Should You Rotate Your Running Shoes? What Should You Know in 2022
If your looking to prevent injuries and have your running shoes last longer, rotating your running shoes is a smart way to accomplish this.
Elite runners have known for years that rotating running shoes often can help prevent injuries. However, for a novice runner, rotating your shoes can provide the same benefits regardless of your fitness.
So, why is rotating your running shoes regularly so important?
In this article, we discuss why you should alternate running shoes often. So, keep reading to find out more.
Why Should You Rotate Running Shoes?
Rotating your running shoes between two pairs seems like overkill for most people. However, a recent study by the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that subjects that alternated running shoes had a lower chance of injury.
The research showed that alternating two models of shoes reduced the chance of injury by as high as 39 percent. This is good news for runners that are prone to injury.
Since running is a high impact and a repetitive motion, running shoes take the majority of these stresses. By rotating your running shoes, you give the EVA time to decompress. By swapping shoes, you also prevent a single pair of shoes from losing their cushioning and stability properties.
It also helps to vary the load on the musculoskeletal system, thus reducing the load on the joints, muscles, and ligaments.
By rotating different models you prevent the body from adapting to a certain model of shoe. However, that doesn’t mean you should rotate between neutral and stability shoes. You should in theory keep to the model of shoe that fits your running gait, then change out the shoe to a different version.
When it comes to elite runners, many of them stick to the same model and rotate between them. This prevents their running gait from changing and placing any new stress or impact on the body.
Rotating Running Shoes With Different Drops
If your plan to rotate your running shoes with different drops, you need to be careful. Alternating between a shoe with a high drop vs a low drop can cause problems with your Achilles and calf muscles.
So, if moving you are from a high drop running shoe to a minimalist shoe, you will need to be careful. Introducing the new shoe slowly and slowly increasing your mileage is the best way to introduce new shoes.
Other things like calf raises and lower leg workouts can help prepare your lower leg muscles for the reduction in the heel-to-toe drop. However, if you are prone to calf and Achilles injuries, it is widely recommended you do this in the off-season. So, it does not affect any upcoming races.
Benefits of Running in Two Pairs of A Shoe
According to data from runners, and running shoe companies, the lifespan of a running shoe is roughly 400-500 miles.
Of course, this can vary based on your weight, running style, and the terrain you run on. Other factors that can impact the life of your shoes are:
– Body Weight
– Foot Strike
– Running Gait
But that’s not everything. Swapping running shoes regularly can help increase the life span of your shoes. This generally will save you a lot of money, since high-quality shoes come at a high price tag.
Other than that, the shoes last, and cushioning will last longer. In turn, this will help prevent the shoe from losing its shape and cushioning over time. It also means when you do move into a new shoe, there won’t be a significant difference.
Many injuries are caused by changing into new shoes from old worn-out shoes. So by reducing this change it can help your body adjust to the new shoe much quicker, and with fewer problems.
How to Make Running Shoes Last Longer?
There are many ways to make your running shoes last longer. This includes:
– Keeping them clean
– Drying them after running in wet weather
– Not putting them in the washing machine
– Rotating your shoes regularly
Cleaning your shoes seem like a simple one. However, many runners often leave their shoes wet and muddy after a long run. By doing this, the upper will lose its shape and the EVA will break down faster. So, keeping your shoes clean and moisture-free will prolong the life of your shoes.
Rotating your running shoes (as we talked about) will prevent compression of the EVA. This will allow them to decompress providing the correct amount of cushioning to your feet, lower legs, hips, and the rest of the body.
Last but not least is putting them in the washing machine. When you place your running shoes in the washing machine detergent will break down glue, EVA, and other important parts of the shoe. It can also change the same of the shoe through heat. So, it is widely recommended that you wash your shoes by hand.
Running Shoe Rotation Guide
First, if you are looking for a running shoe rotation guide make sure you are already in the correct pair of shoes. We always advise checking first before purchasing a new shoe, unless it is the exact same shoe.
Before you start thinking about alternating shoes, make sure you know how long they last you and what model of shoe your running gait needs. Other factors to consider are:
– Know how often you run
– Know the distances you run
– The terrain you run on
– Your budget.
– Your Running gait
Once you can answer these questions you can start seeing if you need to alternate more than one pair of shoes when running.
1. If you run less than 4 days a week, you don’t need to alternate shoes. That is unless you want a lighter pair for intervals and tempo runs.
2. If you run every day or do double days a few days a week, it is wise to purchase a similar pair. this will give you other pair time to recover between runs.
3. If you do a lot of offroad and on-road running, you will need to alternate between two different pairs of shoes. However, this is not super important if the trails you run on are relatively smooth.
4. If you are running above 60km a week, it is wise to have a second pair to alternate between. People that run less than that should have enough time between runs for the shoes EVA to decompress.
5. Budget is an important part of this, the more you run the more you will need to set aside money for multiple pairs of shoes. However, if starting, you will only need one pair in the beginning.
6. If you are overweight or a heavy heel striker (regardless of kilometers ran) it is wise to invest in a second pair of shoes. This will give the adequate time to decompress and the upper to hold shape.
Try not to impulse buy your second pair. Unless you are shopping for a lightweight or off-road shoe, you are better to get the same model you are used to running in.