Spring is here, the snow and ice are gone, and its time to get outdoors and enjoy some recreation and fitness. Walking has been shown to be one of the best exercises that we can do, and as an added bonus its free! But before you hit the walking trails, the sidewalks and the parks, how can you tell if there is still life left in your old footwear?
Running shoes, walking shoes and hikers, like all shoes, will break down over time. Using worn out shoes causes increased stress on our feet and body and can increase your risk of injury . So let’s look for the signs of shoe retirement.
If the tread of the shoe is wearing off, perhaps in spots like the ball of the foot or the inside of your heel, that is a pretty good sign that your shoe is worn, and it can also be a sign of poor foot alignment. The worn tread on a shoe is just like the worn tread on a car tire. It can show if it is time to replace or get your alignment checked.
The shock absorbing material of the midsole can also become compressed showing signs of wear. You can look for compression wrinkles at the side of the midsole under the ball of the foot and under the heel, both areas of high load. Also, take a look at the exterior of your shoe, especially the area around the heel … the heel counter. Look to see if the heel counter is leaning in any direction or is distorted. If it is leaning or distorted it cannot support your foot in the best way possible.
Finally how do they feel? If you notice aches and pains in your feet, legs, knees, hips or back after wearing the your shoes, it’s a good sign that you need a new pair of shoes, or if they are in good shape, that you need to have your foot alignment checked.
For the month of April, bring us your old shoes and let us test them for you. If you need new shoes we will give you a 20% discount on a new pair of New Balance running or walking shoes. If you need your foot alignment checked we will be pleased to make an appointment for you with one of our foot care professionals.