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Family Foot Care & Surgery, LLC

When to Get Rid of Old Shoes—and Why

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We know it can be difficult to get rid of old shoes. Maybe they’re the sneakers with those sweet pumps you never see anymore, or maybe they’re the running shoes you hit your personal record in. Shoes can have sentimental value, but there inevitably comes a point when they just can’t provide good support anymore. When shoes get too worn down, that wear can transfer to the feet instead, causing problems.

So how do you tell when it’s time for a replacement? It’s before they develop holes, that’s for sure.

For sneakers and running shoes, start with a visual inspection. If the bottom tread has worn down, or has developed cracks and wrinkles, it’s all signs of deterioration of the outer sole. The insole should also still be somewhat springy and non-conformed. If you can see a permanent indent of your footprint, that means the cushioning has been squashed down and isn’t providing the shock absorption it used to.

Next, gives the shoe a few bends, twists, and flexes. New sneakers grow more flexible over time, but one that is still supportive should not bend easily in the middle, only where your toes naturally bend.

One of the best indications of wear, however, might be your body. Some runners claim they can feel when their shoes are worn out, and that may be true. If you begin to feel uncomfortable sensations in your feet, legs, or hips, try taking a look at your footwear.

Many running shoe standards give 500 miles as the point to replace running shoes, but your mileage may vary depending on your weight and foot strike. If you would like some expert advice, Dr. Sanjay Patel at Family Foot Care & Surgery can help. Your old shoes can provide valuable information about your biomechanics and any problems that might develop, so bring them in when you come. Contact our offices by calling (203) 288-4055 for Hamden or (203) 876-7736 for Milford.

Dr. Sanjay V. Patel
Dr. Patel has over 20 years of experience in the field of podiatric medicine and podiatric surgery.
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