Do You Know When to Replace Your Running Shoes? Here’s Something that Will Tell You When it’s Time
How often do you buy new running shoes? Every 300 miles or six months? Depending on the shoe, your running style, body type and a few other factors, this answer will vary. Unless you keep track, it’s hard to really know.
For several years now, I’ve rotated between two or three pairs of shoes at a time. Currently I do speed work in Saucony Kinvara’s, and easy days in Asics DS Trainers. If I’m running trails I use Nike Kigers, and I do long runs in whatever shoe I wore the furthest day away from my long run.
I’ve never been able to tell exactly when I should change them. Unless I see the rubber wearing off, or was meticulous about tracking the miles, it’s kind of a guessing game. Sometimes I over estimate, sometimes underestimate. It’s not exactly the biggest problem a runner can have, but running in old shoes can definitely lead to injury.
Recently, RunMino reached out to the blog to see if we might be interested in trying and reviewing their device. It is something designed to help runners know when their shoes have run flat. Curious and always interested in new running gadgetry, I happily accepted.
I’ve only had them a week or so, but here’s what I can tell you so far about the mino. Keep reading to see how you can win a free one to try.
What Are the Minos?
The mino is a small shoe insert that goes under your sock liner and calculates compression in your running shoe. By pressing a little button, six led lights tell you how many miles you have left on your shoes. There’s an indicator for 300, 350 and 400 miles.
The current mino is about 2.5mm thick, and weighs under 1/2 oz. It’s not reusable, but will work in any shoe, on the treadmill, trails – anywhere you run. They are made in Massachusetts and cost just $15.
How do They Work?
Here is the official explanation from the mino website.
The mino is calibrated to count 400 miles worth of compressions to the mid-sole of your shoe. When we did our research, manufacturers suggest swapping out full cushion shoes anywhere between 300-500 miles. They design run shoes to be worn out about that many miles. We split the difference and took 400.Every three or four weeks, they suggest pushing the flat “O” button to see where you’re at.
We count compressions vs miles b/c each runner is different and can wear through shoes at a different pace. Each mile is counted at 600 steps per mile, which is the average amount of steps a runner makes (taking into account height, weight, gait length, etc etc). Some take more, some take less. We took the average… We count walk steps and run steps differently in the algorithm and average it all out b/c we have found some people walk and run in the shoes (and cross-train).
Who Should Buy These?
If you’re not good about keeping track of your shoe mileage, this product is for you. I’ve talked to many runners who complain about various nagging injuries that are a result of running shoes way past their due date. If you’re a more casual runner, this little gadget will help prevent that.
Also, if you cycle through multiple pairs of shoes like me, you also may want to try the mino. It’s one less thing to keep track of in addition to your miles, core work, sleep, nutrition, etc.
Something to consider – it does cost $15. It won’t break the bank, but adding that cost to a new pair of running shoes isn’t nothing. Then again, what’s the cost of an injury related to running on dead shoes?
Bottom line – keep track of the miles on your shoes either with the mino or your own system. When in doubt, visit your local running specialty store.
How do they Feel?
One of my biggest questions and hesitations about the mino was how it would feel. I’ve recently switched to a 4mm shoe, and love the “sensitivity” of something a bit more natural.
When I put the minno in my shoe, I could feel it. However, once I started running, I adjusted and totally forgot about it. Since you only need it in one shoe, they also send a spacer that you can put in your other shoe so you don’t feel lopsided. This may or may not be necessary depending on how much you notice the difference (I didn’t use it).
So far (after just a few runs), I can’t feel it, and have no reason to think it is effecting my gait or stride.
What do you think?
Would you try the mino? We’re going to be giving away one each week during July. Simply join the Grand Rounds challenge and we’ll pick a random winner each week until the end of the month.