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Here’s How Many Pairs Of Shoes You Should Run In

If you’ve been running for awhile, chances are you have amassed quite the running shoe collection. The question is, how many pairs of those shoes should you actually be rotating through during training?

When To Add An Additional Pair

“If you run 2 miles two or three times per week or if running is not a consistent part of your regular athletic or health practices, one pair of shoes is fine”explains John Schrup, Territory Manager for Skechers Performance, Texas Region. “If the frequency of your running averages every other day or greater, then perhaps you should consider a second pair. If you are running five times per week or more, a second pair is highly recommended to help reduce the chance of injury.”

The typical mileage you should put on your shoes before replacing them is 300-500 miles (yes, that is a broad range). Schrup says to consider weight, type of shoe, ground surfaces and even your personal mechanics and efficiency.

“Ultimately, the best way to know when shoes are ready for lawn mowing duty is to go by feel,” he adds. “When they no longer feel like they are ‘right,’ it is time for new kicks. Err on the side of caution.”

Feel is also the single most important variable in shoe selection and Schrup adds that the way the shoe feels on your feet is the best determinant as to your correct shoe.

How To Rotate Through Shoes

Should you be a runner that needs to rotate through two pairs of shoes, you will generally use a lighter pair for your short, fast efforts. Schrup doesn’t wear the same pair of shoes on successive days—unless wear-testing a new model—based purely on superstition. So, you have some wiggle room to rotate based on what works for you.

As for what pair is best to wear on race day, the one that makes you feel faster is the pair to go with. This will generally be the lighter pair you train in. However, according to Schrup, “If your shoes are of similar weight, wear the pair that disappears most on your feet—the pair that feels most like it is a part of your body.”

Ashley Lauretta

Ashley Lauretta is the freelance web editor for Women's Running. A freelance journalist, she is the assistant editor at LAVA Magazine and has written for espnW, ELLE, Men's Journal, VICE Sports, Health and more. Find her online at ashleylauretta.com and on Twitter at @ashley_lauretta.