Sometimes you fall so much in love with your shoes that you never want to give them up. Unfortunately, however, it is also an object/tool that is bound to wear out faster than others: we use them more, they are made of materials that wear out faster (particularly tread and midsole), and they have mechanical and elastic characteristics that change over time.
So the only way to make them last longer is not to use them? Not really: here are some tips for extending their life as long as possible.
Write down how far you have come with them
Several running apps, Strava and Nike Running Club, for example, allow you to specify which shoes you run with. This feature is not a control freak’s fad: recording the mileage of each model you use helps you understand how long it is until their natural end (beyond the obvious signs of wear and tear you may notice on the sole and upper) and also to gauge how durable the different models you use are. To understand when it is time to change them instead, I invite you to read the article below.
Just use them for running
It seems obvious and obvious but running shoes are made only and mostly for running in. I am well aware that their comfort makes you never want to part with them, but you can resist, not least because there is a definite time to use them for walking or going for drinks, and that is when they have exhausted their “athletic” cycle: when they are exhausted and unloaded for running you can still continue to use them until they are totally destroyed. In the meantime, just use them to run with.
With trail shoes you only do trail
What applies to running shoes in general also applies to trail shoes, which are very often valued for their comfort beyond their specific uses. Paradoxically, although it is a more durable type of shoe by vocation, its tread is more delicate than that of road shoes: in fact, the tread pattern is perfect for rough terrain and mud but offers less wear surface than road shoes and wears out faster on asphalt or other surfaces.
When you have completely worn out the tread of your beloved trail shoes do two things: don’t use them anymore because they will no longer provide the necessary grip and may become dangerous, and remember that there are many resole programs – such as “Repair if you care” by Vibram – So you can extend their life a little bit.
Treat them with care
If you happen to run on them in rough conditions (rain or on particularly dirty surfaces) when you return, don’t leave them to rot: when they are wet, dry them carefully; if they are dirty, don’t wait months before washing them. The wetter you leave them, by the way, the more they will develop unbearable odors that will make them increasingly unpleasant.
If you have to clean them go to the next step.
Clean them, but be careful
We have already explained how to clean them but the advice is not to wash them in a washing machine-the temperatures and mechanics of washing could compromise the materials or the bonding between the parts. If you just can’t resist the temptation (and the convenience of kicking them in and letting a machine do the work), never use high-temperature wash cycles: possibly keep to 30-40° max.
Rotating shoes and not running in the same ones all the time is certainly a more expensive solution than having only one pair, but it meets at least two needs: that of allowing you to do workouts of a different nature (long with more protective shoes and fast with more responsive shoes) and to make them last longer. “That’s easy!” you’ll think but follow me: you don’t necessarily have to buy all the shoes you’re going to rotate at the same time: just start, for example, with a protective pair and then, about halfway through its life cycle, buy a fast one and start alternating them. That’s why it’s important to note how many miles you put on each model-that way you’ll know exactly when to buy a new pair to rotate them and lighten the use of the most worn ones.
Check your running setting
In addition to being critical for running efficiency and less fatigue, a good running setting allows shoes to last longer. For example, if you tend to have a very wide stride, it is likely to land on the heel, causing uneven sole wear, accentuating it especially in the area of first contact and most loaded. Instead, by increasing the cadence-that is, the number of steps per unit time-you will load it less and more evenly, allowing it to wear equally over the entire ground contact surface.
Making your shoes last longer is not only an economic matter but also a nice gesture of love toward them and the environment