Running shoes : less, more, how many is enough?

Her – “Now you’ve finished your marathon, can you do something with your shoes?”

Him – “What do you mean, they’re fine?”

Her – “Bernie! Look at that pile!”

Him – “Oh, wait, I see what you mean…”

I’m sure every runner has had this conversation at some point, either (reluctantly) with their partner, or (even more reluctantly) with themselves.

Maybe you have a race coming up. You get a new pair of shoes because your careworn runners are looking ragged, but you don’t throw out the old ones. They’re backup. Insurance in case you don’t get on with your new trainers.

Or maybe you’re upping the mileage so you go to a two-shoe routine, alternating pairs so your shoes can dry out and the foam has time to recover between runs.

Or maybe you’ve introduced speedwork into your runs and you’ve added a speedy pair to your stable. Or spikes for track, or studded for trail.

Or maybe, you’ve done all three…

What constitutes too many shoes, anyway?

What constitutes too many shoes, anyway?

The trainer jumble starts to evolve, spill out of its tidy little storage place, but what do you do? Are you ready to part with the old pairs? Are some of them being worn as utility trainers for gardening or perhaps the cool ones double as casual wear?

It’s a conundrum that all runners have to face at some point. Which trainers need to go to the giant shoe box in the sky, which will pass inspection and live another day.

For me, today is not that day. I’m putting it off and procrastinating. By looking for new shoes.

I’m after a pair of road/trail hybrid shoes which will give me better grip in the muddy parts of the Heath but not feel like running in treacle on the pavement while I’m getting there, while suiting a neutral runner with a mid foot strike. Anyone have any suggestions?
Happy running everyone!


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Hi, I’m Bernie and I’m a just guy who writes about the things which get me going and get me running, even though my running is never going to result in me standing on a podium!

Posted on November 2, 2013, in Blog, Running Shoes and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. I don’t think you need to part with them, you just need an IKEA storage solution! Great post- I might do a reply post to you later on this! 🙂

  2. I have so had that problem. In the end my wife lays down the law. One pair for now, one old pair for casual and sometimes one being broken in. One word of warning from bitter experience. Don’t be tempted back to old worn out shoes because they are comfortable. I did that and spent two months out with a shin splint injury.

    • That’s a strict regimen! I’m not sure I could keep that up!
      And I most certainly agree about old shoes – I did myself the same disservice running on an old pair of shoes as you did, the dreaded shin pain.

  3. I keep my pile of shoes spread out. I usually have two pair of shoes at work. These are older shoes that I would only run 10K or so in – just what I have time for at lunch.
    I have 1 or 2 pair by the back door for yard work. By the front door I have 2 more pairs. These are my current running shoes that only get taken out for a run, no yard work in the Newtons!
    There are groups that collect and recycle old shoes. I’ve only dumped about half of the shoes I’ve purchased over the past 11 years. I think after the New Year I will need to purge my collection.

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