I’ve recently uncovered or rediscovered some of my old articles that I wrote when managing a run specialist store in the West of Ireland. I’m going to reblog them here for your benefit.

This one on how to break-in new running shoes was one of the most popular as it is an area that causes people most problems.

Feel free to share. 🙂

There’s great excitement getting fitted out for new running shoes. So much so that the overwhelming temptation when you get home is to pull them out of the box tie them up and head right out that door for an AWESOME first run!! 🙂

Unfortunately it may not be that easy.

There are a few things you need to know about breaking in new running shoes…

Ok, it is really exciting. You’ve been fitted by the store, properly measured, videoed, advised, checked, tried a few pairs on and finally settled on your choice of your new running buddies, the ones ready to go the distance with you in training and racing.
These shoes are right for you so you should be able to go ahead and crank out the miles, right?
Sort of but not necessarily.
There are a couple of things we generally advice for everyone on wearing in your new shoes (technically I think the days of ‘breaking in’ shoes is done) so they work with you rather than against you.

#1 – Walk Around in them

When you get that new pair of running shoes, don’t immediately start to run in them. Walk around the house for a few days in them. This is to loosen them up a bit, form the sole to your foot and to check for any seams or stitching that might catch you out on a run.

If the new running shoes do not feel right when walking around, they definitely will not work for you during a run and this is the opportune time to bring them back to us so we can sort out any issues.

#2 – Phase Them in

Now that you have worn them around the house for a few days and they feel good, you need to actually start running in the shoes.

Phase the new shoes into your running routine gradually, don’t heat out for your longest long run in a brand new shoe!!

For instance if you typically run five days a week, use the new shoes for only a day or two for the first two weeks. A very gradual increase in use until over several weeks until the new running shoes are used for every single run. You are phasing your older shoes out and they should then become your short distance shoes or recovery day shoe.

We don’t want you running in dead shoes but rotating and overlapping is a great way to blend the old with the new. Pay attention to how the shoes feel especially the older ones.

#3 – A Perfect Fit

Running shoes should fit great from the moment you put them on, that’s why we take so much time working to get it right at the fitting with #GottaRun.

‘Breaking in’ will not fix any problems with the way your shoes feel when you first try them.

The purpose of the break in process is to prevent problems with great fitting shoes, not to overcome problems from ill-fitting ones. Share on X

If the shoe does not feel comfortable or causes pain, you got to get back to us right away and by feeding this information back to us we can figure out what is going wrong – we know shoes and there is a reason for each recommendation. If it is wrong we might be able to pinpoint why.

# 4 – The rest of you

Remember that the feet are connected to the rest of the body and if your back hurts during the time you are breaking in the new shoes, then it might be the shoes, even if your feet feel fine.

There are lots of mechanical things happening when you are running and the structure of the shoe or the way you run may have an effect on your posture and kinetic chain. Again, all this feedback is good, make sure and talk to us about it, it is why we say the most important part of #gaitanalysis is the listening bit.

To sum up there is not a whole lot to breaking in new shoes, just a small bit of adjustment is all that is needed both for you and the shoes.

Remember your specialist store is always there to help and if you are even having issue with the running in period you just have to give them a shout in the shop or on Social Media Twitter or Facebook and I guarantee they will look after you. The majority of them do stand over their recommendations, so if you are having trouble with fit, function or performance (they don’t guarantee PB’s!! 😉 ) you can (in most cases) go back to them  within a reasonable period after your purchase and they’ll refit you, exchanging shoes if necessary that’s their commitment to you but please have the shoes in good condition! NO gardening!! 🙂

I’d love to hear your ‘breaking’ in stories. Did everything work out as expected? Do tell me in comments below.

#RunningMatters 🙂