Runners! How important is having multiple pairs of shoes?

kshadows
kshadows Posts: 1,315 Member
Now that my running has gotten quite serious, I'm trying to make sure I cover all my bases. All 3 stores I've talked to told me I should buy two pairs of sneakers and switch out. Their logic sounds solid but at the same time, two $100+ pairs of shoes is a little daunting (even though technically I'd only need to buy one more pair) and coming from a shop, I can't help but feel like maybe they are just looking to get the most bang for my buck.

Do you have two (or more) pairs of sneakers? Do you rotate them out every time you run? If you do have more than one pair, do you have several of the same or some different ones?
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Replies

  • EmotionalEater84
    EmotionalEater84 Posts: 318 Member
    Bump! Great question for the newbies like me :) I'd love to know the answer to this!!
  • Flab2fitfi
    Flab2fitfi Posts: 1,349 Member
    I have a couple of pairs as i pick them up in the sale plus if one pair get wet i can swap them over. Must admit i'm a bit of a running shoe addict though.
  • Marcel182
    Marcel182 Posts: 143 Member
    Hey! For me, I've used my Nike Free for a long time until they got so beat up I just had to buy new ones. The only reason I bought two pairs is I needed one for the gym and one for running outside. I can't really see a reason why you'd absolutely need two pairs to perform the same kind of training though.
  • Capt_Apollo
    Capt_Apollo Posts: 9,028 Member
    you don't have to buy them at the same time. you can buy one pair now, and one pair later. i think the whole multiple pair of sneakers is just so that you give them a chance to breathe. running shoes can get funky!! at the moment i have about 4 pairs of running sneakers.
  • Biggirllittledreams
    Biggirllittledreams Posts: 306 Member
    It's that, or you buy a new pair even sooner.

    I always buy new shoes when mine are worn out, which is gauged by when the bridges are bad. If you swap out your shoes, the bridges take longer to wear out, and if you use one pair, the bridges go bad sooner. So, it's financially the same situation.

    I could be mistaken as i'm not a 'pro runner', but i don't see the point honestly. Just keep an eye on the quality of your shoes, and make sure to replace them when they're worn out, to ensure you don't develop injuries.
  • Hophead43
    Hophead43 Posts: 1,634 Member
    I'm just starting out and have only been using one pair. There may be something to the multi pair thing but I kinda feel like I have a pair I like and they are broken in why switch out?? I have a friend that run a lot and he only uses a single pair. You may be right about the store trying to score more money.
  • hmfpatel
    hmfpatel Posts: 2 Member
    I've never been told that, I think they want you to buy more shoes! I've only been told to get new ones after a certain amount of miles ran (I think 500 or 600?). And I have got my running shoes from a running shop and been to a physio about my running.
  • SonicDeathMonkey80
    SonicDeathMonkey80 Posts: 4,489 Member
    There's a study that says runners who rotate shoes have a 39% less risk of injury

    http://www.runnersworld.com/injury-prevention-recovery/study-backs-rotating-shoes-to-lower-injury-risk
    You've probably been told that running in two or more pairs of shoes throughout the week can lower your risk of injury. According to a first-of-its-kind study, you've probably been told correctly, as runners who rotated among multiple models during the 22-week study had a 39% lower risk of running injury than those who almost always ran in the same shoes.

    Researchers in Luxembourg gathered information on training volume, injury rate, cross-training, shoe usage and other variables from 264 adult recreational runners. During the 22-week study, 87 of the 264 runners suffered at least one running-related injury, which the researchers defined as "a physical pain or complaint located at the lower limbs or lower back region, sustained during or as a result of running practice and impeding planned running activity for at least one day."

    Of the 264 runners, 116 were classified as single-shoe wearers; runners in this group did 91% of their mileage in the same shoe, and ran in an average of 1.3 pairs of shoes during the study. The other 148 were classified as multiple-shoe wearers; runners in this group tended to have a main shoe, which they wore for an average of 58% of their mileage, but they rotated among an average of 3.6 pairs of shoes for their training during the study.

    Once they crunched the numbers, the researchers found that the multiple-shoe wearers had a 39% lower risk of injury during the study period than the single-shoe wearers.

    The researchers wrote that this could well be because different shoes distribute the impact forces of running differently, thereby lessening the strain on any given tissue. Previous research has shown, and runners have long intuitively felt, that factors such as midsole height and midsole firmness create differences in gait components such as stride length and ground reaction time.

    As the researchers put it, "the concomitant use of different pairs of running shoes will provide alternation in the running pattern and vary external and active forces on the lower legs during running activity. Whether the reduced [injury] risk can be ascribed to alternation of different shoe characteristics, such as midsole densities, structures or geometries cannot be determined from these results and warrants future research."

    Supporting this idea of reducing injury risk by varying tissue loads, the researchers also found that runners who reported more cross-training had a lower incidence of injury.

    "Multiple shoe use and participation in other sporting activities are strategies leading to a variation of external and internal loads applied to the musculoskeletal system that could have a beneficial effect on [running injuries]. Although speculative, it could be that any training paradigm that limits excess repetitions will decrease the risk of [running injuries], especially overuse injuries," the researchers wrote.

