When To Replace Your Running Shoes

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Cross Training For Runners
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David Dack

Do you know how often to replace running shoes?

If you answer no, you’re about to learn all you need to know about running shoes’ lifespan and 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’s 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.

So, how many miles can I get out of running shoes? Then you’re asking the right question.

This is, in fact, a common question among most runners – knowing the exact mileage to run before a pair of running is truly worn out and needs replacement.

I hate to break it to you, but there are no black-or-white answers. There’s no formula. The recommended range can be as slow as 300 miles to over 600 miles, as it all hinges on several variables.

In today’s post, I’m explaining how long running shoes typically last and some 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 has a thick layer supporting 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 foot strike, these air pockets compress like a sponge, reacting and absorbing the stress and returning energy to you as you begin your next stride. This is the reason behind the bounce we experience in our shoes while running.

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 replacing your running shoes regularly is one of the best things you can do to prevent overuse injuries.

Additional resource – How to rotate running shoes

How Often to Replace Running Shoes?

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

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.

The rule might be too simplistic and doesn’t apply to every runner or every shoe brand.

The exact number depends on many factors, such as running biomechanics (such as foot type and foot-strike pattern), running surfaces, body weight, and 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 range, while light runners who stick to

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

Here are a few variables that impact your running shoes’ lifespan.

Shoe Construction

The exact mileage limit of running shoes will mainly depend on the way they’re wet-built.  That’s why choosing higher quality shoes will ensure you can reach the maximum mileage they can sustain.

The shoes’ materials impact how the lifespan of the shoes. Higher-quality materials are built for durability and endurance. This helps you get more miles from them.

The Surface

Depending on where you run, the bottoms of your running shoes can break down at various rates.

For instance, asphalt or urban sidewalks are much harder on the bottom of the shoes compared to softer surfaces such as grass or dirt paths.

Where you often run can also impact how often you should replace your running shoes. Whether it’s trails, roads, or a treadmill, pay attention to how the various surfaces affect the condition of your shoes.

Your Weight

Another crucial variable that impacts shoe lifespan is your weight. The heavier you’re, the more load you put on the shoes, wearing them down faster.

Your Running Style

Your pronation type can also impact the lifespan of a shoe and how many miles you can squeeze out of them.

For example, if you tend to overpronate, your shoes will likely wear out faster than a neutral runner training the same frequency.

That’s why you should examine your running gait at a running-specialty store or self-assess yourself, then choose cash that suits your style. This helps the shoes last longer and may save pain and injury.

how to often to replace running shoes

10 Signs You Need To Replace Your Running Shoes

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

1. 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 is 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 where the rubbers have worn out or broken away on the outsole.

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.

2. Check For Absorption

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

Log 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).

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

You can also perform a flexibility test.

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

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

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

3. Damaged Heel

In most cases, all you need to do when your foot slides up and down your shoe is to tighten the laces. But if doing so didn’t help, it’s a sign of significant wear on the inside of the heel as the shoe begins to fray.

4. Lack of Springiness

Though the outside of your shoes may look great, you may need to replace thyme if the sole has compressed, losing its cushioning and springiness ability.

Additional resource- How to prevent runners toe

5. You’re Feeling Pain

If you notice unusual pain while running, the wear and tear of your shoes could be the culprit. Of course, it’s not always the case, but nothing has changed about your training and form; the shoes must be checked out.

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

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

6. You Can Feel Everything With Every Step

Feeling every stone with every step is a serious sign of wear. Running shoes should provide protection and proper cushioning so that your feet land softly on the ground without feeling stones and rocks.

If you don’t toss the shoes, it will eventually lead to pains, blisters, and soreness.

7. You Can Feel Discomfort And Pain

The second you feel discomfort or pain while running, the chances are your shoes have run their course. Aches are never a good sign, and one of the problems causing this is worn-out cushioning. The pains usually appear right after a run, a solid sign that you need to replace the shoes.

Yes, these symptoms can appear for other reasons, but you must check your shoes once you notice any muscle stiffness, pain, or discomfort. Always pay attention to the alerts coming from your body. The aftermath of a run should leave you happy and accomplished, not extra-tired and with painful feet, ankles, lower back, or shins.

8. You Notice Slipping

It does look like an obvious pointer. Unfortunately, many people decide to ignore it. Slipping while running on a dry surface usually means it’s game over for the shoes.

If you’re an experienced runner, you already know that slipping can happen, but mostly during winter when the temperatures are cold, and there’s ice on the ground. But once you start noticing it on dry surfaces, get ready to splurge on a new pair.

9. Check The Soles

Flip your running shoes to check the soles for damage, especially in the midsole area. People have different running styles, meaning not everyone will wear their shoes equally. They can look great on the outside at first glance, but paying close attention to their appearance is important once you’ve run over 500 kilometers.

The outsole is usually the first part that shows signs of wear, and the midsole follows. Next, check the treads; if they look worn out, you have some shopping.

10. Check For Blisters

Another sign to remember is constant blisters on your feet after running. It can mean that you simply don’t have the right pair of running shoes or that it’s time to retire the one you have.

So, if you suddenly have blisters, especially in the middle part of the sole, unfortunately, time to ditch your old running shoes. With use, the shoes change their shape, end up worn out, and don’t fit your feet how they’re supposed to.

Making Your Shoes Last Longer

Now that you know something about the many things that wear out your shoes, let’s look at what you can do to prolong your footwear’s life. To help keep your shoes going strong, try these tips.

Use them For Running

Using your running shoes while running errands around the house or the supermarket might make you feel comfortable, but it will also speed up the wear and tear of the shoe, and you don’t want that.

Save your running shoes for running, walking shoes for walking, and hiking shoes for hiking. Every shoe is built with a purpose and for a purpose. You’re doing your body and the shoe a big disservice by using the wrong footwear for the wrong activity.

Rotate your shoes

Another trick to help extend your footwear is to have more than two pairs of shoes in rotation. Rotating your shoes may also grant midsoles enough time to decompress and the whole shoe time to dry out.

Get Quality

Make sure you’re using high-quality shoes. Most experts suggest that running shoes have a lifespan of between 300 to 500 miles. I know, that’s a wide range (more on why later, I promise).

Let’s do some math to put that number into perspective. First, assume an average of 400 miles and check how long your shoes will last.

  • 10 miles a week – 40 weeks
  • 20 miles a week – 20 weeks
  • 30 miles a week – 13 weeks
  • 40 miles a week – 10 weeks
  • 50 miles a week – 8 weeks

Take Care Of Your Shoes

Another key tip is to clean and dry your running shoes after each run to prevent bacteria and smells from forming. This is especially the case following a wet or muddy run.

Had to run into water or rain? Then crumble up some newspaper and stuff it inside your shoes for a quick dry. To help deodorize your shoes, use cedar-filled shoe inserts. This helps refresh stinky running shoes.


There you have it.

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

Remembering to check them for signs of wear from time to time is crucial to prevent injuries and properly protect your body. These shoes don’t last for a lifetime; they eventually hurt your feet, causing blisters, discomfort, pain and even slipping off the ground. To prevent all these moments, make

The rest is just details.

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

In the meantime, thank you for dropping by.


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