The Lure of New Running Shoes and How Much is Too Much

Let me start off by saying that running shoes are the most important investment a runner must purchase. Choosing the wrong pair or a pair of cross trainers is the worst decision a runner can make. As well, going too long on the same pair of running shoes can be bad. I for one have run too long on one pair of shoes and paid the price in terms of a heal injury. Or so I think that is why I injured my heal. I beleive I may have been “sold” the notion that my 400 mile old shoes were in need of replacement and that is why I was injured.

My point is that I am starting to see a bit of a trend in shoe marketing that is suggesting runners should be replacing their shoes earlier and earlier. I love the feeling of getting new shoes – it validates the miles I have been putting on. However, it is friggin’ expensive and I have been starting to question the accelerated replacement more and more. There is a lot to be gained by the shoe companies if we all diligently replace out shoes every 400 miles.

I think a good comparison to the running shoe sales game is the new car business. Do we really need a new car every 3 years or is this just clever marketing on behalf of the auto makers? I would suggest that it is good marketing and that we don’t need a new car at this frequency.

I am struggling with this though. On one hand, I don’t want to risk a serious IT or ankle injury over the hundred bucks it costs to buy the new shoes. On the other hand, I also don’t like getting worked over and convinced to buy something I don’t need. What do I do?

I therefore need to leave this post unanswered and continue to ponder it. I would like to hear suggestions form my readers on their views. Please “argue” away and help me decide by using the comment section. Thanks in advance for your input.