How many running shoes?

The Recreational Running level 2 coaching course (with Athletics Australia) at the weekend discussed some of the reasons why you might own more than one pair of running shoes.  Its good news if you like shopping!

If you’re out for a long run it can be a good idea to have more cushioning in your shoe which will result in less elastic utilisation and be less responsive.  However, if you’re doing a quality interval training session, using a shoe with less cushioning can increase elastic utilisation in your foot.

When you run your forward motion is made up of 50% ankle elasticity (think less muscle recruitment, more ‘bounce’), 35% hip power and 15% knee.

So how many shoes do you really need?

  • If you run 3 times per week -> 1 pair of shoes is fine
  • If you run 3-5 times per week -> 2 pairs of shoes is a good idea
  • If you run 5+ times per week -> 3 shoes is recommended

As muscular or strength endurance is one of the most important components of fitness for running, its also suggested that long runs should include surface variation i.e. sand, grass, tarmac etc.

One Reply to “How many running shoes?”

  1. This is great advice! I was just chatting with an athlete of mine last week and he was asking about how I recommend a shoe rotation and variation throughout the week. Since he is only running a few times weekly for short amounts I told him it’s not terribly important to have different pairs of shoes. One thing I did mention was that having a second pair that is the same model as your current pair can be nice to rotate between the two so when the older pair is ready for retirement you have a new pair already in rotation 🙂

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