The Lazy Response: “Your shoe should last 300-500 miles.”

Our good friends over at Brooklyn Running Co. have launched a new effort to educate runners on how to make better informed decisions regarding shoe wear durability. Getting into the right shoe is obviously very important but many runners get injured by trying to stretch the life of the shoe. From our experience, it’s a matter of education but also a simple reminder of when to get new shoes. But when to get new shoes is not a simple answer.

Science on the Run: Running Shoes And The Law Of Diminishing Returns

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Linking current research to running

By Nikki Reiter

Every once and a while, a wonderful little thing happens. A researcher decides to do a systematic review of a topic and then presents their findings in a paper. I get a little excited when the topic pertains to running.

Recently, a team of researchers reviewed how footwear could affect running performance and economy. Since running economy (RE) is a commonly accepted way to discuss distance running performance, it would be great to know the general consensus amongst publications about the effect of footwear selection on running performance and RE.

Science on the Run: If it Feels Good, Wear It!

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Image courtesy of The Athlete’s Foot Australia

Linking current research to running

By Nikki Reiter

I have often held the belief that you will run your best in the shoe that feels most comfortable on your foot. I used to work in a specialty running store and, anecdotally, I was proven correct by observing that customers selected the shoe they think feels best – and that trying to force oneself into a shoe that was not quite ‘right’ never prevailed. To my amusement, this hypothesis was confirmed nearly five years ago when at a conference I asked world-renowned biomechanist and shoe expert, Dr. Benno Nigg, how to select a running shoe. His response was concurrent with the concept of choosing the shoe that is most comfortable.

How Much Does Shoe Weight Affect Performance?

The professor teaching class.

Question:  How much does shoe weight affect performance?

Dr. Jack Daniels: As a matter of fact I did the original research on shoe-weight factor, when I was working for Nike in the early 1980s and our research was presented at the World Congress of Sports Medicine in Vienna in the early 1980s. We found adding 100 grams to the shoe increased the aerobic demand of running by 1%. Now 100 grams is about 3.5274 ounces, so each ounce changes the cost of running about 0.2835% (1/3.5274= 0.2835). If you can run a mile in 5:40, that is going 284 meters per minute and that speed of running typically coasts about 55.55 ml O2 per Kg body weight per minute.  1 less ounce will change the cost to about 55.7075 (from 55.55 above) and that VO2 will be associated with a running speed of 284.7 m/min and a mile time of 5:39.17, so about .83 seconds for a mile, per ounce less weight. 

Stepping Into Minimalist Shoes Responsibly

With the new trend towards minimalist footwear, it’s important runners have access to information not only about the benefits of minimalism but more importantly how to incorporate it safely into their running routine.

Saucony has taken this message to heart with their recent Step Into Minimalism events in Boston and NYC. Run SMART was fortunate enough to be apart of this worthy campaign by offering gait analysis and coaching tips on how to safely transition into minimalist shoes.

When To Get New Running Shoes

Question:  Should I get new running shoes for the marathon, and if so – when?

Run SMART Coach Vince Sherry:  This question is a good one (as well as a common one) that marathoners often ask me about one week before the big day. It is most often part of the final pre-marathon panic. In the quest to make sure everything is perfect for race day, runners will look to their shoes at some point. Unfortunately, it’s often when the race is right around the corner, which leads me to my first tip; never purchase running shoes in a pressured state. A rushed decision is not usually a very good one. Try to plan ahead and get your marathon race-day shoes at least two weeks prior to the race. You should be lining up with around 20 to 40 miles on your trainers (less if your wearing racing flats).

If you’re fairly certain that your running shoes have more than 150 miles on them I would recommend getting a fresh pair. It’s not that your current shoes are shot at that point (in fact that’s about half the mileage a modest pair of trainers would give you), they’re just not 100%. The marathon will likely be the toughest event you run all season. You should give your feet as much cushioning as possible on race day. You will likely finish with less wear and tear and recover faster as a result. If you do end up purchasing a new pair a couple of weeks out make sure they are the same model as the shoes you’ve been running in for the current training period. This is not a time to try something new (unless the shoe you’ve been in has been giving you serious trouble).

Read Vince’s complete response at NYDailyNews.com