As I train for this year’s races I am forced to deal with the idea that my shoes are on the downward side of being serviceable for another year of races and distance walking. Shoes if you wear them to walk around for a day of shopping only wear out when they burst at the seams and fall apart. If you use your shoes for fitness then there is a definite time when they no longer provide the kind of support and protection you need from your shoes. It all depends on what you do for fitness, the time you spend the the shoes, your feet and yes even your body (how you stand, your gait, and even your weight).
There are lots of guidelines when to replace your shoes, but if you use them for serious running or walking you know when they start to loose their effectiveness and it is time to replacement. That is the easy part. The hard part is fining a new pair of shoes. In the runner’s world the running shoe is constantly evolving and their are hundreds if not thousands of models out there. I can’t imagine how you pick a new shoe if your model has been discontinued.
If you are a serious distance walker it is much harder as there are not many shoes made specifically for walking. Walking is significantly different body motion than running and the shoes are just as different. Putting on running shoes and walking a half marathon doesn’t really work. I have had many sports fitness stores convince me otherwise and I have sent many perfectly good running shoes to Goodwill after blisters and other foot problems training wearing those shoes. I have learned my lesson and restrict my purchases now to shoes designed for just distance/fitness walking. So I am back to my favorite maker of walking shoes and weighing out current model one looks best to plunk my hard-earned cash down on. It is time to start breaking in a new pair of walking shoes. My feet are telling me to retire my current pair.