With how much walking we do, our footwear undergoes wear-and-tear, especially running shoes. All footwear has a limited lifespan and will eventually need to be replaced. When shoes are beginning to wear down, their stability begins to fade, and makes feet susceptible to various injuries. Knowing exactly when to replace shoes can be difficult and as well as knowing what signs to look for on shoes that are wearing down. The following are signs you should consider replacing your current shoes:
- They no longer fit comfortably: Feet can change sizes, especially when people undergo weight loss or gain, (i.e. dietary or pregnancy) and will need properly fitted shoes to accommodate the changes. People who have suffered foot recent injuries (such as sprains) can have swelling and may need to temporarily have larger shoes to help accommodate swelling if it is not healing.
- Worn down shoe treads: When the tread begins to wear down, they lose traction, and increase the chance of falling, and increase the risk of suffering other foot and ankle injuries. Treads often wear down at the heel and ball of the foot more so than other areas of the shoe due to increased application of weight in these areas.
- The shoes become unstable: To test whether your shoes are unstable, bend your shoes at the ball of the foot, twist the shoe (the more it twists, the less stable the shoe has become), and check the firmness of the shoe’s heel counter where your heel sits. Each of these helps test the shank rigidity of the shoe and new shoes should be purchased if the shoes have increased flexing and twisting.
- How many pairs of shoes you own: Having more than one pair of shoes that you can rotate will help prolong the lifespan of your shoes and prevent rapid wear-and-tear. If you are constantly wear one pair of shoes, the shoes will wear down faster, and need to be replaced. This is important, especially if they are running shoes, or shoes you wear to work every day.
When You Should See a Podiatrist
If you are experiencing foot pain and it is not relieved by new footwear, then it is important to see your podiatrist to identify the cause of your foot pain. Your podiatrist can also help you select shoes appropriately fitted for you and minimize the risk of injuries later.
If you are currently experiencing foot pain, it could be caused by worn out shoes, and need to be replaced. If you have recently replaced your shoes and are still experiencing foot pain, please do not hesitate to schedule an appointment with Dr. Gary N. Friedlander or Dr. Jay C. Larson at Sole Foot and Ankle Specialists in Glendale, Arizona, and have all your treatment options presented to you to ensure you maintain healthy feet.