Truth be told. It’s not always easy to find the perfect running pair that offers the ideal combination of comfort and style, without a cringe-worthy price tag.
And when you finally find your sole-mate you will have to do your best to make them last for the long haul.
As a result, learning how to extend the lifespan of your shoes is of paramount importance.
This is the purpose of this blog post.
And by the end of it, you will learn exactly what to do to get more use out of your running shoes.
In fact, the 7 strategies I’m sharing here will make your shoes last for as long as possible while still providing you with all the support and protection you need for an injury-free and enjoyable runs.
How to Extend the Lifespan of Your Running Shoes
1. Run in your Running Shoes
Running shoes are definitely comfortable and cool-looking, but by wearing them while performing daily life tasks, you will be cutting their lifespan short.
The miles you accumulate cruising through the grocery stores, playing basketball, and taking the dog out at night will only add to the mileage of your shoes.
According to a study published in the Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, the average American walks 2.5 miles per day. Do the math and that adds up, and over the course of a month, that amounts to 75 miles that could be better spent running.
Therefore, make sure to keep your running shoes for the activity they are intended for, the running.
So don’t wear your running shoes to perform post-run errands.
2. Keep them Clean
Keeping your shoes clean will not only make them look good, but also help you prevent injury as well as extend the shoes expected lifespan.
If you are anything like me, then you know for sure that while running (especially if you do any sort of trail running), your shoes can come across everything from mud and puddles to leaves and grit; this can build on the outside of your shoes, causing unnecessary strain on your feet, leading to blisters and severe foot pain/injury.
So keep your shoes clean at all times.
But please, never throw them into the washing machine. Laundry detergents can melt the glue that holds your shoes together, which damages them severely and shortens their lifespan.
Instead, wash your shoes using a bucket filled with anti-grease soap and warm water along with a sponge, an old toothbrush or nail brush to polish and remove the dirt and stains from shoes.
Plus, make sure also to wash the sockliner or insole separately, then let the shoe dry out thoroughly in the open air.
If your running shoes are too stinky, then let them soak in the water/soap mixture to clean and freshen the shoes. Baking soda can also help deodorize the shoes.
Here is a helpful YouTube Tutorial:
3. Air Dry your Shoes
Please do your running shoes a favor and never put your wet shoes in a dryer.
If you put them in the dryer or near a radiator, they will be literally “cooked.” The high temperature can break down the shoe material by dissolving the glue that holds the tread and the midsole together, thus damaging the shoe.
Instead, for instance, after a rainy, sopping wet, “dirty” run, remove the sock liner, unlace the shoes, take out the insoles and clean your shoes while using a light brush to get the mud off, and let them air dry, away from direct heat.
What’s more, you can also stuff your damp shoes with newspaper or paper towel to absorb the moisture.
Just be patient as it may take up a whole day for the shoes to completely dry out, but this will definitely add miles to their lifespan.
4. Rotate your Shoes
In case you run almost every day, it’s a good practice to rotate two pairs of running shoes so you can ensure that you always have a pair ready to go—especially during winter time when bad weather conditions can mess with your running plans.
Plus, alternating shoes can also help your shoes last longer when you give them enough time to decompress and dry out thoroughly between runs (shoes need recovery days too).
5. Store them Right
Storing your shoes under inappropriate conditions and/or in extreme temperatures—for instance, under direct sunlight in summer or at a cold garage in winter— will only add to the wearing out of the shoes.
As a result, make sure to store your shoes in a cool, dry place where they can air out properly. And never leave them in places like the garage, your gym bag or the trunk of your car.
6. Take them off Right
After a hard run, it’s really tempting to remove your shoes by taking them off without undoing the laces.
Well, this is a big mistake and can only damage your shoes.
By stepping on the heel to kick your running shoes off without untying them right, you hardly save much time. In fact, you are only wearing them out much faster by bending and overstretching your sneakers out of shape.
Instead, before you jump into your post-run ritual, make the effort to take a few moments to undo the laces and remove them by hand. You can’t really afford to spare unlacing time.
7. Change your Shoes—When It’s Time
Please keep tabs on your running shoes lifespan to ensure when it will be time to invest in a new pair.
As a general guideline, most running shoes can last up to 500 to 600 miles.
I typically get a through a pair of running shoe every 5 to 6 months, spending anywhere between $60 to $90 per pair.
Keep tabs in your training journal or an online log. If you don’t keep a training journal (well, you should!), then write the purchase date inside the shoe to help you remember.
If you don’t want to use the permanent mark on your sneaker, then save the purchase date on your calendar.