Should you rotate your shoes?

Rotate your shoes more often? Maybe not, if you are concerned about plantar pressures. But do increased plantar pressures actually cause injuries? That is the million dollar question, isn't it?


from this paper:

  • Footwear characteristics have been implicated as a cause of foot pain (1)
  • Ill fitting footwear has been associated with foot pain.(2)
  • Individually fitted sport shoes were found to be effective in reducing the incidence of foot fatigue.(3)
  • There is an association between using inappropriate footwear and injuries.(4) 
  • An association between injuries and the age of sport shoes has been reported. (5)
  • The recommendations are that running shoes need to be changed every 500 - 700 kilometres as they lose their shock-absorbing capabilities.(6)
  • Elevated plantar pressures cause increased foot pain in people with cavus feet.(7)

"Walking plantar pressures in running shoes need to be investigated. There are no pedobarographic studies in the literature that compare new with old running shoes. We hypothesized that old running shoes transmitted higher plantar pressures as compared to new running shoes. If so, are old running shoes detrimental to our feet? The purpose of this study was to see whether the mean peak pressures & pressure-time integrals exerted at the plantar surface of feet were higher when using old running shoes as compared to new running shoes.

Plantar pressure measurements in general were higher in new running shoes. This could be due to the lack of flexibility in new running shoes. The risk of injury to the foot and ankle would appear to be higher if running shoes are changed frequently. We recommend breaking into new running shoes slowly using them for mild physical activity.

 Rethnam U, Makwana N. Are old running shoes detrimental to your feet? A pedobarographic study. BMC Research Notes. 2011;4:307. doi:10.1186/1756-0500-4-307. link to FREE FULL TEXT


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