Gym memberships are expensive, home equipment ain’t cheap, but at least running is one affordable way to exercise, right? While generally speaking, running is indeed free, it’s essential to wear proper shoes to prevent injuries, and supportive, well-made sneakers can come in at up to $150 a pop. Over time, the cost of running shoes can seriously add up, and while it’s not recommended to settle for cheap alternatives, there are certain ways you can prolong the life of your shoes to save money while keeping your feet protected.
Rotate Between Pairs
While this method may cost you more money upfront, alternating between two or more pairs of running shoes can make a significant difference in how long each pair lasts. The force placed on the insoles as your feet hit the pavement can cause them to get squashed down, and rotating between pairs gives the foam time to decompress. It’s also important to wear breathable, moisture-wicking socks to keep your feet dry, as the moisture from sweat can also cause shoe materials to break down.
Washing machines use agitation and hot water to remove dirt and odors from clothing, but when it comes to shoes, they can weaken the glue bonds and damage the material. Smelly as your shoes may be, avoid the temptation to toss them in the washing machine and opt to clean them by hand instead. Gently scrub off any dirt with a soft brush or damp rag and remove the insoles to air them out separately.
Consider the Terrain
Abrasive surfaces like concrete, asphalt, and uneven trails provide little shock absorption and can put stress on the outsoles of your shoes, potentially causing them to wear out faster. To keep your shoes in tip top shape, limit your runs on these surfaces and stick with synthetic rubber tracks, treadmills, or even grass.