When should you replace your sneakers to stay the most comfortable sneakers ever?

When should you replace your sneakers to stay the most comfortable sneakers ever?

We know you love your dr LIZA sneakers and would love to wear them all day, every day forever.  Here Dr. Liza explains how often you should replace your sneakers and the reasons why.

Why is it important to replace old sneakers?

Sneakers are designed to provide some level of support, protection, performance, comfort and/or shock absorption for our feet. Over time some of these components like foam, EVA and rubber begin to wear - which means they lose some of their functionality. It’s important to replace sneakers regularly so that you are fully benefiting from the functions of the sneakers.

Sneakers may also affect your performance whether it’s walking, running or working out. If you’re not replacing your sneakers - when the performance components start to wear out - you may find yourself more tired while doing these activities and be putting forth less effort.


What are the signs you need to replace yours?

One of the clear signs that you need to replace your sneakers is that they don’t feel as comfortable or you start to experience discomfort after wearing them. Another sign is the wear pattern on the soles. If you can see significant wear, it’s a good indicator that they need to be replaced. Sometimes you can just tell by just looking at your sneakers as they will look worn, dirty and perhaps even have holes in it. By this point you’ve likely waited too long to replace them. Another sign is the feel and appearance of the insole of the sneaker. If you press the insole and there’s no rebound or bounce back from cushioning this is a sign that they are worn out and time to be replaced. If there are any holes or indentations in the insole this is also a clear sign that it’s time for some new sneakers.


What are the possible outcomes of never changing out your sneakers?

When our bodies are accustomed to a certain level of support from our sneakers - when this wears out our body will let us know. This can mean foot, ankle, knee, hip and or back issues. In practice as an Osteopath I often have patients come in with injuries because they haven’t changed out their sneakers. The treatment is often simple and involves getting new sneakers.

Not replacing your sneakers not only increases your risk of injury - it can also affect your performance. If you’re a runner you may find that your runs become more of a struggle, you’re not as fast and can’t run for as long. The same goes for walking and workouts since sneakers are often designed to improve functionality.


How do sneakers degrade or break down over time?

Many of the components used in the manufacturing of sneakers are subject to wear and tear. Sneakers are meant to feel springy and the materials used to get this effect like foam and EVA actually break down with impact. Because we don’t want sneakers to be heavy - the materials used are also lighter which means less resistant to wear. And if we bring physics into it, we have a significant amount of force (our body weight) going into the sneakers since they bear most of the weight and shock impact for our bodies. When there is high impact in activities like running and jumping, this force significantly increases and there is a breakdown of the shock absorbing features of the sneakers.

Stress on certain materials causes that material to expand or break down. Since sneakers are meant to absorb this stress, the materials on the sneaker will eventually give way to the pressure applied to it. Think of a plastic bag - the more you put in it - the more the bag expands. Eventually if the items in the bag are too heavy or the bag is stretched beyond its capacity, the bag will e and you’ll get a hole in the bag. In this case the sneakers are the bag and all our activities are the items in the bag.


Are there any extra factors which might impact how often you need new sneakers?

The main factor that impacts how often you need new sneakers is your activity level and how much mileage you’re putting on those sneakers. If you’re wearing the same sneakers every day then you’d need to replace them more often than if you’re alternating shoes.

Your activities also impact how often you need to change your sneakers. The higher the impact of your activities - the more often you’ll have to change your sneakers.

And lastly your weight also affects how often you have to change your sneakers. More weight equals more stress on the sneakers so the heavier you are the more often you’ll have to change your sneakers. Generally if you’re over 200 lbs your sneakers should be replaced as often as every 3- 6 months.


Any tips on how to make your sneakers last longer?

If you want your sneakers to last longer it’s a good idea to wear them with compression socks that offer arch support. This will reduce the pressure on your sneakers so they last longer. It’s also a good idea to alternate between 2 pairs so one pair has time to recover and rebound before it’s time for activity. This will prolong the life of both pairs.



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