When should I change my shoes?
Welcome to our Spring Foot Health series on our blog!
With the change of season, and with summer coming up soon, here are some ways your local Katy and Fulshear Podiatrists (Dr. Hurwitz and Dr. Amin) recommend taking care of your feet!
Did somebody say spring cleaning? Spring is the perfect time to purge our closets! That means shoes too. Even though many of us can keep shoes for years or even DECADES, there are certain signs that your shoes may tell you that it is time to move on.
In general, when you think about it, shoes are pretty gross. Between the sweat your foot makes mixed with bacteria and fungi that love moist dark places, its amazing how long some of us keep wearing the same pair of shoes! While it's okay to have shoes refurbished at a shoe maker, make sure you consult with them about whether the shoes are worth keeping vs getting a new pair.
Dress shoes/ boots
Shoes made of high quality materials (we're talking genuine leather, designer shoes, cowboy boots, etc) may be salvageable by bringing those with worn out soles to a shoe repair shop ("shoe maker"). Some shoes may last up to 15 years if maintained properly. The best time to bring them in is if you notice the shoes are suddenly less comfortable, or the sole appears to be wearing down. On the other hand, worn out dress shoes made of cheaper materials may generally better off in the trash; although when in doubt you may also be able to have your local shoe repair store fix them up as well.
High heel/ stiletto type shoes can also be serviced by a shoe repair shop by replacing the hard plastic ends called heel tips if the rest of the shoe is in good repair. Remember ladies, if the shoe was always painful or has become painful, that may be sign to trash it also....unless you like coming to the podiatrist for foot injuries :).
Athletic shoes, on the other hand, are a different animal all together. Unfortunately they tend to have a definite shelf life, and your feet may be negatively affected if you don't respect that. As a general rule, running shoes should be changed about every 300-500 miles. That translates to roughly about 4-6 months for the average runner. Keep in mind, this is very general! Someone who weighs 100 lbs and runs 10 miles a week is going to get more out of their shoes than a runner who weighs or runs twice as much.
If you are unsure whether your running shoes are still good, some signs they may need to be replaced are:
Worn out treads
New unexplained foot/leg soreness with running
The same rules as sneakers pretty much apply here too. The harder and more you practice and play at a sport, the more you will want to consider the signs of excessive wear and trade out for a new pair.
Many professional athletes (soccer and football players) will often change cleats more than 4 times in a season. Lower leaguers may get away with one or two pair in a season, and sometimes up to 2 seasons. Terrain, and frequency of playing time obviously play a role.
Look out for cracks in the leather, new crackling sounds when you run, damage to the outer spikes, or any new discomfort of your feet.
This is a tough one, but again, once comfortable shoes that now cause blistering or pain should really go in the trash. Some signs of sandals that need to be replaced are thinning of soles, or if you notice yourself constantly tripping in them. Also, since most sandals are worn barefoot, it may be a sign to change your shoes if your feet always appear dirty after wearing them. Unless you are washing your feet every time you put them on, consider how dirty they become over time, exposing your feet to bacteria and fungus.
*DISCLAIMER- PAIN IS NEVER NORMAL! IF YOU ARE EXPERIENCING PAIN, EVEN AS YOU CHANGE YOUR SHOES, YOU SHOULD HAVE YOUR FOOT CHECKED OUT BY DR. HURWITZ AND DR. AMIN TO MAKE SURE YOU DO NOT HAVE ANY UNDIAGNOSED INJURIES*
Remember, wearing a shoe that hurts your foot can result in injury. Listen to your body and take care of your feet! You need them to support the rest of your body after all.
Have shoes you just never wear? Donating can also be a great option! While some consignment shops may take them off of your hands, there are also charities such as Soles4Souls https://soles4souls.org/texas/ who will be more than happy to donate them to the needy!
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