Wednesday, 9 July 2008

Fitting shoes into your pocket

I'm currently working on the Spring Shoe Buyer's Guide for the September issue of Runner's World magazine so I have piles of shoes (road and trail) spread on every available floor space. Prices for summer's shoes are up with models offering superb cushioning for longer distances (15km and up) coming between R800 - R1500.

Consider this: if you are running 40km a week, you'll hit 800km (average shoe lifespan) total distance in 5-months, which means you're up for two-and-a-bit pairs a year. For a R800 pair of shoes that R1/km and close to R2/km for super-delux models. Averaged out, that's at least R160 per month - cheaper than gym memberships.

The price of running (and trail) shoes can melt your credit card, especially when you're buying two or more pairs a year. High-mileage runners clocking over 100km a week will need to replace their shoes every 6-8 weeks. In this light, running - a low-equipment sport - becomes a very expensive sport.

Do you plan your training according to your wallet's padding?

Do you say, "I can only afford 2 x R800 pairs a year thus I mustn't run more than 30km a week..."

This is a serious reality because running with shoes that are past their sell-by date can lead to injury; and buying a new pair of shoes will always be cheaper than physio sessions.

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