Running on Good Tires

Be good to your feet. An active person can put on 10,000 steps in a single day. Just like your car tires, your footwear can be “worn out” and put those feet at risk. A good pair of running shoes will wear out “the bottoms” within 300-400 miles. Even if the top of the shoes look clean and unworn, the shock absorption will wear out with miles. Your mileage can vary depending on how much you weigh, what surface you spend the most time on, and how much “pounding “ you do on your feet, whether it’s a few steps around the office or bounding up and down stairs.

Also, wet or damp shoes wear out quicker. If you have sweaty feet at the end of the day, it is good to pull out the sole or insert inside the shoe (as long as it’s not the type that is glued in). Another option is to have 2 pairs of work boots/shoes or exercise shoes. That way they can be rotated every other day. When one pair is being worn, the other has a full day to dry out. Plus, if you buy your second pair when the other is half way worn out, you avoid wearing that last pair 2 weeks past the worn out time just because you haven’t gotten around to the store yet. You will still have that spare until you get around to replacing those you’ve worn out.

Many places use black mats at concrete work stations. Those also lose their shock absorption ability after a year or so, depending on how much traffic they get.

Shock absorbers can add to cushioning your feet. There is nothing wrong with adding shock absorbers, but remember, that’s all they will do. If you need more arch or heel support, you probably need more than foam inserts. Every time you add something to the inside of your shoe, there is less room for your foot. If the shoe has laces, loosen them up. If there are no laces or other ways to loosen them, then a shock absorber may not be a good option. To give a little more room, again, remove the bottom insert that is already inside. If you don’t remember how many miles are on your shoes, a worn out insert is a good indicator that you already waited too long. Toss ‘em and get a replacement set of tires.

Interested in developing an Occupational Health program tailored to your company's needs?

To discuss options, call