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Dec 27

APMA Staff

When Should You Buy New Shoes?

by APMA Staff

When Should You Buy New Shoes?

Is it time for a new pair or should you stick it out for another year?

Buying new shoes can be a pain. You have to commute to the shoe store, hunt for your size, wait on a store attendant to find your size because it’s not on the showroom floor, and then try on what feels like a million pairs before you finally find a set that fit and look great. After paying much more than you wanted to (especially when it comes to high heels and dress shoes), you get to spend a week or two collecting blisters while trying to break them in.

Given all the effort involved in buying new shoes, it should come as no surprise that many of us put off a new purchase. However, wearing old shoes can cause foot problems, from chronic foot pain and corns to athlete’s foot and toenail conditions.

Here are a few simple signs that mean it’s time to spring for a new pair of kicks.

1. Don’t Trust the Treads

Wearing your shoes until the treads disappear is comparable to driving your car until the engine explodes. Sure, there weren’t any obvious problems before your vehicle turned into a giant ball of fire, but that doesn’t mean there wasn’t something wrong.

A shoe has many parts, from the toe and heel to the outsole, tongue, and midsole. Every piece of the shoe can suffer from its own individual brand of wear and tear. The most important part of the shoe are the shock absorbers, specifically those found in the midsole area of tennis and running shoes. Once those wear out, your feet start to act as shock absorbers, which can cause chronic foot pain.

However, the hidden location of the shock absorbers can make it hard to tell when they’ve given out. If the chronic foot pain isn’t enough of an indication you need to buy new shoes, do what Bonnie Stein, a racewalking coach in Redington Shores, FL., recommends. In an article on Prevention.com, she recommends buying a new pair of shoes every 5 months if you spend 45 minutes or so walking three times a week. The timeframe shrinks to a new pair every 4 months if you walk four times a week, and a new pair every 3 months if you walk five times a week.

2. Your Shoes Are Worn Out

We get it. You probably don’t want to get rid of your favorite pair of dress shoes just because there’s a bit of wear and tear on the sole and insole. After all, the parts that people see (the top and sides of the shoe) look fine, so what’s the harm in wearing them for a bit longer?

The harm is that a totally worn out shoe provides no real protection to your foot. No impact reduction, no protection from the elements, nothing. If the sole is incredibly worn, you might as well walk barefoot. If there are cracks or holes in the sole, or the entire tongue of your shoe has started to come out, it’s time for a new pair. Not because they look awful, but because they’re going to make your feet feel awful.

3. Your Shoes Squish

Shoes are meant to protect your feet. If they squish when you walk or easily roll over during a jog, they aren’t doing their job. These types of problems mean that the material is breaking down and the shoe is beginning to lose its shape.

A good test is to press your fingers against the midsole of the shoe from the bottom to the top of the shoe. If your fingers don’t meet any resistance and it kind of feels like you’re poking a thin sheet, that means the shoe is no longer able to protect and cushion your feet.

Have any other questions about when it might be time to buy new shoes? Visit our clinic in Edmonds, WA

Wondering what kind of shoes you should buy next? The trained specialists at Ankle & Foot of Edmonds can answer all your questions. Call 425-775-6996, or complete our online form to set up an appointment.


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