Prosthetic Categories

When Do You Replace Your Shoes? This Test Might Help

    We've all got a favorite pair of shoes—the one that isn't only comfortable but also goes with everything in your wardrobe and lifestyle. So, you wear that shoe to its death. While holding on to them past their prime may be tempting, podiatrists say it's not a great idea.

     Figure out if it's time to toss your shoes with the tabletop test.

    Podiatrists recommend against wearing a shoe until it's worn out because it can lead to injury. The risk is higher for prosthetic limb users because shoes past their prime cause discomfort and throw off one's prosthetic alignment. And when one's prosthetic alignment isn't satisfactory, it can lead to problems like residual limb pain, difficulty walking, or tissue breakdown.

    Worn soles and heels force the wearer to land on the ground at an increased angle, which can cause various problems over time, including sprains, falls, ligament injury, tendonitis, fasciitis, and pain in one's back, hips, and ankles.

    So, how can you avoid all these problems and tell when it's time to toss your shoes?

    According to podiatrists, there are three tell-tale signs: One, the support is worn down. Two, the treading on the bottom is less grippy. Three, your feet or sound side foot hurt after you wear your worn-out shoe.

    But if you're still unsure whether you're experiencing all three signs when wearing your favorite pair of shoes, the best way to evaluate your kickers is through the tabletop test.

    Here's how you can administer the tabletop test:

    • Put your shoes on a tabletop and look at them from the back at eye level.

    • Examine for any signs of wear or if they're uneven.

    • Flip over your shoes and examine the sole's entire surface for other signs of cracking, holes forming, or the shoe itself coming apart. 

    These steps above can help you determine if it's time to shop for another pair.

    If you'd rather have your shoes fixed, it's possible. You may be able to get them fixed by a local repair shop if your boots, loafers, or heels have a hard bottom. Shoes or sneakers with a softer surface are typically not easily and successfully repairable and should be replaced as soon as possible.  

    Have you tried the tabletop test?