When is the Right Time to Get New Footwear?

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 the inside of the 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.