A question that has been around as long as shoes themselves, so what is the answer? From a podiatrist’s point of view, I’ll always recommend YES.
Almost everyone has a horror story of a brand-new pair of runners they took out for a run and limped home with blisters or a new pair of work shoes that had their feet aching towards the end of your first day in them.
There are several factors at play which will influence exactly what “wearing in” a pair of shoes means. For example, wearing in a pair of new runners won’t always be the same as wearing in a pair of work shoes.
In this article I’ll take you through some of the why, how and what to look out for when wearing in a pair of new shoes.
Why should you wear in a pair of shoes?
- New shoes mean a change of sensory input into the feet and lower limbs
- Change can be as good as a holiday, although it can also create issues if the feet aren’t conditioned for those changes
- New shoes will typically fit slightly differently, even if it is the same pair, due to the wear and tear or stretching out of the old pair
How should you start wearing new shoes in?
Buying new shoes before your old pair are completely worn out
- One of the biggest mistakes people make is replacing an extremely worn out pair with a new pair for 100% of the day, it’s a big shock to the system
- This way the new and old pairs can be interchanged until the new pair is comfortable worn in
Gradual transition into the new pair
- Don’t start off a new pair of shoes with your longest runs or a full day at work
- Walks instead of a run or wearing your work shoes for a few trips to the supermarket
will give you a good sense of how well you are adapting into the new pair
Don’t push through the early warning signs
- If your feet begin to hurt or you feel rubbing quickly after having a new shoe on take it as a sign you’ve done too much too soon, next time only wear the shoes for a shorter amount of time
- If the pain persists it may be worth speaking to your podiatrist about whether the shoes are right for you or solutions we may have to work around the wearing in process
Wearing the new shoes around the house
- Even sitting around the house on a lazy afternoon is considered wearing a new pair
of shoes in
- It’s low impact, low stress and a great first step for those of you that have real
trouble wearing shoes in
What should you look out for when wearing in a new pair of shoes?
- Hot spots; any area that quickly feels like a point of excess pressure or rubbing is
likely going to cause issues if the shoes are worn too often too soon
- Big changes in shoe structure; such as going from a really stiff soled shoe to a flexible
soled shoe or vice versa
- If simply updating to a new version of your same shoe assessing how worn out your
old pair actually and comparing that to the new pair
- A history of issues when wearing in new shoes is always a warning sign that you
should take things slow with your next pair
In summary, SLOW and STEADY wins the race. Wear a pair of shoes in gradually, listen to your body and your feet will thank you for it.
If you are considering an update of your shoes and still have some questions or even if you would like to know how appropriate your current shoes are, feel free to drop me an email or book in for an assessment, I’m here to help.