The New Shoe Rule

I got a new pair of shoes and when I first saw them…I was skeptical.

The toe box is wider than anything I had ever seen before. I have big feet to begin with, size 13, so when I put them on and looked down…

…ok maybe not that bad…

I couldn’t imagine running in these things, but I could imagine tripping over myself.  Yet, they came highly recommend and have received great reviews. Needless to say, I’ve been running in them for a couple weeks now. And…..

I love them.

They are different than anything I’ve ever run in before.  They have a zero drop cushion (the heel is not elevated) and the toe box is wider to give your foot enough room to “splay” naturally.

If you’ve ever wanted to try barefoot running but were too afraid because you might land on a nail or the thought of scrubbing the dirt off just grossed you out, these shoes are a good option for getting a similar experience.

These shoes came with a handy dandy “transition guide”, which was new to me. I have always bought new shoes, put the old ones in the trash and then I was off to the races. These came with specific instructions on how to break them in properly to minimize injury.  Kudos to this shoe company for pointing out the need to even do this.

Speaking of old shoes, I’m guilty of wearing my trusty joggers until they look something like this…

This is BAD!

Runner’s World suggests that you should replace your running shoes once they’ve covered 400 to 500 miles. Of course a shoe’s wear rate can vary, depending on the type of shoe, your weight, your footstrike pattern, and the surfaces you run on, but it’s a good rule of thumb.

I also learned from my handy dandy transition guide, that it’s a good idea to give any new shoes you buy an adequate “break in” period. 50 miles of walking and slowly alternating them into your running rotation before fully making the switch is a good guide.

I’m a nerdy guy and I like spreadsheets, so I put together this fun little “new shoe rule” calculator that you can use to determine when you should consider buying your next pair of new shoes. You can get the calculator here.

Oh, if you are wondering what the shoes are.  They are Altra’s.

You can check them out here.

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