Around this time of year, I retire my road shoes and start to break in new ones. I usually look to change them every 300 miles and this is made much easier these days with the help of the likes of Strava telling me when I’ve hit that target.

As a rule of thumb, I usually go with October when the season is pretty much over and I’ve no big races coming up. In this case, I do with the Men’s 10k in early November but I see that as the first race as I plan a slightly longer journey to the Paris Marathon than normal (I usually wait until early in the new year before starting).

The great bit was, I had not one but two pairs to break in this weekend. The first was a pair of Adidas Kanadia trail shoes and the others were a pair of Adidas Ultraboosts that I bought on special offer a month ago. You’re supposed to wear new shoes to walk around and do ‘normal’ things to wear them in a bit but I committed the cardinal sin of going straight to a run with both pairs. I stepped out at Parkrun yesterday with the Kanadias and a road/path run this morning in the Ultraboosts.

Perth Parkrun has a half mile stretch on grass and I needed a pair that could cope with both path and grass. I’ve got a pair of Inov-8 Mudclaws which are very good when it’s very muddy underfoot and I was recently given a pair of Brooks PureGrit to review but haven’t been overly impressed with them. They’re ok but I haven’t had that strong urge to go and run when I’ve put them on. I felt tired before the start and thought it might not be one of my best but I was pleasantly surprised when I crossed the line in 19:53, just 20 seconds outside my PB. The Kanadias felt really good and handled both surfaces very well and it will be interesting to see how I progress with them as I get fitter. The downside to wearing them for the first time in a run is that I got a free blister that was already burst by the time I got home and easily noticeable when I got into the shower! Ouch!

This morning, I decided to give my new pair of Ultraboosts a run out to complete the set. I bought them a month ago but today was the first time I had actually taken them out of the box! I put on a slightly longer pair of socks so that they wouldn’t rub on my blister but actually I didn’t need to. This pair reminded me of everything I loved about my original pair – feeling really springy with each step and not feeling my heel touch the floor even though I’m a heel-striker! My original pair felt amazing, a bit different from any shoes I’ve worn before and these feel exactly the same. While my pace today wasn’t anything fantastic, I felt that I can run fast in these and look forward to the journey ahead in marathon training when I’m hitting target pace.

Despite this weekend consisting of two ‘average’ runs, I’m feeling good in my new shoes and can’t wait to run in these when I’m getting closer to top form.

How often do you change your shoes? Have you got a pair that you instantly feel you can run fast in?


12 thoughts on “Testing, Testing

  1. I change over at 400 miles, but I’ve usually got 2 pairs going. I start the new pair at 300 and gradually build up, so that when I retire the old pair the new ones have a few miles in them. My old shoes are now at 400, my ‘new’ shoes have 100 on the clock. I’ve gone through 3 pairs this year, all of them Brooks Glycerin 12. Going to go back to Run4It for a gait analysis in a couple of months to see if that style is still right for me

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  2. I change mine around 300 miles too, but with my “shoe rotation” system of different shoes for different runs, I probably only wear any given pair once a week. At the moment I like the Adidas Glide Boost for 10k-ish runs, Ultra Boosts for my long runs and Kanadias for parkrun. I also have one or two other pairs, mainly Adidas and Brooks, which slot in from time to time. Since trying Boost shoes I’ve not wanted to wear anything else on the road and find Kanadias great for parkrun as they grip well over the grass but also handle well on the path.

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  3. Wow! I am shocked. I know that you are a coach so you should know what you are talking about. I make my shoes last 1000 km. I don’t know why I chose that distance in the first place, probably something I read in a magazine, but now you’ve got me thinking that it is wrong.

    I’ve run 811 km in my current Brooks Ghost 7s, and they’ve long lost their spring. I had a pair of Ghost 6s before that. I’ve been looking around for my next shoes and Ultraboosts are on my short list. I also looked at ON shoes of various types, and Asics Gel-Kayono 22s. It’s all so confusing.

    But you’ve persuaded me to choose sooner rather than later.

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  4. Hey Lance, I wouldn’t say I’m an expert and I think it’s the manufacturers who recommend changing shoes after around 300 miles (483km). A simple way to test is if you can hold your shoe and bend the sole fairly easily then it’s time to change. I usually run every race in the same pair, run my last race in October and change shoes then so I’ve run somewhere between 300 and 450 miles in them. You tend to notice when it’s time to change shoes as performances can often drop even though you feel fine.

    I used to wear Brooks until I switched to Adidas in 2009 and would never go back. The Ultraboosts are probably the best shoes I’ve ever worn. The knitted material give the front part of the foot more room to move than the Adios Boosts I’ve been wearing up until now and using them for shorter runs (5km/10km) going forward.

    I would definitely recommend changing your shoes sooner and try on the ONs, Kayanos and the Ultraboosts and see which pair you feel you can run your best in and go with them. Let me know which ones you go for!

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  5. I might head down to Sweatshop and try running a few steps in each of those three shoes. It’s an expensive choice to make though.

    I’ve also thought about taking their offer of personally fitted insoles. When I was lucky enough to be awarded parkrunner of the month a couple of years ago, they put me on the machine. One foot needed no correction, the other needed a wedge. Might be worth it.

    Still intend to make it up to Perth parkrun sometime. It would be like coming home!

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  6. I would be very careful of taking their “advice” on fitted insoles. The only people qualified to do gait analysis are Podiatrists, running shops are just salespeople usually taught by the manufacturers. Unless you’ve got a persistent injury, you don’t need to make any adjustments to your shoes. Your body will know which shoes are right and if you’re going to invest in a pair, you need to try on all the options you are looking at before deciding on which ones to go for. The “issue” in your foot that “needed” the wedge might be coming from your hip and not your foot

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  7. I see a podiatrist regularly (annually now) because I have Type 2 diabetes. She looked at my gait last time I saw her, only a couple of weeks ago, and told me that I over-pronate. Perhaps Sweatshop can help me based on her opinion.

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  8. Do you currently suffer from any injury problems in your feet? If not then it wouldn’t really matter whether you over-pronate or not. Pronation is the natural movement of the foot each time your foot hits the floor and excess movement may be coming from a lack of control from the hips. Unless your podiatrist has identified an issue that has been causing you problems then you’re unlikely to need any additional support in your running shoes. I firmly believe in trying on many different pairs and going with your gut instinct. Try them on, go for a jog back and forward in the shop and your body will know what feels right and what doesn’t

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  9. Not really. I sometimes get sore ankles, but not overly painful. I also get very sore toes: the middle three on each foot. I don’t know if the latter is due to the diabetes or if my feet are hammering against the ends of my shoes as I run.

    I think I should take your advice and try short jogs in several pairs of shoes in the shop, at the risk of annoying the assistant!

    Sweatshop carry a tremendous range. I don’t think the stock ON though.

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  10. I’m not sure who stocks ON. I think you’re entitled to be a pain and ask to try on a few different pairs as you’re about to make a considerable investment. The running shops won’t mind as they like to make sure you go out with the right pair for you

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