How often to change running shoes?

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13/05/2013 at 14:07

I would expect around 400 miles - although this depends on your technique, weight, frequency of running and whether you alternate between a few pairs.

Avoid Adidas running shoes if you are looking for trainers that will last a while. I bought two pairs for marathon training and they lasted about 200 miles each! I contacted adidas to complain but their customer services were rubbish, and providing false advise!

13/05/2013 at 14:25
Daf Rees wrote (see)

I would expect around 400 miles - although this depends on your technique, weight, frequency of running and whether you alternate between a few pairs.

 

why does alternating between a few pairs affect the lifespan of one pair of running shoes?

13/05/2013 at 14:46

It gives the coushioning more time to recover.

13/05/2013 at 14:55
Ian M wrote (see)

Really Ian?  Flat feet would have got you out of the army during World War II - a time when there weren't many excuses and they needed every man they could get

Whereas now a variety of armed forces have done the actual research and found it makes no differrence to injury rate -


http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16130646

http://epirev.oxfordjournals.org/content/24/2/228.full

And now the army will quite happilly accept people with flat feet - even though they don't need everyone they can get.

http://www.army.mod.uk/documents/general/BGN_9._Medical_Notes_for_Potential_Rects_RI_10.doc

 

You are being disingenuous, as are most barefoot evangelists - taking scientific research and applying a non-scientific slant to get the soundbite that suits you - in this case:

"Whereas now a variety of armed forces have done the actual research and found it makes no differrence to injury rate"

The above statement is patently untrue, relative to what I said.  The second article deals only with stress fractures and not any other injuries - I was talking about support shoes rectifying over-pronation to prevent pain when running: nothing about stress-fractures.  

Your first contribution is a test-group of 220 by the Australians, which found that they injury-rate is the same for all foot-types.  Have you researched what footwear each group wore?  No?  Well, in the modern Army, if you have pronation problems, you get support shoes!  

So, you've proven my point - support shoes have reduced over-pronation problems from the 1940s, when you'd be rejected, to now, where you can join in with no increased risk!  I'd say that's a big win for support shoes!

At least you didn't trot-out that most-maligned of scientific studies; that by the US military that shows no conclusive proof either for or against support shoes, but which barefooters invariably alter to suggest that they don't work.  I am sure you know what I'm talking about - barefooters always mis-quote it.

Finally, to make my point about not trusting 'evidence' from either side, check out this website:

http://www.barefootrunning.fas.harvard.edu

Wow!  Harvard University.  Lots of big words.  Lots of scientific-speak and important sounding people.  Now look at the footnote:

"FUNDING DISCLAIMER:  Research presented on this site was funded by Harvard University and, in part, by Vibram USA®."

Everyone has an agenda and it's never your well-being.

 

13/05/2013 at 19:46

At least you didn't trot-out that most-maligned of scientific studies; that by the US military that shows no conclusive proof either for or against support shoes, but which barefooters invariably alter to suggest that they don't work.  I am sure you know what I'm talking about - barefooters always mis-quote it.

Actually I was going to use that one next : )
This no conclusive proof either for or against support shoes, is the crux of the matter  though!!!. People in shops selling crap for which there is no supporting evidence, yet claiming that it reduces injuries - this goes for Vibram too with there patently daft quote that their shoes reduce injuries. 

Given that no-one and this is worth repeating, NO ONE has ever produced any credible research that shows the technology in their shoes reduces injury rates it's a pretty safe assumption that their isn't any technology that running shoe shops sell that does this. The one proviso being orthotics, but that's a job for podiatrists, not shoe salesmen. 

Shoes are great! Faux techno bollocks spouted about them isn't. 

13/05/2013 at 20:36

But running shops do ultimately put their money where their mouth is, by agreeing to take shoes back in an unsaleable condition, if they dodn't work.  The fact that they do this and are still in business, is a practical demonstration of their method. 

If a person came to me as a retailer with shin splints or another problem caused by overpronation, then I could make the problem disappear, and be sufficiently confident in my ability to do so to take the shoes back if I didn't.  Sales people who work for a running shop with a 30 day returns policy are monitored on the number of returns that they have, and if it rises above a given level then they are pulled up very quickly. 

