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5 reasons to alternate running shoes

As a runner it’s no surprise we love running shoes and most of us need no reason to get a new pair. But, if you are the person that needs an actual reason to buy that extra pair of running shoes, here are 5 reasons to pick up that second(or third) pair and begin alternating running shoes.

Golden Rule of Running Shoes

First and foremost the golden rule of running shoes is that they last about 300 miles (some models may vary more or less) or approximately 4-6 months depending on your weekly mileage. While shoes may still look to be in great shape months from the original purchase date, with regular use, the materials in the shoes start to break down over time and will no longer provide the ideal cushioning or support from its original form. As you increase your mileage, especially during marathon training, the time to replace your shoes may come sooner than before.

giving your shoes a break

Especially when training for a race you will be running more often, usually days in a row. Therefore you will need to give your shoes a break between runs to allow the materials like the cushioning to restore back to top shape. Ideally you should always have a minimum of 2 pairs of shoes to regularly rotate during your regular run schedule. If your run schedule has you running two days in a row, especially a night run followed by a morning run the next day, alternating running shoes for each run will ensure maximum performance from your shoes.

Determining your Race Day Shoe

Trying out multiple shoes during practice runs will help you determine what your race day shoe will be. While you may already have some experience with your current  running shoes, you may want to consider trying something new with the latest running shoe tech or something with a carbon fiber plate if you are looking for extra speed on race day. These are the shoes you want to try out once or twice before race day but save optimal usage specifically for race day.

picking shoes based on how you feel

Different shoes can make a run feel different. Even if you go for a run on the same route at the same time every day, using different shoes can make your run feel differently. Shoes with less or minimal cushioning will help connect you with the ground you run on. More cushioned shoes can provide an extra layer of comfort under your foot and possibly a more stable ride. Also, the way you are feeling may affect the shoes that you pick for a run. On days you feel extra motivated and lighter you may want to choose a shoe that mirrors that to take advantage of some speedier miles. When you go for a run after a long day, more cushioning may be the best option for your already tired feet.

different shoes for different runs

 The same shoe is not perfect for every run. There’s a reason running shoe brands make different models of shoes. Trail running versus road running or long runs versus short speed runs are very different workouts that are going to be most effective with the appropriate shoes. Trail running is not just a fun way to explore the great outdoors but it can help work different parts of your leg muscles as the ground beneath your feet is usually more varying than a road. Shoes with extra grip and no slip features are best for trail terrain. With speed workouts you want to consider a lighter shoe to help keep your feet light and your speed fast. It’s important to consider the type of run you are heading out for when planning out your running outfit because the best shoes will help you get the most of that run and have the most fun. 

Alternating running shoes and routines is always a good idea, especially when it comes to daily training or race preparation. Plus, the world is a big place with so many places to explore and run through, that one pair of shoes is not going to be enough. So next time you are thinking of getting a new pair of shoes don’t overthink it, get them because you actually do in fact need them.  Get out there, run all the miles and train for every race at your very best with the perfect shoes.

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