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).