5 Ways to Know It’s Time to Buy a New Pair of Shoes

Most women need little convincing when it comes time to buy a new pair of shoes. It’s typically a case of want versus need. Men, on the other hand, may be using their disposable income for a new electronic device. But the inevitable can’t be avoided forever when it comes to replacing old shoes with a fresh, clean pair.

Here, FN shares five tips for determining when it’s time to head out shoe shopping. For some expert advice, we turned to veteran retailer Justin Sigal, president of Littles Shoes in Pittsburgh.

If your shoes hurt

If aches and pains develop, said Sigal, it could be the result of worn-down shoes. Although it may not be visually obvious, the insole material or comfort technology may have broken down and no longer provides the proper support. It’s a hidden problem, according to Sigal, and can be determined by a visit to a shoe store.

If the sole begins to separate

If soles separate from the shoe’s upper, it’s time for a new pair of shoes. “If you’re leaving your soles behind,” said Sigal, head to the nearest shoe store or favorite e-commerce site. Even a slight separation can allow water or debris to enter the shoe and cause foot pain and even damage.

If the soles and heels are worn

For those who over pronate, a biomechanical problem, according to Foot.com, that occurs in the walking process when the arch collapses upon weight bearing and soles and heels can wear down. This problem can also occur due to supination or underpronation, when your weight, notes Healthline.com, rolls onto the outer edges of your feet.

If the toe area is scuffed

“Curb catchers” is how Sigal describes the damage done to the toe area of the shoe as it hits the curb of a sidewalk and begins to look scuffed and worn. Or routinely hitting your toes against the side of a desk can also cause wear and tear, he added.

If your shoes start to smell

“When you can smell your shoes when they’re still on your feet, it’s time for a fresh pair,” warns Sigal. While many shoes today incorporate anti-microbial linings that help prevent bacteria from growing inside the shoes, odors can still build.

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