Breaking in new shoes

Having run 1100 miles in my first pair of running shoes, I'm thinking of getting a new pair. I was wondering if anyone has any advice for breaking in the new pair whilst still running races in the old pair.


  • Nick,

    It's worth bearing in mind that 500-600 miles is pretty reasonable mileage for a pair of shoes! This is not just the manufacturer's way of getting us to buy more shoes. Just feel the difference between the midsole on your 1100 mile pair compared to a new pair of the same model.

    From personal experience I would suggest that you go to a specialist running store and take your old pair with you (so they can advise you) and buy 2 new pairs if you possibly can. That way you can spread the wear between them and not have your current worry about wearing them in before you ditch the old pair.

    It shouldn't take too many miles to wear a new pair in as long as you get something suitable. Good advice should help you make the right choice first time.
  • Thanks for the info. I must admit that I thought that the '500-600 miles' that I'd seen banded about was a manufacturer's ploy.
  • As regards breaking them in, just run a few gentle runs in them - a short-to-medium distance recovery run is an ideal one to debut them. After that, gradually increase their use over about 2 weeks until you're using them for everything.

    Do NOT do what I've done before, and break them in with a short fast run (5K at race pace i my case). This has led to a spate of foot injuries for me and is not a good idea!
  • ooops, didn't realise you were supposed to break in shoes! why did they not tell me in the shop? my first run with the new shoes was a 2.5mile run with 6 hill reps in the middle. the next run was a slow 7.3mile run. Psi, should i look at keeping my milage down for the next week or so?
  • Susannah,

    It is normally a good idea to break shoes in whilst you still have another pair that are usable. The trick is to overlap i.e. buy a new pair before the old ones are dead.

    However, if the new pair are OK and they are all you have then great. Don't keep your mileage down but if you have another pair of (worn-in) shoes it may be an idea to split the mileage between pairs.

    The problem comes if a new shoe irritates you anywhere or, worse, injures you. If they are all you have it can be tempting to keep on with them.

    Also, it can sometimes take a while to adapt to new shoes if they have different cushioning or stability. It's why when you find a style that really suits it's best to stick with them.

    Hope this helps/makes sense!
  • I think some people advocate having two (or more) pairs on the go at once. I can see the benefit in doing this - means the shoe isn't sweaty day after day, and any defects that one pair might have could be absent in the other pairs.

    I do this - one pair for street runs and another for treadmill. Seems to work OK.

    Ask Santa !
  • I'm glad I asked the question now
  • I was just wondering how you can tell your old trainers are knackered, I suspect mine are on the way out because mild shin splints have returned , would this be a fair indication? ( HAvnt had splints for ages ) Also does anyone know if reebok gaurentee (sp) their hexalite heel inserts as I have yet to find any that last more than a month or so without leaking
  • While 1100 miles on one pair of shoes is a lot, runners break down shoes at different rates - some much sooner than others. You should replace shoes when they are no longer working for you. As for breaking in new shoes, most of the shoes today do not need a great deal of time to break in. A couple of runs should do it. I've raced in shoes with less than 5 miles on them (Asics). Happy running. DL
  • Mercury,

    Shin splints may well be a sign that your shoes are not offering you enough cushioning as the midsole on a shoe is the first part of a shoe that will break down. It is hard to tell (although the amount of creasing in the midsole and the feel/density of it may give some indication compared to a new pair) and as David says, different runners put different stress on shoes which will wear them at different rates.

    As previously mentioned in this thread, the best thing to do is to go to a specialist running shop and get some advice on your existing footwear and what they recommend.
  • Thanks Devil , I am going to up and running in York for advise, just as soon as the plumber and washing machine repair man have made an appearence !
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