Why You Shouldn’t Workout With Old Shoes

why you shouldnt workout with old shoes

Time to Change Your Shoes!

Whether you’re shooting threes, acing it over the net or running the track, there is a specific shoe you need to wear. Shoes are not universal sizes or made for multiple sports. They are made with a specific destination in mind.

Breaking in new shoes is a hassle, but anything is better than wearing an old pair of shoes to go to the gym. New shoes have the proper support and stability that is needed to go the distance or score the points.

For avid runners, shoes need to be replaced every 300 to 500 miles. Running shoes are different from standard sneakers, because as opposed to walkers, runners put the most pressure on their forefoot, while walkers are heavier on the heel.

The difference between shoes for running versus shoes for tennis or basketball is lateral stability. In the games of basketball and tennis, the athlete is constantly pivoting and turning quickly at the ankle. These sport-specific shoes have more lateral stability because runners are only moving forward.

In the instance you are headed to the gym to hit the courts and the track it is best to invest in cross-trainers. With these shoes, you can do multiple activities, but it is still recommended to wear the proper shoe if active in the sports more than three times a week.

You can tell if they are cross-trainers if they have firm heels, light weight and have good arch support. Arch support can be graded by not being able to bend the shoes easily.
For athletes working out minimally, shoes may last from six months up to one year but they say to buy new ones after the one-year anniversary.

According to Beach Body Blog, the signs that a pair of shoes is worn out are through visual inspection and the press test.

Visual Inspection

Other than looking at the tread on the underside of the shoe, it is best to check the midsole. If the midsole shows horizontal creasing or is worn certain areas, such as the heel and ball of the foot, then it is time to buy new shoes.

Press Test

The press test begins by pressing firmly on the bottom of the shoe to look for compression. If the bottom of the shoe gives in minimally, it means that the material has become highly compressed and is hurting your feet more than helping.

Wearing old shoes to work out may seem like the right idea because they are already broken in (and smelly), but it can cause you pain throughout your body.

Runner’s Knee

This is athletic lingo for running with knee pain. This is the most common form of running injury caused by old shoes that do not protect enough. Running in worn shoes throws off your biomechanics, according to LiveStrong.com.

Shin Splints

Shin splints derive from two tendons along you shin bone at the front of the leg becoming swollen. This is commonly caused from wearing old shoes that lack shock absorption and stability.

IT Band Irritation

The iliotibial band, found from the outside of the hip to the knee, becomes irritated and swollen. This is the result of running on uneven ground or unevenly worn shoes. Make sure when buying your new pair to go to a professional runner store to have your foot assessed and to be fitted for the perfect running shoe or your foot. You want the shoe to be the perfect length, width, and with the proper arch measurement.

Recycle Worn Out Shoes

Now that you know your worn out gym shoes are no-good, the process doesn’t end here. The next step is figuring out how to reuse, recycle or donate. Old shoes can be reused when running through mud and dirt, so there are no worries on keeping them clean. Or, a new trend is using old shoes as planters in a garden. You can donate old shoes to thrift stores, Salvation Army donation sites, or Goodwill.

Nike has taken a new step in recycling shoes by breaking down their donations and using the material to make playgrounds and other eco-friendly sites. So instead of throwing your old shoes away, think about recycling them.

Research Your New Shoes

Also before you purchase a new pair, make sure to do your research! There are many sites online that review gym shoes for men and gym shoes for women. Make sure to check out a few of them and definitely don’t get the wrong size!

few sources:


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