As I bent down and tied my Jordans the other day at the basketball court, I had this thought:
How often should I replace my basketball shoes?
My 2010 sprint into the running game had me thinking about that very thing. It’s fairly well known that runners are advised to replace their shoes every 300 to 500 miles. For someone that runs 20 miles per week that would mean swapping your running shoes out just under every four months, on the shorter end of that spectrum. The more you run, the quicker you need to replace your footwear. Simple.
Ask any runner how often one should buy new running shoes and you will likely get almost the exact same answer. It’s something that has been adopted and accepted in the running community.
What about the game of hoops? How often should shoes being used to play the game Dr. James Naismith created, be tossed/donated for a new pair?
The truth is I had no clue if there was an accepted rule of thumb for replacing basketball shoes and I’ve played ball my whole life.
How could this be?
A quick poll of some of the people that I know, including Division I College Coaches, Professional Basketball Trainers and current College and Pro basketball players resulted in no two answers being altogether the same.
Sure Michael Jordan would slip into a new pair of Air Jordans every game, but who can really afford to do that, unless of course you are MJ or are sponsored by the Jordan Brand. (Yes, Mr. Jordan or anyone with Brand Jordan reading this, I’d accept an invitation to be a Jordan athlete right now! 😀 My contact info is here. ;-))
So what about the rest of us? You know, the people who pay for shoes! How often should we replace our shoes?
In my non-scientific poll I received answers ranging from once a month for serious players to every two games for guys in the NBA. Others said every two months and some said once per basketball season. One person suggested having at least four pair in rotation at all times. Another said they wear them until they can’t wear them anymore.
I got amazing insight from a very esteemed group of individuals and some of it pretty in depth information, dealing with foot type, lateral wear and tear, hours spent in shoes on the court, etc.
At the end of it all, there just doesn’t seem to be a commonly accepted amount of time one should wear a pair of basketball shoes.
For me, as shown in the picture above, I’ve always found a pair that I liked and worn them until they can’t be worn any longer. When I can see my toes, it’s time for a new pair…haha!
When I was a kid I would get two pairs of shoes a year and that had more to do with me and my foot growing than anything. From the time I’ve been able to afford the luxury of having multiple sets of shoes, I’ve always had a pair that I wear on outdoor courts and then those I wear on just indoor courts. While I currently have a couple of unworn Jordans sitting around the house, waiting to be used, I’ve been playing in the same kicks since November and until recently never thought all that much of it.
Dr. Michael Lowe, team podiatrist of the NBA’s Utah Jazz and former President of The American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine breaks down the replacement of basketball shoes into hours used.
He suggests that while it will take an average runner 66 hours to run 500 miles at an 8 minute pace, a high school or college level basketball player will easily work out at least 72 hours per month. Based upon that methodology, those basketball players would need to replace their shoes every single month.
Even if you played hoops just one hour per day, five days a week, according to Dr. Lowe, that would mean replacing your shoes just a little over every three months.
While many NBA players replace their shoes every couple of games, or in Jordan’s case every single game, the common theme at the pro level seems to have more to do with injury prevention than superstition.
Dr. Lowe states, “I continue to tell my athletes and it has remained true, that after a shoe has been worn more than 60 hours then it should be thrown out and not used for workouts or games any longer, due to midsole compression and stretching of the upper from the torque of use and being wet from sweat.”
While Jordan always wanted to have that special feeling we all get when we put on a new pair of shoes, in the end, he may have helped aid himself against injury without even knowing it.
So what does all of this mean???
It means that I need to replace my shoes more often! I need more Joooorrrrddddaaaaanssss!!! 😀
Honestly though, as with most things, whether you replace your shoes every week, month, or year, it comes down to usage and the almighty BUDGET.
Jordan brand shoes run anywhere from $100 up to $170 for his signature shoe this year. Kobe’s are $130. LeBron’s are $150. D. Wade’s $140. Derrick Rose’s $130.
You get the idea…pricey!
Even if you don’t go superstar brand, but follow this model of replacing shoes based upon 60 hours of use, your shoe bill may soon start to resemble that of Carrie Bradshaw.
Though if you can swing it, not only will you be happy to be sporting a new pair of kicks, your feet, and the rest of your body may be just as excited and healthy for it!
End of the day, unless you’re already in the NBA, we all probably need to replace our basketball kicks more frequently. The need to do so being fueled by injury prevention rather than vanity alone.
Exactly how often will remain up to you, though it definitely seems in this case that replacement in regular, rather short intervals is far better.
What do you think? If you’d like to join the discussion, leave a comment below or head on over to the mevsMJ.com Facebook page and leave your vote!
As always, thanks for following along! Another day upon us means I’m one step closer to my goal of playing the man, Michael Jordan, 1-on-1! Thanks for the support!
Ok, time to go get some new Jordans! 😉
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