“When should I replace my running shoes?” This is a common question all runners have. But why should you even consider swapping your running shoes?
Here’s the truth. Even if your shoes feel as valuable as gold, they won’t last you forever.
As you log in more miles, the cushy foam starts to get compressed under the weight, and the outsoles begin to go bald. Once your shoes are past their prime, they can no longer protect your body from the repetitive pounding, leading to soreness and injury.
That’s why it’s always vital to know when to replace your shoes.
To help you make the right decision, I’ve compiled a list of tips and signs to help you decide when your shoes are indeed done. This guide will show you how long-running kicks typically last, the telling sign of a worn-out pair, and when to replace your running shoes.
Let’s get started.
The Exact Range
Estimates on how long running shoes should last vary, but the rule of thumb says to look for new ones every 400 to 500 miles. This means if you average 15 miles per week, you’ll need new kicks every six to eight months.
Of course, I guess you could keep running in worn-out shoes, but just like driving a car on bald tyres, the risks of something going wrong increases each time you stride the ground.
However, the 400 to 500 miles rule is not cast in stone. It’s simply a rough estimate. The exact mileage depends on many factors, such as your body weight, running style, training intensity, and more importantly, the surface on which run.
So, for instance, if you run on tough terrain or trails, you’ll need to swap your trainers for a new one sooner than if you primarily stick to softer surfaces.
The Signs to Check for
Here’s what you need to do to make sure that your sneakers don’t run you into the ground.
Keep track of your Shoe Miles
It’s often hard to tell just how many miles you have logged in your shoes, especially when you are not following a detailed running plan, or rotate through many shoes.
Here’s how to make it easier.
Use a permanent marker to write down the date of first use on a part of your trainers that won’t get worn off, then keep track of your mileage in a diary to know when it’s time to swap them out.
You should also consider using running apps such as Strava that let you monitor your mileage in different pairs of shoes. Some apps may even inform you once you’re past that 500-mile mark and suggest that you start looking for a new pair.
Check the Outsole
The outsole consists of the rubber part of the shoe that gets in contact with the ground from heel to toe. It plays an essential role because it offers the clearest sign of wear and tear.
The outsoles of your running shoes are equipped with treads, just like car tyres, which helps reduce landing’s impact and grip the road. As you log in more miles, the rubber on the bottom outsole begins to wear away.
Look for any bald spots on the outsole of your trainers where the rubber has broken down. This is especially the case if the tread is entirely gone or the outsole is completely white.
You’re Feeling Pain
Wear, tear, and mileage aside, one more thing to check whether you need to ditch your shoes is your own body.
When your sole-mate no longer offers ample support and protection as they did when you first started using them, it usually leads to pain.
If you’re starting to experience annoying little pains, especially aching arches, sore soles, painful knees, tender shins, and other small nuisances, then it’s time to assess your shoes.
There you have it! The above guidelines are all you need to make sure you know when it’s time to turn off the switch on your running shoes and look for new ones. Just make sure to head to the nearest running speciality store when looking for new sole-mates. That way you make sure you make the right decision both for your wallet and running enjoyment. 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.
Keep running strong.
About the author:
David Dack is an established fitness blogger and running expert. When he’s not training for his next marathon, he’s doing research and trying to help as many people as possible to share his fitness philosophy. Check his blog Runners Blueprint for more info.
Guest post by David Dack
Images purchased by David Dack from Fotolia
I agree, depends on how often you use them.
Indeed, I tend to usually run 2-3 times a week
What an interesting post. Thank you. I tend to wait until I see damage which is not very sensible.
Yes I replaced my trail shoes recently as they were starting to wear down at the heels but I couldn’t tell you how many miles I did in them, but had them for about a year