There are a specific set of rules with the transition of running shoes. Transitioning to a new running shoe, or completely changing them all together requires a protocol. No one pair of shoes is the same. Even the exact same pair, year, and model are different because they are a man-made product and every pair will vary slightly. Whether you’re looking to transition to a more minimalist model, or simply don the exact same pair, you need to allow time for adaptation.
At Grounded Running Beaufort, we want to ensure that every runner is able to do what they love… RUN! If we focus on transition we will reduce the possibility of being sidelined due to an overuse injury coming from our shoes. As our shoes wear, the flexibility improves. With an increase in flexibility comes a decrease in support. With a decrease in support comes a larger requirement of strength. Even the wear pattern will change how your foot interacts with the ground. Luckily our body is great at adaptation. As the rubber wears and flexibility increases, our joints and muscles adapt to the change. The slow wear process makes the transformation possible. The mistake most runners commit is transitioning too fast from an old to new shoe. Unfortunately, there comes a point where the cushioning and support reach a critical point of needing replacement.
How to Transition
The key here is to wean into a new pair. Ideally, you would have a rotation of two pairs that are >6 weeks apart. What if your shoes still have some life in them? Then keep them in the rotation until you feel they’re toast. A simple four week rotation can allow for enough to allow the appropriate acclimatization.
How to begin:
When you go home with your new pair of shoes, we’ll call them Shoe 1 (old) and Shoe 2 (new). You’ll start the transition four weeks out from changing.
Shoe 1 60% mileage Shoe 2 40% mileage
Shoe 1 40% mileage Shoe 2 60% mileage
Shoe 1 20% mileage Shoe 2 80% mileage
If you’re one of those runners with a spreadsheet of every run you did (guilty), don’t freak out and start spending time working out the exact mileage (#runnerd). Twenty percent can be a single run. Maybe an easy run? The point is to spread out the transition as you break in your new pair. Once you’re into the new pair spend your time training in the latter pair until you feel they’re on their way out.
Stick to what your foot knows!
If your foot is used to a specific flexibility, stiffness, and support. Jumping into a brand new shoe, even the same exact one, can be devastating if you go cold-turkey. Transition slowly. If you start to experience pain of any sorts with your transition, slow down and add your old shoes back into the mix. Make this change slowly will keep you running and keep you out on the road!
As always, Good Form Running, with a focus on Posture, Lean, Foot Strike and Cadence will keep your body healthy! Stay Grounded my friends!
About Grounded Running Beaufort: We opened our specialty running store, “Grounded Running” in Beaufort, SC to support the local community and fill a need for top running brands, including running shoes, apparel, accessories and nutritional products in an ever growing community. As a lifetime runner we are passionate about promoting overall health and support our neighbors to meet their own personal goals. For runners, by runners. It’s easy to lose yourself, we’re here to help you Stay Grounded!