:48

I rotate mine also, but I think the main benefit is that there's always a pair that's worn in and ready to go, even if the other pair wears out. 'Course, if anyone's got exactly my weight, running style and favourite trainers we could do a comparison, if not I'm with Chimpster on this one!

17/09/2012 at 07:58

I don't rotate mine, always left on the left, right on the right, both facing forward and laces on the top.

Seriously, though, I run in barefoot shoes, so there's no cushioning to be worrying about.

17/09/2012 at 14:12

I rotate my 10 mile + shoes. I tend to find they need replacing every 600 miles (I'm fairly light on them). The rotation is purely to make sure the cushioning has recovered and to ensure that I've always got a worn-in pair to hand.


My VFFs have got about 750 miles on them and are showing no signs of being close to wearing out. They're Bikilas, so they have some tread to wear down: - they feel broken in at this point, more than anything. Of course, I don't rotate my minimalist shoes.

Edited: 17/09/2012 at 14:14
17/09/2012 at 15:19

doesn't work for me.

i can't wear them backwards and swapping left and right is very uncomfortable.

Pethead    pirate
17/09/2012 at 15:27

If you wear minimalist shoes can you rotate your feet day-to-day? 

17/09/2012 at 19:52

Good point Pethead, I usually run left-right-left-right. Going to try right-left-right-left and see if my feet feel springier.

17/09/2012 at 22:25

Very funny.

18/09/2012 at 12:33

Studies show* that whenever anything states "Studies show" I like to know which studies they are.

*Based on a 2012 survey of 1 participant and results posted online here.

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