How Often Should You Replace Your Running Shoes?

The right shoes can make all the difference when it comes to running, walking, or just being on your feet all day. It’s so important to have shoes that are comfortable and supportive to avoid injuries, so if your feet hurt at the end of the day or after exercising, you should consider finding a different pair. Along with finding the right pair of shoes, it’s important to know when it’s time to replace them, as there’s a big difference between shoes that are broken in or broken down.

How Long do My Running Shoes Last?

According to Erica Werremeyer, President of Xelero Performance Footwear, …Just like tires on your car, your shoes will begin to lose their tread and should be replaced after reaching a certain amount of mileage. Although there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to how long your running shoes will last, it’s recommended they be replaced every 300 to 500 miles. Most shoes wear down the midsole cushioning and tread at that point, which provides less shock absorption and traction, and more impact on your joints.

It’s important to note that while this is the recommended timeframe, how long your shoes actually will last vary depending on your individual running style, the type of terrain you run on, how often you run, even your weight and foot type.

Tracking Wear and Tear

There are ways to track your mileage, such as fitness apps or smartwatches, but considering not everyone needs to, there are other ways to determine when your shoes are ready to be retired. Inspecting your shoes once a month can help gauge the amount of wear and tear happening. Here are some tell-tale examples of when to consider replacing your shoes:

  • A soft midsole that has developed creases
  • A worn-down outsole
  • Your toes are wearing through the toe-box
  • The white of the midsole is showing

You may start to notice the feel of the shoes changing as well, such as less supportive or slipping. You want to get ready to replace them if you notice any of these indicators to avoid injuries.

Other Factors

There are several factors that can contribute to the lifespan of your shoes. One common factor is people who overpronate, or when the foot rolls inward, will start to notice wear on the inside part of the tread. People who underpronate, or distribute their weight outward, will see more wear on the outer edge of their shoe.

How Can I Make My Shoes Last Longer?

While no shoe lasts forever, there are things you can do to extend the life of your shoes. If you’re an avid runner, only wear your running shoes for running. If you love the way you feel in them, you might want to get a separate pair designed for non-running activities like running errands. It’s important to take care of your shoes as well, like unlacing them instead of shoving them on or off your feet, cleaning them (avoid putting shoes in the washing machine, wipes or soap, and a brush will do just fine). Lastly, avoid leaving them out in the heat or rain.

When you find a shoe that works for you, taking care of them properly can prolong their usage, but at some point, you will have to replace them. Keep an eye on the wear of your shoes to prepare for replacements, and avoid the risk of injuring yourself.