My current rotation of running shoes includes all of the following:
Saucony Triumph ISO 2 (for long or easy runs)
Saucony Zealot and Nike Pegasus 32 (for race warmups, workouts or a daily run)
Saucony A6 (for workouts, races)
Occasionally the Asics Quantum for recovery runs when I want to feel nothing.
As you can see, I use six pairs of shoes. There isn’t a single shoe that can do every workout. I wouldn’t want to do a long run in a racing flat, and I would prefer not to race in a trainer.
That leads to one of the most common running gear questions:
Should you train in multiple pairs of running shoes?
The answer is yes! No single shoe can serve the purpose of all of your training needs. Plus rotating through multiple pairs shoes can extend the life of a shoe and help to prevent injury.
Rotating through two pairs of the same shoe will prolong the lifespan of the shoe, but you will still be working the same muscles.
How does it reduce injury?
By rotating through a few pairs of shoes, your gait and running form will change slightly in each pair of shoes. The cushioning of each brand and each shoe varies from shoe to shoe. Your muscles will work slightly differently which will cause different muscles to become stronger. It will also create fewer overuse issues because you’ll be using different muscles.
How does it extend the life of a shoe?
If you use the same shoe daily, the cushioning will continue to compress. The cushioning or foam will break down instead of bouncing back to recover. Having multiple shoes allows each pair to have their own “rest days” even if you don’t.
An important thing to note:
It’s great to rotate through several pairs of shoes, but you should be using shoes that are still fit and appropriate for your foot type. Using a very stable shoe and a minimal shoe could multiply your ability to get injured versus reducing it. Make sure that the shoes you are using are compatible for you. Not every running shoe works for every person.