Beginner Running

When Should I Replace my Running Shoes?

Dan Darcy

One of the most common questions we get in our stores is “Is it time for a new pair of running shoes?” Customers hand us well loved, often recently used, sometimes smelly pairs of running shoes and ask: Should I replace my running shoes?

And we understand – You love your running shoes. Each morning, they wait patiently by the door for you to step in and hit the pavement. They’ve hugged your feet as you got back into running, or finished your favorite race, or just as you spent lots of hours running your neighborhood’s roads and trails. You’ve created a bond, and you don’t want your good run to end (pun intended).

Sneakers are great at helping you reach your fitness goals but they don’t last forever. Over the life of your shoes, the materials and design that make them work so well for your running stride break down and even the best pair of shoes can eventually put you in a position for injury.

Avoid this by learning how long running shoes last and the signs you need new running shoes.

Signs That Your Running Shoes are Done

1. Start at the Bottom

One of the most visible signs you need new running shoes is by looking at the wear pattern of the outsole (for the uninitiated, the outsole is the more durable treading on the bottom of your shoe). Companys design outsoles to grind against the pavement or trail with every step. Smooth treading means you have most likely compressed the softer cushioning of the midsole.

2. Check the Cushion

Another way to determine if you need a new pair is by inspecting the midsole (the cushion between your foot and the treading). Numerous wrinkles in the foam means that your shoe has lost its cushioning. If you can wring your shoe out like a towel when you couldn’t brand new, it’s time for a new pair.

3. Pay Attention to Your Body

Sometimes the best way to know is to pay attention to your body. Because your shoes have a lot to do with how you absorb shock, your body will often give you signs that your shoes are at the end of the road.

Do you feel more aches than usual? Do your feet, knees, or shins hurt after your walk or run? Those are classic signs that the shoe isn’t getting it done for you anymore. If you feel any of those symptoms, don’t wait until it becomes an injury —  walk or run on over to your nearest Marathon Sports and we’ll help


How Long do Running Shoes Last?

Best way to avoid the aches and pains above is to replace your running shoes before they become a problem. For those of us who want to plan ahead (If you’re increasing mileage for a Half Marathon or Marathon), we want to know how long a running shoe is supposed to last.

The industry answer is 300-500 miles. Although new and evolving cushioning technology and design can give shoes more durability, we have found most pairs of running shoes still last about 300-500 miles. Still, there’s a big difference between 300 and 500 miles, so how do we narrow it down?

When you should replace your shoes depends on activity type, running style, past injuries, or even personal preference. Running shoes compress quicker when impact is high and the surface is hard or uneven. Similarly if you bear weight in one specific spot on your shoe, chances are you will need to replace them more quickly before feeling pain.

Another thing to consider is that your mileage total is not exclusive to your “exercise” walks and runs. Any mileage that you put on the shoe counts, and not all mileage is created equal. The longer you are actively compressing the midsole (think standing for long periods vs. running), the more less the shoe will be unable to spring back into shape. So, if you’re wearing them around all day everyday, shoes will wear down a lot more quickly than you think.

Another way to figure out how often you should buy new running shoes is in math. If you run or walk 10 miles per week on the shoes, replace your shoes every year (10 miles x 52 weeks = 520 miles).

But chances are you’re probably putting a lot more than 10 miles per week on them; Don’t forget that 10,000 steps a day equals approximately 5 miles.

Get the most out of your running and walking by consistently replacing your shoes. If you’ve run through this checklist and ticked a few boxes, it might be time. We have made our reputation on finding the right shoes for you

Related Articles