Donate your old running shoes

How long have you had your running shoes? Is it time for new ones? Don’t throw your old ones away! Dr. Matthew Goldman, orthopaedic surgeon and sports medicine specialist with Baldwin Bone & Joint, tells Cherish Lombard you can recycle your old shoes during the “Many More Miles” campaign!

For the 11th consecutive year, Baldwin Bone & Joint, P.C. will once again host this important community project, partnering with Mobile and Baldwin County YMCA branches, the Port City Pacers, USA Student Recreation Center and McCoy Outdoor Company to collect shoes for the homeless outreach programs of Wings of Life and Discovery Ministries. Just under 2000 pairs of shoes were donated in 2013.

Mobile and Baldwin County elementary students will also once again have the opportunity to collect shoes and earn money for their schools’ P.E. programs. Baldwin Bone & Joint will award cash prizes to the individual P.E. programs for the top three schools donating the most shoes.

Clean up those gently used athletic shoes, tie them together in pairs and drop them off at any of the following locations:

  • Baldwin Bone and Joint -1505 Daphne Avenue, Daphne
  • YMCA facilities in Mobile and Daphne
  • Dr. Glenn Glass, Daphne
  • McCoy Outdoor Company – 3498 Springhill Avenue, Mobile
  • The University of South Alabama Student Recreation Center
  • 2014 Azalea Trail Run Expo, Mobile Civic Center on March 21 & 22

Over time, your running shoes lose shock absorption, cushioning and stability. When you run in worn-out shoes, it increases the stress and impact on your legs and joints, which can cause overuse injuries. One of the best things you can do to prevent running injuries is to replace your shoes at the right time.

Here’s how you know you need new running shoes:

1. The mileage on your shoes is high.
A good rule of thumb is to replace your running shoes every 300-400 miles, depending on your running style, body weight, and the surface on which you run. Smaller runners can get new shoes at the upper end of the recommendation while heavier runners should consider replacement shoes closer to 300 miles. If you run on rough roads, you’ll need to replace your shoes sooner than if you do primarily treadmill running. If you take good care of your running shoes, you may be able to get away with the higher end of that range.

2. You’re feeling pain.
If you’ve been feeling muscle fatigue, shin splints, or some pain in your joints, especially your knees, you may be wearing shoes that have lost their cushioning. When you’re feeling pain on both sides, both knees, for example, that’s often an indication that you need new running shoes.

3. Your shoes fail the twist test.
If you hold your running shoes at both ends and twist the shoe, it should feel firm. An old shoe or one that doesn’t have proper support will twist easily.

4. Your soles are worn-out.
One tell-tale sign that you need new running shoes is if your soles are worn-out. The soles last longer than the shoe’s cushioning and shock absorbency, so if the soles are worn down, it’s definitely time for new ones. You should never run in shoes that have worn-down soles. Save them for working in the garden or mowing the lawn!

5. Newer shoes feel much better.
Some experts recommend that runners rotate two pairs of running shoes. If you get a new pair of running shoes about half-way through the life of your old ones, they can serve as a reference to help you notice when your old ones are ready to be replaced. If you notice a big difference in the cushioning of the newer pair, then it’s probably time to retire the old ones.

Since 1989, Baldwin Bone & Joint has provided expert orthopaedic care to patients of all ages, with all conditions.  As fellowship-trained orthopaedic surgeons and experienced clinicians, they are recognized leaders in the field of orthopaedics, providing the most current treatment available. Office locations are in Daphne, Bay Minette, Orange Beach and Mobile. Specialized clinics available are The Center for Sports Medicine and the Canale Spine Institute. For more information, visit or call 251-625-2663.

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