Often Podiatrists will see patients coming through with the idea that they are sporting the best available footwear on the market, and often they are not far off the mark. A lot of these so called “good” footwear options may be 2 to 3 years old, worn out and to be honest may be causing more harm than good.We often look for a number of signs that footwear may need replacing. Some of these we can see, some of these we need to keep track of. These include:
- Tread wear on the sole of the shoe
- Stitching wear or holes on the shoes upper
- Fraying inside of the heel.
- Structures such as shanks and heel cups have become pliable, which should be relatively firm/solid.
- Excessive compression of the footwear’s cushioning and/or medial support (normally reduces roll in compression of inside of shoe)
- Burning in the soles of feet
- Although not specific to footwear, regular ankle sprains and pain (feet, shins and our back) may indicate footwear could do with replacement if they are getting along.
- 500 – 750km’s of use or 12-18 months since purchase – A lot of major footwear companies use this as a guide.
Use these points as a guide and if using your footwear on a regular basis you should be taking these points into consideration. Our sporting and day to day footwear can be overlooked for quality and reliability due to finances. Paying more for a better-quality shoe can reduce the cost in the long run rather than causing injury and needing constant attention.Some ways to lengthen your footwear longevity can include:
- Cleaning and drying footwear post use
- Rotate between two pair of shoes.
- Keep footwear sport specific – Don’t use your runners for basketball/netball for example.
- Keep to the true footwear terrain – Off road wear trail shoes not normal runners.
- Lace and unlace footwear.
- Wearing sport specific socks can reduce moisture and friction in footwear.