How do you know when it’s time for new running shoes? “People generally start having those nagging aches and pains in the knees and hips after a run, or they don’t recovery quite as fast. A good rule of thumb for most shoes is 400-500 miles of use, or every 6-9 months for the average fitness enthusiast,” says Fleet Feet Sports Spokane owner Wade Pannell. Don’t let the newish look of your shoes fool you, warns Pannell. “The foam in the shoe’s midsole will be worn out long before the shoe appears old. Whenever a customer asks me if their shoes are worn out, I simply ask them to try on a new pair and see if they recognize the difference – they almost always do.”

Finding the Right Shoe

Pannell encourages his customers to choose shoes based on comfort and fit. “The shoe that feels the best in length, width and shape and provides the level of cushioning and appearance you like is likely going to work just fine.” Finding a shoe that’s built for the types of surfaces you run on is also key. “Trail shoes are built to accommodate the unique requirements of running on varying terrain, from dirt to rocky trail. The most specific trail shoes have internal rock plates to protect the underside of the foot, tight knit uppers to keep the dirt out of the shoe, and extra-durable materials to protect against abrasions,” says Pannell. For those running between the road and trail, he suggests all-terrain versions of typical road shoes with slightly grippier tread patterns.

There are so many options for running shoes in the market today that it can be difficult for someone to land on the shoe that best fits their needs, foot shape, and size. Pannell points out that “Shoes are built with features that make them more durable for certain biomechanics movement patterns. Our fitters are pros at assessing your gait patterns, listening to your preferences, understanding your current and future goals and pulling the shoes that should best fit your needs. After trying on a few pairs, we hope you should be able to narrow your selection down to the best fit.” //