Of all places for me to commit the cardinal sin of running, why did I have to do it in the virtual church of runners?
I was inside a sneaker store when it happened. I’d arrived 15 minutes late for my pre-booked shoe fitting with Jack, store manager at The Athlete’s Foot, and when he asked me to remove my shoes so I could whiz through the Fitzi, I kicked my runners off without even thinking…
By forcing my feet out of their tight sneaker sanctuary, without undoing the laces first.
Jack glanced at my sad, discarded pile of shoes and socks and asked very politely, “Do you normally take your shoes off like that?”
Oh the shame.
Just as an FYI, you should know that this post is sponsored by The Athlete’s Foot. But all opinions expressed by the author are 100% authentic and written in their own words.
It turns out that my elegant method of shoe removal is actually doing my sneakers some harm. Funny that. After witnessing my disrespect, Jack went on to share a few more home truths about sneaker survival, and signs they are due to be decommissioned.
- They’re getting wrinkles.
Just as our own crows feet and frown lines tell a story or two about our past, our sneakers’ wrinkles offer some insights into how hard (and how fast) we’ve been pounding the pavement. Wrinkling in the sole and side of your shoe indicates pressure and wear and when your sneakers begin to resemble your grandma’s sweet face, it’s time for an upgrade.
Might be time to throw out my sneakers.
- They harden up.
When the sole of your shoe starts hardening it means they’re not offering enough support, which can lead to all kinds of running discomfort: think shin splints, sore toes and arch pain. Hint: if you shoes don’t feel comfortable and cushiony when you slip them on, they have likely outlived their usefulness.
- They’re your star performer.
Do you wear the same pair of sneakers during every run and every workout? If so, you may be quite literally working your shoes into the ground. Jack recommends you have at least two pairs of runners in rotation, to give the foam in your shoes plenty of time to decompress and return to its original state.
Jack recommends you have two pairs of runners in rotation. Maybe not at the same time.