Rotating Your Shoes

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Wet Running Shoes

We recommend rotating your running or walking shoes because so many people tell us it works for them.

Everyone has a theory and reason for this practice, as people do. However, before we get into performance and injury prevention there is one aspect to this practice I personal like. Using two pairs of shoes and rotating them is a lot cleaner and hygienic. It just feels nice to put on shoes that are dry. Forcing my feet into shoes that are soaked from the previous day in a big Auckland down pour is just an ugly way to start a run.

Beyond dry feet there is the idea that the midsole needs 48 hours for the EVA cells to recover.

"With 5,000 foot strikes on a 10km run the EVA gets a pounding. Letting it recover improves its shock attenuation properties."

This idea was debunked by a 1985 study by Stephen Cook, Marcus Kester, and Michael Brunet at Tulane University. They showed that even after a 24 or 48-hour "rest period", the cushioning of a shoe showed no evidence of recovery.

Ok so that idea does not really stand up from a science point of view.

So why do our staff and customers keep telling us this practice works and their legs and feet feel better for rotating shoes. A study by Malisoux in Luxembourg followed 264 recreational runners and found that runners who practiced "parallel use of different running shoes" incurred injuries at rate 40% less than the whole group.

"If it's not cushioning, how could shoe rotation prevent injury?"

Changing up the stresses on your body is probably the answer.

Running on a road

  • By changing up the forces on your body even slightly by wearing a different pair of shoes, you give a stressed part of your feet or legs a chance to rest.
  • This is especially true if you rotate between two different models of shoe.


Running on a trail

Complimenting shoe rotation is changing terrain.

How about challenging yourself to explore Auckland's magnificent road and trail landscape to find a different path that will again just change up the stresses on feet, legs, muscles and tendons.

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