How Often to Replace Running Shoes?

woman repalcing her running shoes

Do you know how often to replace running shoes?

If your answer is no then you’re about to learn all you need to know about running shoes lifespan as well as how to make sense of it.

Here’s the truth.

Running shoes are an invaluable training asset.

They help protect and support your feet throughout the running gait, which, in turn, improves performance and prevents injury.

What’ not to like!

Besides finding a pair of shoes that suit your running style and needs, the next thing you need to do to make the most out of your running kicks is to replace them regularly.

But how long do running shoes last?

And how to tell it’s time for a new pair?

If you’re looking for answers to these questions, then you’ve come to the right place.

In today’s post, I’m explaining how long running shoes typically last as well as some of the warning signs that your shoes are past their time.

Let’s lace up and dig in.

Why Replace Running Shoes?

Run long enough, and your running shoes will wear and tear, especially the midsole.

So what’s the midsole and why it’s so damn important?

The midsole consists of the thick layer that supports the feet throughout the running gait cycle.

Often made from foam materials, either Ethylene Vinyl Acetate (EVA), Polyurethane (PU), or a mix of both materials.

Viewed under a microscope, the midsole can be seen as made of hundreds of tiny air pockets that look like a sponge.

On every footstrike, these pockets of air compress like a sponge, reacting, and absorbing the stress and returning energy to you as you begin your next stride.

This is actually the reason behind the bounce we experience in our shoes while running.

Here’s the tricky part, though.

After a certain mileage, the midsole starts to lose its ability to absorb this impact and becomes dead.

This often not than not causes pain and injury.

The simple sign, callus.

Here’s the truth.

When your footwear no longer provides enough protection and support as before, you’ll feel pain.

The longer you run in worn-out shoes—as in they don’t have the structure and components they were designed with—the higher the risk for something to go wrong—and it eventually does.

That’s why one of the best things you can do to prevent running injuries is to replace your shoes at regular intervals.

Running Shoes Lifespan – How Often to Replace Running Shoes?

Most experts recommend swapping out running shoes every 400 to 500 miles.

This means if you average 30 miles a week, look for new kicks every four to five months.

But the 500-mile isn’t gospel, even though it works pretty well.

In fact, the rule might be too simplistic and doesn’t apply to every runner or every shoe brand out there.

The exact number depends on many factors, such you running biomechanics (such as foot type and foot-strike pattern), running surfaces, bodyweight, and of course, the type of running shoe.

Heavy runners who often run on a hard surface may need a new pair at the lower end of the recommendation hand, while light runners who stick to

By the same token, if you solely run on the treadmill, you might not need to retire your kicks as soon as you’d if you regularly tackle technical trails.

Note – Here’s how to make your running shoes last longer.

woman trying new running shoes

How Often to Replace Running Shoes? The Signs To Look For

Here’s what you need to pay attention to ensure your running shoes don’t run you into the ground.

Check The Tread

Paying attention to the appearance of your running kicks can reveal the early signs that it’s time to replace them.

One pointer is a worn-out outsole.

The outsole the rubber part that comes in contact with the ground from your heel to the toes, and it’s an essential shoe part as it not only supports your feet but also provides the clearest signs of wear and tear.

Over time, the outsole begins to wear away.

Just like car tires, when they lose tread, the outsole smooths over and starts looking like a bald tire.

Examine any bald spots on the outsole where the rubbers have worn out or broken away.

A little abrasion should be no big deal, but when the tread is completely worn out, and the white midsole is exposed, it’s time to ditch that pair of running shoes.

Here’s the full guide to running shoe anatomy.

Check For Absorption

As I previously stated, the midsole is important because that’s the part of the shoes that offers most of the support and cushioning come from.

Long too many miles, and this structure starts to break down and become useless.

Here’s how to check the midsole for wear and tear.

Put one hand inside the shoe, then press your thumb into its center (that’s where the midsole is located).

If you can feel your fingers cramming through the shoe and/or if the midsole feels rigid and hard, get new shoes.

You can also perform a flexibility test.

Hold your shoes with laces up, then bend the toe back towards the heel.

A shoe that folds easily indicated that it lacks proper support, and is no longer suitable for running.

If the shoe feels firm, it’s still providing proper support.

You’re Feeling Pain

Last but not least, the best advice for knowing when to look for a new pair is to pay attention to your body.

If you begin to experience little niggles in places you had none before — especially in the soles, arches, shins, and knees— then it’s time to take a good look at your shoes.

This is especially the case when experiencing pain on both sides— for instance, in both knees.


There you have it.

The above guidelines cover most of what you need to know about how often to replace running shoes.

The rest is just details.

Please feel free to leave you comments and questions in the section below.

In the meantime, thank you for dropping by.


  1. Thanks for writing the piece! it helped me a great deal because I’m doing a university paper on marketing profiles of various demographics of runners and frequency of purchase. Happy trails!


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