You might love your favorite pair of running shoes, but if you’ve had them for years, it’s time to throw them out. “If your sneakers are old and worn out, they could be shifting your weight abnormally, which can lead to injuries not only to your feet, but also to your entire skeleton,” says podiatrist Jacqueline Sutera, DPM, a Vionic Innovation Lab member. Conventional wisdom says to change up your sneakers every 300 to 500 miles, but there are visual clues of wear and tear that you may notice well before that. Place your sneakers on a table top and look at them at eye level, making sure to also flip them upside down and examine the soles. If a portion of the outside soles is smooth, uneven, and worn, you’re ready for a new pair. Here are the most common foot problems and podiatrists’ solutions.
They don’t suit your workout
You shouldn’t be wearing running shoes to Zumba or basketball sneakers for hiking. “There is so much technology that goes into sneakers, especially for workouts,” says Dr. Sutera. Wearing shoes that are inappropriate for your specific workout could cause injury.” For example, running and walking sneakers are made for forward motion and have the maximum amount of cushioning and shock absorption, according to Dr. Sutera. Sports like basketball and tennis require shoes that provide lateral or side-to-side support. Cross-training shoes can be used for lower impact exercises like weight lifting, rowing, elliptical, and Zumba. (These exercise moves, in any fitness shoes, can work against you.)