As the weather warms up I look outside & see an ever-increasing number of people walking past. It can be hard to resist the desire to chase after many of them & tell them “you are in the wrong shoe’.
Should I replace my shoes?
If your shoe feels soft & squishy it probably is past its fatigue point.
The midsoles fatigue often before the shoe is noticeably worn. Midsole fatigue occurs when cyclic loading occurs in running or brisk walking. The shock absorbing midsole fails to rebound it was shown some time ago that this can be the equivalent of running bare feet on asphalt. With 3 or more fitness sessions a week a reasonable guideline is 3 pairs in 2 years. If you wear them around as casual footwear it will shorten the lifespan.
Put your shoes on a flat surface & observe from above to see if the upper has collapsed off to one side. View from behind & see if the heel counter part is deforming off to either side. If these changes are present there is an issue either with you or the shoe. Take these shoes to the retailer & show them because a knowledgeable retailer will interpret this & be able to give you better guidance.

Outsoles aren’t as hardwearing as they once were but it’s probably a good thing as midsoles fatigue quicker than they used to. If you have worn through the outsole & exposed the midsole it’s probably time to replace the shoe.
What should I buy?
Running shoes are designed to run in a relatively straight line on a relatively level surface. They are available in mesh & knit uppers, as manufacturers want to make shoes lighter. This compromises stability & durability if you are going to use the shoes in stop/start change of direction activities such as in the gym.
Cross Trainers were discussed an earlier blog & sadly this category is decreasing.
Designed as a 1 shoe for a range of activities it provided footwear suitable for almost every activity, even the occasional short run. Good shock absorption, durable outsoles & uppers made cross trainers are very good choice especially for fitness walking.
Tennis shoes are no longer the heavy clumpy shoes; I now consider tennis shoes to be the alternative to cross trainers. They are particularly hard wearing.
Netball shoes also exhibit all the good characteristics of cross trainers & tennis shoes.
Cross Fit shoes are a relatively new category of shoes marketed for use in the gym. They have more structured heel & rearfoot to cope with the lifting, heaving, pushing & shoving. However this means that this category is not suitable for anything other than workouts in the gym.
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