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The Shoe Mileage Debate (Read 1418 times)

    The below is pulled from another thread, partly to avoid high-jacking, partly to pull in other opinions. Please insert your own thoughts on the Great Shoe Mileage Debate. I'm especially curious to hear if anyone's gone significantly past that 300-500 mile window we hear so much about, or if anyone's seen any good, objective research on the subject. I'd also like to hear from more experienced runners, especially those who run long, long distances. Yes, I mean you. Smile Because I'm suspicious. But then, I also think Bigfoot was behind the Kennedy assassination, so how seriously can you take my suspicions? The below ramblings originated the other day, when I went out for a run that turned out to be very, very nice, feet and legs feeling better than they should after my recent self-flagellation ... and when I got home, I realized that I'd grabbed the wrong pair of shoes. I'd grabbed a semi-retired pair of Nike's with 600 miles on them. Yet my legs felt great. And here's the thing: the last time I tried those shoes, when I KNEW which ones I was wearing, I had a horrible run. So the question is obvious: are the shoes bad? Or was that horrible run all in my head, because I knew I was wearing 600 mile shoes? You decide. Debate nicely. No straw men. Straw women, on the other hand, drink free. ------------------------------------------- Modified to add - the below quote was from MikeyMike:
    ... Not recommending this, but I generally get over 500 miles per pair of shoes. I just wore a brand new pair out of the box today for the first time but before that both pairs I was using were over 500 with one close to 600. I think shoe mileage is one of those areas where there will be a big difference from runner to runner.
    I agree, I think. I have 3 pairs, one just shy of 500, one over 500, and one at 600. No problems so far. But since I've heard that same 300-500 mile figure tossed around, I've been stressing it lately, sure that my legs are going to fall off at any second. Which is, of course, stupid. If the shoes feel fine, and my legs feel fine, what am I worried about? I actually have a suspicion here that I can't confirm. My suspicion is that it's pretty convenient that shoe companies swear you need new shoes every 300 miles - and then all the running mags echo that, while simultaneously getting all their ad revenue from the shoe companies. And then new-ish runners like me rush out and buy over-priced new shoes, not because there's necessarily anything wrong with the old ones, but because we hit some magical number that everyone says is set in stone. It all seems awfully .... profitable. Brilliant, too. Because what runner is going to test their shoes to the max? Who is going to run a couple thousand miles on one pair - and take a risk of injury? Nobody, of course. The whole thing reminds me of the "change your oil at 3,000 miles" thing. Get a good mechanic drunk sometime and ask about that one. And, of course, it has to vary pretty wildly, doesn't it? Different climates, different weights, different paces, different number of footstrikes per mile, different running surfaces, just a basically different sort of punishment, from person to person. I do a pretty good job abusing my shoes; my better half has shoes that look they came out of the box yesterday. Plus she weighs 1/3 less than me. I find it hard to believe we'll both need new shoes at that same magic number. I just know that once I get to 40-50 miles per week, I'll go broke buying shoes if I do it that often. At 200 miles per pair, that's 10-12 pairs a year. Not counting trail shoes. No way. 500 is a minimum, not a maximum. I refuse to have my gas-guzzling X-type cost less per mile than my running shoes. Maybe Mikey's right and it's just an individual thing, and I'm one of the lucky ones. Or maybe I'm headed for injury. Or maybe ... well, maybe shoe companies have come up with a brilliant marketing ploy. Sort of like the people who convinced us to buy jeans with holes already in them. Tight lipped So here's my question: has anyone done an actual reputable study on this? Specifically, I'd like to see research with a double-blind format, in which neither the test runners nor the researchers know which shoes have what mileage on them. And then see what the runners say about the shoes, and what levels of injury occur. Not an article in a magazine - actual clinical research. If anyone has read research like that, let me know. Toss me a link. Even if it's internal shoe company research. I wonder how often Phidippides changed shoes ...
    E-mail: JakeKnight2002@aol.com
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      I unfortunately have no real input for this, but am also interested in others' opinions on this question.
      The will to win means nothing without the will to prepare. -- Juma Ikangaa, Tanzanian marathoner

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      Finished!

        I'm curious to see how this one warms up as a discussion. I have notoriously fussy feet, so I'm looking forward to seeing how long my first pair of shoes last. My husband has had the same set of running shoes for years. course, he usually runs on a treadmill though he roadruns during the winter time...
        Walk + Jog = wog.
        I'm trying to Lose 5% at a time
        I support Heifer International - join me by donating via my registry
          From my huge sample of ... um ... 5 pairs... I have found that there is a suspicious link between my shoes breaking 250 miles and at least one my joints hurting, even if there's not an actual injury. It might be that every 250 miles or so I get an urge to overtrain... but I'm more inclined to believe I've just been very hard on my poor wittle shoes.

          Roads were made for journeys...

            JK--you want science instead of blow-hard speculation! I'll have to keep my mouth shut then, dangit. Wait. I...can't...help...it.... One place my various neuroses have not settled (yet) is in the running shoe arena. I don't track miles per shoes or anything like that. I think of shoes "seasonally"--four pairs a year; one each for spring, summer, fall, and winter. I don't know why; I just do. As far as your paranoid speculations go, I've speculated along those lines, too. I've also wondered: does it really cost $100 to make a dadgum pair of shoes? Nylon and styrofoam? Please. Then there's all the ethical questions about where the shoes are made and by whom and where the profits go and all that Marxist hoo-hah. But that would take the thread elsewhere and wouldn't be about running per se. See how speculation is more fun than science... Wink


            A Dance with Monkeys

              JK. Phidippides died.


