If you were to base it off of social media, it would seem like every runner has numerous pairs of shoes. But just how many shoes do you actually need for running? Should you have more than one pair of running shoes? Some runners only need one pair of shoes–while others may need two or even three pairs. What determines it? How often do you run!
If you run two to four days per week
Since you often have a day between runs, you only need one pair of running shoes. The foam on the shoes has ample time to rebound between runs. Of course, you have two pairs if you want.
If you run five to seven days per week
If you run most days of the week, you need at least two pairs of running shoes. You will want to ‘rotate’ your running shoes throughout the week, rather than wear the same pair for several days in a row.
The term ‘rotating running shoes’ means that you alternate between different pairs and do not wear the same pair twice in a row. All running shoes contain foam in their sole. A run compresses this foam and it typically takes one or two days to return to its normal density. If you run too often on the compressed foam, your risk of injury increases. Rotating shoes means that you alternate shoes if you run on consecutive days so that shoes can recover between wears.
Plus, rotating your shoes helps them last longer. If you run repeatedly on compressed foam, it deteriorates more quickly and you get fewer miles out of your shoes. If you allow your shoes to rebound between wears, they last longer.
Finally, regardless of how many days you run, some runners have different shoes for various types of runs. Typically, lighter, responsive shoes are for fast runs and more cushioned shoes are for easy or long runs.