I also find some of your conclusions based on the previous research a bit unusual.  Absence of conclusive proof is not generally taken as grounds for assuming that something dosn't work, any more than it is taken as proof that it does work.  Also, if you accept that orthotics work, then almost by definition support shoes would also work. 

13/05/2013 at 21:48

Nope, I accept that orthotics can work in some circumstances, because the research performed supports this. Unfortunately assuming that support shoes also work is conjecture and there just isn't the evidence to support it. If there was you can be sure that all manufacturers of support shoes would be referencing it.  There's also a risk of assuming the evidence that supports orthotics is for the same ailment that the support shoe is proposed to prevent. So for instance there's evidence that orthotics reduces pain assoicated with plantar fasciatis and metatarsalgia (though not limited just to these two conditions), neither of which to the best of my knowlege are things that support shoes pupport to fix. This is the danger of assumptive leaps. Also on the assumptive list I haven't ever concluded that they don't work - I think you may filled that conclusion in on my behalf. I've only ever said there's no evidence that any running shoe technology works - it's an important difference, and one that the shoe manufacturers are generally aware of, so they make statements such as 'now with extra dynamic support' and the punter fills in the gap and infers that this must be a good thing despite the complete absence of evidence from the manufacturer to support this inference.

Likewise the statement that the fact the running shops do business is itself practical evidence their methods work could equally be applied to homeopathy. It may seem a disingenuous comparison, but both are still in business, both genuinely believe they are doing good, and both believe they see evidence on a daily basis that they are doing good, and in both cases their customers also believe they are doing good. And both come unstuck at the evidence based research stage. 

Running shops have a product to sell - there's nothing wrong in that, they just need to think a bit smarter about the process and claims that they make. If they want a USP, rather than saying or implying 'these shoes will reduce your chances of injury', they could focus on 'these shoes (or if more canny, upsell to this running clinic) could strengthing your running muscles. That said I don't know if there's any evidence to support it, but it is at least another avenue for them to explore.

Edited: 13/05/2013 at 21:49
13/05/2013 at 22:56

Honestly Ian, solving most common running problems is relatively easy.  You occasionally get a customer with a slightly more complex problem that throws you a bit, but for most problems the solutions are pretty generic. 

After you have seen most things half a dozen times, you don't get it wrong too often.  If somebody has a problem relating to overpronation, and you sell them a pair of support shoes, you will never see them again, and if you do it will be because they have caused a new problem somewhere else. 

The typical customer that a specialist running shop deals with, is somebody with a pre-existing problem.  People come to Sweatshop because they have bought a pair of shoes from Sports Direct, and it hasn't worked.  Therefore keeping the sale depends on you solving the problem that Sports Direct failed to. 

Edited: 13/05/2013 at 22:57
13/05/2013 at 23:33

Ben,

I'm an interested amateur, with some coaching experience, when it comes to all this.  Are there any REALLY good books or literature - or youtubes... or even paid-for DVDs about "diagnosing people's running ailments, and prescribing the right shoe"?

And do you know what the staff turnover is like in Sweatshop.  Are openings like gold-dust, or is there a realistic chance of getting perhaps a weekend job with them if you impress them enough?  Would they train you up? Are there strings attached.

I'd be really interested.  PM me if it's better taken off line.  But if you can't, don't worry.  Cheers.

14/05/2013 at 10:49

Run Wales

Sweatshop typically recruit people with some background in sport science or athletics.  They know that in the current economic climate they can afford to be picky, though the occasional bod such as me slips through the cracks, and they do take on weekend staff who are usually students.  I only really became a runner after I was employed by Sweatshop.  My colleagues were all runners, and they goaded me into signing up for the local half marathon.  Eventually I got into ultra distance, and they started to think that I was crazy.

The training programme involves three courses in biomechanics.  The first takes place at the National Ski Club of Great Britain, and is usually run by Hugh Brasher himself.  The second two take placed at Roehampton University, and I can see no reason why you couldn't sit the latter two courses as a private individual.  The only way to get brilliant at gait analysis is to practice it.  Eventually, you pretty much know what you are going to get just by looking at peoples feet. 

 

If you want to know anything further, then PM me and I will be happy to help. 


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