I have a shoe problem. I love Brooks running shoes and I run a lot of miles. One problem I have had over the past five years of running is when should I retire my running shoes? Here is my problem:
This is what I found in my front closet this morning. Six pairs of Brooks Launches, one pair of Brooks PureFlows, and two pairs of Brooks Ghosts. Supposedly, this is what is in my current rotation as my retired shoes are either in my closet upstairs or out in the garage. My husband is also training for a marathon so we have three pairs of his shoes in the same closet. (My closet is not very large.)
My shoe experience goes a little something like this. I supinate, terribly! Take a look at the bottom of my Ghosts.
These shoes have around 200 miles on them. I have physical issues with my foot that causes me to roll out like I do. My left shoe does not wear down like my right as my left foot isn't as messed up. Because, I wear out the outside of my shoes badly, I tend to retire my shoes after 250-300 miles. (I am tall and weigh more than the average female runner, therefore this may be low compared to most.)
Making the decision that my shoes are done is where I have my problem. I am always worried that I am retiring my shoes too early and am wasting a good pair of shoes. I have read you KNOW when your shoes are worn out. You feel it in your knees, ankles, feet, etc. I feel like at 250 miles, I am hitting this point. I start feeling it in my knees and hips. I convince myself that I made the correct decision when I put my new pair of shoes on and the little kinks are no longer there. The new shoes feel wonderful and my runs feel great once again.
But what to do with the old shoes? Shoes are not cheap at all. I spend at least $200-$300/training cycle. Running 3-4 marathons a year puts me at $1000 for shoes. Writing this down makes my heart sink. I love running and I know being on the road saves me both physically and mentally. I need running. I tend to save the shoes that I know hurt my legs, because it is hard to let go. I do use my older shoes for cross training such as biking, spinning, and strength training. Occasionally I will put on an old pair for short runs. But, I don't usually run less than 6 miles, so short runs are very rare. So why am I holding onto these shoes?
Luckily, running Vermont City Marathon every year gives me an excuse to get rid of shoes. They have a booth where you can donate your old shoes and we take advantage of it every year by dropping off 10-15 pairs. So, thanks to this post, I have removed four of those pairs of shoes and will put them in the To Be Donated Box. If you are looking for somewhere to donate your old shoes, here is a Runners World link that lists many organizations that take old running shoes.
And I have also been told that you should have 75-100 miles on your shoes that you plan to run a marathon in, so these guys are halfway ready for Vermont.
How do you know when your shoes need to be retired and how many miles do you get on a pair of shoes? Do you donate your old shoes?
**Don't forget to sign up to win an entry to a Danskin Triathlon in my giveaway this week!