Shoe Wall Talk: When to Replace Your Running Shoes
How often should you replace your running shoes?
That depends. The industry standard answer to that question is every 300 to 500 miles. That is what we often tell runners. Walkers, we like to add, will get more mileage out of a pair of shoes as the pounding on the pavement is not as intense. And since walkers don’t always track their mileage in the same way runners do, we generally recommend walkers replace their shoes every six to nine months.
What factors go into how much wear you’ll get out of a pair of shoes? So many. Everything from the shoe construction to body weight to terrain to running efficiency will affect the life of your shoes. (Stay tuned for other Shoe Wall Talks as we address these things, for now though, I’m going to stay on topic.)
Experienced runners and walkers are faithful to track the mileage or time spent in a pair of shoes and will frequently get new kicks before the end of life of their current pair. Other folks prefer to get the most bang for their buck and will stretch out the life of their shoes for as long as possible and sometimes beyond. Just be aware of injury if you push the limit too far.
Okay, so how will you know it’s time to replace your shoes?
- You have new aches and pains. Pay attention to those ankles, knees and hips. If you start to feel niggles in those places, it could be a sign that the structure of the shoe is failing to support you and it’s affecting your gait.
- Your feet feel fatigued or even blistered after a run. Ouch! Time to toss!
- The midsole has lost its luster. Over time and miles, those cushioned shoes will compress, not feel as cushy anymore and may even feel hard when landing. Or you’ll start to feel things underfoot that you didn’t feel before, like gravel or bits of road debris. This is a sign that the magical secret sauce foam you love so much has gone flat.
- The treads are worn out. The treads usually wear out after the structure of the shoe has already worn out so don’t let this be your lone indicator that it’s time to replace your shoes.
So there. Simple as pie. Once you’ve been through a couple pairs of shoes, you’ll get an idea of how long they lasted and can track your mileage or time in future shoes.
You really don’t want to wait for the niggles to appear to let you know it’s time for a new pair.