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Is it time to update your trainers?

14496208425_f88598b583_nDoes footwear really make much difference when it comes to your performance? I’m not talking about the specific brand as such, but about the amount of miles they’ve got on the clock.

Definitely. It’s pretty important equipment that shouldn’t be overlooked. Put it this way, you spend money on gym memberships, fitness classes, weights, clothes, but many of us completely overlook the most essential piece of all – your trainers or running shoes. We think ” heck we’ve got a good pair on our feet, they still feel comfortable, why should I replace them any time soon?”

By not replacing your trainers, you put yourself at risk from injuries such as shin split and tendinitis (otherwise known as ‘overuse injuries’) because they’ve lost their shock absorption capabilities.

So when does this happen?

For runners it’s fairly easy to estimate. Fitness coaches suggest replacing running shoes between 300 and 500 miles. So if you run 5 miles three times a week, you’re going to need to replace your trainers somewhere between every six and eight months.

For gym goers and HIIT enthusiasts it’s a little trickier since you’re not necessarily running a set distance. So try this little tips for determining whether your runners are ready for an upgrade:

1. Take a look at the cushioning on the inner sole, this is the first to wear down. Press down on it with your thumb. If the cushioning has lost its ‘cushion’ and feels firm then your trainers are showing signs of age.

2. Try twisting your trainer. Hold the shoe at diagonal ends and twist, if it twists easily that’s another tail tale sign of age. The shoe should feel solid, not flimsy.

3. And finally the most obvious way to know if a shoe is past its best is by checking out the outer sole. Its treads. These were built for endurance. So if these are worn down, then you should definitely buy yourself a new pair.

But then of course you may also know yourself without even looking at your trainers. If you’ve started feeling pain after working out, particularly in your ankles, shins, knees and lower back area, your trainers are unlikely to be the culprit having lost the support they once provided.

So if you can’t remember the last time you bought a new pair of trainers, carry out these simple checks:

  • Press down on the inner cushion – is it a) hard or b) soft and spongey?
  • Twist your trainer – is it a) firm or b) easily twisted?
  • Check the soles – are the treads a) still clearly defined or are they b) worn down?
  • Listen to your body – is it a) feeling good post-exercise or b) are you experiencing pain?

If you answered more than one B, then treat yourself to an early Christmas present. You’ll be so happy you did. Just think – support, cushioning, pain-free. Working out will have never felt so good!

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