    The research was published in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports.
  • corehawk
    corehawk Posts: 41 Member
    I believe in having two pairs. The Army made us alternate our combat boots for the same reasons. We had one pair with a knot tied in the laces and one without. We had 'knot days' and 'no-knot' days in basic training.

    It isn't more expensive in the long run (pun intended), you just have to spend more up front.
  • jnord8729
    jnord8729 Posts: 234 Member
    Actually it is true and not just marketing, to a point. Having 2 pairs of running shoes and rotating them out actually makes them last longer for two reasons. One it makes sure they can dry out after the last run. Two, and most importantly, it allows the shoes more time to return to their manufactured shape before you start pounding on them again. In other words, the cushioning returns closer to it's normal softness and motion control returns more closely to it's factory arch shape.

    Plus if you run often and for long distances (like 5 miles plus 4 or 5 days a week), then your feet can actually start to form to the shape of the shoe if you use the same shoe over and over. If you only run 2 or 3 miles 2 or 3 times a week, you probably don't have anything to worry about this though.

    So to answer your question, if your shoes can take more miles if you have 2 pairs and rotate them. If you run a LOT, it can help prevent foot issues long term.
  • VastBreak
    VastBreak Posts: 322 Member
    Yes, even though I'm not a serious runner, I swap out shoes. I was told it takes about 30 hours for your sneakers to dry completely! If you allow to dry between runs it helps the structure of your shoes to not break down and last longer.
    My serious running fiends swap out shoes each day and coordinate which shoe to wear depending on the run. One shoe for long, one for short fast runs, one for hills, ect.
    Many people also go online and buy same exact shoe for less. Support shoe store but also save some money.
  • litsy3
    litsy3 Posts: 783 Member
    I'm just starting out and have only been using one pair. There may be something to the multi pair thing but I kinda feel like I have a pair I like and they are broken in why switch out?? I have a friend that run a lot and he only uses a single pair. You may be right about the store trying to score more money.

    Because if you buy another pair the same you can start breaking them in before your current pair wears out. Then you won't go straight from trashed old shoes to stiff new ones.
  • 4legsRbetterthan2
    4legsRbetterthan2 Posts: 19,494 MFP Moderator
    love to see carson weight in on this one......

    I know most people have a road pair and an offroad pair if they go offroading, I also know alot of serious racers will have a lighter pair to wear race day so they can go faster. Not sure if there is a benefit to having differet shoes on when you do different types of runs?
  • Flab2fitfi
    Flab2fitfi Posts: 1,349 Member
    I would buy just one pair that the store recommend -- I presume after a gait analysis and see how you get on with them. THEN keep an eye out on online sales etc to pick up another pair. I live in a very wet part of the country and run 5 out of 7 days so they can get a bit wet and stinky.
  • Marcel182
    Marcel182 Posts: 143 Member
    I'm just starting out and have only been using one pair. There may be something to the multi pair thing but I kinda feel like I have a pair I like and they are broken in why switch out?? I have a friend that run a lot and he only uses a single pair. You may be right about the store trying to score more money.
    This! My outside shoes have been well worn in and fit like a dream. I feel like switching between pairs would only... err, confuse my feet, I guess?
  • mlt2908
    mlt2908 Posts: 123 Member
    Since I run both at home (on weekends and on the days I work from home) and also run on the days I'm in the office, I have a pair for home and a pair for the office. I have other pairs also because once they start getting worn out a bit, I use them for when I'm on the elliptical or biking. So, I have a LOT of running shoes sitting around. If I am going a longer distance, I wear the newer ones with more support. If I'm only going about 3, I can get by using a pair that is a little more worn. As far as having two pairs of shoes to alternate, I figure those two pairs of shoes will last you twice as long as running in just one pair all the time. I find my shoes do wear out fast and even though they look okay on the outside, the insides seem a little mushy or soft and the bottoms (mainly my heels) get worn down.
  • Do you have two (or more) pairs of sneakers? 2 pairs.
    Do you rotate them out every time you run? Yes, I alternate each day.
    f you do have more than one pair, do you have several of the same or some different ones? A pair of NB Trail Minimus and a pair of NB Leadville.
  • Flab2fitfi
    Flab2fitfi Posts: 1,349 Member
    love to see carson weight in on this one......

    I know most people have a road pair and an offroad pair if they go offroading, I also know alot of serious racers will have a lighter pair to wear race day so they can go faster. Not sure if there is a benefit to having differet shoes on when you do different types of runs?

    Off roaders have a lot more grip and usually less support. i have a pair of fell runners that are difficult to wear on tarmac and road shoes that are fine for trails running but would be useless for mud run etc. i also have a pair that are trail with extra grip but can cpe with pavement as i tend to do different types of racing.
  • CoffeeNBooze
    CoffeeNBooze Posts: 977 Member
    I don't think it's important. I've only ever used one pair at a time. When they get old and lose their spring and comfort, then I can usually afford another pair.
  • belgerian
    belgerian Posts: 1,057 Member
    Myself noI just buy one pair and use them up. But It would be nice to have at least two as they do get wet and muddy at time. I can just set them out and let them dry. Actually I do have two I have a gortex lined pair for winter and breathable lightweight for summer. I know thats not what you were asking.