              Finished!

                JK. Phidippides died.
                omg. LOL. Trent, you delivered that so well I nearly fell out of my chair. I have no idea why I found it funny, because it's rather sad the poor man keeled over, but there you have it.
                Walk + Jog = wog.
                I'm trying to Lose 5% at a time
                I support Heifer International - join me by donating via my registry
                  JK. Phidippides died.
                  Sure. But he had a good run. And we can't blame his shoes. I'm sure they were very nice pieces of wood. Just tell me how many miles he had on them, please. Your priorities are seriously out of whack. What's a little death?
                  E-mail: JakeKnight2002@aol.com
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                    JK--you want science instead of blow-hard speculation! I'll have to keep my mouth shut then, dangit. Wait. I...can't...help...it.... One place my various neuroses have not settled (yet) is in the running shoe arena. I don't track miles per shoes or anything like that. I think of shoes "seasonally"--four pairs a year; one each for spring, summer, fall, and winter. I don't know why; I just do. As far as your paranoid speculations go, I've speculated along those lines, too. I've also wondered: does it really cost $100 to make a dadgum pair of shoes? Nylon and styrofoam? Please. Then there's all the ethical questions about where the shoes are made and by whom and where the profits go and all that Marxist hoo-hah. But that would take the thread elsewhere and wouldn't be about running per se. See how speculation is more fun than science... Wink
                    You hippie. If those sweatshop kids would just work faster, my shoes would be cheaper. And I have no idea what Richard Marx has to do with any of this. I like the seasonal idea, though. Good thinking. Perhaps if I just quit keeping track of mileage, I wouldn't have to think about it. Get new shoes at the solstices and equinoxes (equinoxi?). There's a plan. Find me some good research on the topic. Or at least tell me what Foucault would say. Whoever he is.
                    E-mail: JakeKnight2002@aol.com
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                      Or at least tell me what Foucault would say. Whoever he is.
                      Don't tempt me. Also: be careful what you ask for. From a podiatry journal. http://www.drpribut.com/sports/pributrichie-run-1004.pdf


                      Needs more cowbell!

                        From my huge sample of ... um ... 5 pairs... I have found that there is a suspicious link between my shoes breaking 250 miles and at least one my joints hurting, even if there's not an actual injury. It might be that every 250 miles or so I get an urge to overtrain... but I'm more inclined to believe I've just been very hard on my poor wittle shoes.
                        This is exactly what I am finding, too. My knees haven't bothered me a whit since my last pair of shoes hit ~250 miles (and I purchased my current pair), but now they feel week and sore again (current shoes are about at 250). I'm interested to see how my knees (and other crabby parts) feel with the new ones. k

                        I shoot pretty things! ~

                        '14 Goals:

                        • 2 olympic distance duathlons -- 6 days apart -- PR at least 1

                        • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)


                        A Dance with Monkeys

                          Sure. But he had a good run. And we can't blame his shoes. I'm sure they were very nice pieces of wood. Just tell me how many miles he had on them, please. Your priorities are seriously out of whack. What's a little death?
                          The distance from the Marathon Plains to the Parthenon is 21 miles. Somewhere along the way (London Olympics, to be precise), the distance got extended. But then again, I often feel like death at marathon mile 21...
                            Maybe 300 is just the average and not a shoe company conspiracy. I'm sure the sho co's want us replacing our shoes even more often than that. I don't buy a pair of shoes thinking that when they hit 500 miles I'm replacing them. It just sort of seems that by the time a pair gets in the 500-600 range they're either not comfortable anymore or have holes over the big toes or along the outside edge or just look and smell so bad I can't stand them anymore. I'm sure your gait and several other factors play a part here. Those of us who are lucky enough to have a neutral foot probably get more miles out of a pair of shoes than someone who is a wicked pronator. And I'm sure weight makes a big difference too. And your injury history probably makes a difference. I dunno. Damn if the marathon were still only 21 miles I could have saved myself some serious agony a few times.

                            Runners run.


                            Needs more cowbell!

                              I'm sure your gait and several other factors play a part here. Those of us who are lucky enough to have a neutral foot probably get more miles out of a pair of shoes than someone who is a wicked pronator. And I'm sure weight makes a big difference too. And your injury history probably makes a difference. I dunno.
                              And I'm thinking that short stride = more steps = faster shoe wear, perhaps? I have a pathetically short stride (short legs, too), so I'm assuming I make a lot more foot plants/mile than someone with longer legs and a longer stride. I'm not particularly light on my feet, either...no delicate, feminine flower, here. Tongue k

                              I shoot pretty things! ~

                              '14 Goals:

                              • 2 olympic distance duathlons -- 6 days apart -- PR at least 1

                              • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)

                                This is exactly what I am finding, too. My knees haven't bothered me a whit since my last pair of shoes hit ~250 miles (and I purchased my current pair), but now they feel week and sore again (current shoes are about at 250). I'm interested to see how my knees (and other crabby parts) feel with the new ones. k
                                Not that I'm saying she doesn't hurt, cause I know she's had issues lately, but...I just want to point out, as only a best friend would, that she IS kinda a shoe whore & she loves to spend money, if not for the love of the shoes, then just to irritate her Dutch hubby!! Wink
                                So do not get tired and stop trying. - Hebrews 12:3
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