Put simply a running shoe rotation is exactly as it sounds. It is using more than one pair of shoes across your different training sessions. Unfortunately this doesn’t mean 2 pairs of your favourite model in 2 different colours haha.
A Running shoe rotation is using 2 or more different styles of runners to take advantage of their specific purposes for training, injury prevention or racing purposes.
Getting your running shoe rotation right can reduce injury risk, enhance your performance and prolong the lifespan of your favourite runners.
Below are some great practical examples of why a running shoe rotation makes a lot of sense:
Having a Rotation allows you to get the most out of your training
As an experienced runner you are running different types of sessions with different goals in mind.
This is often a mix of quicker speed type sessions like intervals and fartlek, longer distance runs at a comfortable pace to build time on legs and some easy k’s to absorb your training load.
From a training perspective these sessions are there to achieve different outcomes and picking footwear with suitable features will allow you to get the most out of your training.
For longer runs, a shoe with stability and cushioning like the Brooks Ghost or Hoka Clifton is ideal to take impact away from your body and help reduce fatigue.
For the shorter interval sessions a lighter shoe that is responsive to the ground and helps you hit top pace easily such as the Saucony Kinvara or Brooks Launch are great options.
Picking the right shoe for the right job can help you train and perform better just like a golfer picking the right club to make the shot.
Running shoe rotation helps vary the load on your body
Running is a very repetitive sport and a lot of injuries suffered are due to overuse of certain structures.
We know that using different styles of runners can change the mechanics of our running style or the way we move.
If you use the same runners for every run this could potentially lead to overload as the structures that are working hard will continue to cop it.
Something as simple as using different styles of shoes across the week can help to change up the way you use your feet and legs over time allowing you to mix up the stress on your body and remain injury free.
Prolonging the life of your runners
Your running shoes contain a material known as Ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) in the midsole. The EVA provides shock absorption and cushioning as well as support in your runners.
This EVA midsole is the bulk of your shoe and just like our bodies the midsole needs time to recover between runs. This is because as we run we compress the EVA and it can take a day for the foam to bounce back.
If you are rotating between shoes you are giving your footwear more chances to recover between runs.
You are also sharing the miles between more than one pair of footwear meaning it will take you longer to accumulate the 800-1000kms that most shoes will become non viable to run in.
How to use a running shoe rotation to smash your goals.
The best place to start is learning/understanding the design features of runners and the purposes that they suit. From there you can build a setup that you are comfortable with and fits in with your goals.
As podiatrists we are experts in all things running footwear and are happy to help steer you in the right direction or review your current setup.
Specialist Footwear retailers such as Active Feet which are podiatry based are awesome to get you into the right shoes for the right activities.
If you are experiencing a running related injury, or would like some advice on running footwear you can book an appointment online at https://www.profeetpodiatry.com.au/book-online or you can contact me at [email protected]