Many years ago when I was running many times during the week, someone suggested that I should consider owning and running in 2 pairs of running shoes so that I could alternate them on different days during the week. I can’t remember the reasons/benefits the person said by doing this but over time I learned through experience and talking with others what some of the benefits are obtained by this behavior. I have listed these benefits below:
1. Increases the durability of both shoes: Typically when we run we put pressure on the midsole of the shoe. Over time the midsole becomes “packed” down and loses its ability to protect and perform. However, if a runner gives their shoes about 36 to 48 hours to “rest” it will allow the midsole to not get packed down quite as quickly and hence the shoes will last longer.
2. Decreases the risk of injury: Running on streets and sidewalks can create the same repetitive gait cycle (i.e. foot motion). When this foot motion is multiplied by the many thousands of steps during a run, it can increase the risk of overuse injuries. To combat this, by alternating shoes,a runner can slightly change their foot motion because each shoe behaves slightly different. Therefore, the amount of overuse is slightly modified and can decrease the risk of injuries.
3. Increases motivation: When I am training for something that is difficult for me I will sometimes plan to use my more favorite pair of shoes for an upcoming difficult run or race. It usually is a great feeling putting on a great fitting/performing shoe before heading out on a run.
4. Increased convenience: Some runners like to run from different locations throughout their week. This could be from work, home, and other locations. It can be convenient to have somes hoes at work/school when an opportunity to run arises that you didn’t expect.
5. Increased adaptability: Living here in the Wasatch Front, we have the opportunity to run on many different types of surfaces, such as road, grass, bike trails, and mountain trails. A good pair of “road” shoes will allow runners to run on many different types of surfaces but some runners may prefer a good pair of “trail” shoes when hitting those beautiful mountain trails.Trail shoes increase traction, minimize the effects of stones, and generally keep a runner’s feet more dry. Therefore, owning a “road” shoe and a “trail” shoe will allow a runner to adapt easier to different conditions.