I recently experienced some heel pain and went to see my podiatrist. Her verdict: time to switch out the cross trainers! While I track my running shoes (more or less) I find it harder to track the usage of my cross trainers. After all, there is no rule of thumb based on mileage for cross-trainers. I have worn them to different classes, from BodyPump, kickboxing, to dance. In fact, the only reason that drove me to see the podiatrist was heel pain from the sides of my heel bone, below my achilles tendon.
My podiatrist took a look at my shoe (always bring your shoes to see the podiatrist!) and explained that it looked worn. At first, I was puzzled because it looks pretty clean to me, but she pointed out that she saw some wear on the treads and noticed that the shoe is not as stiff as it should be for a cross trainer shoe. I asked her what she thought of the more flexible and lighter “minimum shoes” and she replied, “They keep us pretty busy.” This sentiment echoes that of my sports medicine doctor.
So a good pair of shoes is quite important in keeping injury-free. Having had multiple experience with how much injuries suck and having two kids makes me ill-afford to be injured.
So what makes for a good cross trainer?
Well, for one, there should be stiffness and firmness in the heel. If you pinch the heel area, there should not be any give.
For good support, secondly, you should also not be able to bend your shoe.
So basically, as the pictures above shows, I did need to get new shoes. I have read somewhere that for cross training shoes the general guideline is 100 hours (as opposed to 300 miles for running shoes). I have worn my Nike Air Max shoes since February 2012 (I sometimes alternate them with my Ryka Transition), it is time to say goodbye.
It isn’t until my feet stepped into a new pair of shoes that I felt the major difference. I think from now I will always keep “the next shoes” ready and try them on for comparison. The difference that is felt will tell me when it is time.