Signs You Need To Replace Your Old Running Shoes
Have your running shoes run their course? You might need to swap them out for a fresh new pair.
Whether you’re training for a 5K or just pounding the pavement to maintain your fitness, you need a trusty pair of running shoes that are in good shape.
It’s important for your safety: Studies show that running with worn-down shoes can change your posture and gait, possibly leading to injuries later on. This is largely due to a .
Sometimes it’s hard to give up a favorite pair of old shoes, but when they start to hurt more than they help, it’s time to set them aside and invest in a new pair for the sake of your health.
How To Tell If Running Shoes Are Worn Out
Sometimes the eyeball test will tell you all you need to know about the age of your shoes, but other times worn out shoes might not be so obvious. If your shoes arent telling you theyre ready to be retired, your body might provide clues.
Here are some signs that your running shoes are ready for a slower life of mowing the lawn:
- Your shoes will feel flat. The bouncy midsole foam in a pair of new shoes will absorb impact associated with running, saving your feet and joints from taking a pounding. As your shoes age, though, the foam loses some of its ability to rebound, like if you put a brick on top of a marshmallow.
- Nagging aches and pains. Hard workouts or increased mileage can make you feel sore the next day, but if little pains persist even after a normal run, it might be time for a refresh.
- Worn soles. The outsoles of your running shoes have tread just like the tires on your car, which helps cushion your landings and grip the pavement. But the ground is abrasive, especially if you primarily run on concrete and asphalt. If your soles sport bald patches and excessive wear, they wont serve you as well as a new pair.
- Uneven wear. If your worn soles are uneven, this can signal an even greater problem than just needing new shoes. It could mean you need different types of shoes, like a pair of the best stability shoes, to better support your feet. If that’s the case, take them with you when you go to get fitted for your next pair.
Best Walking Shoes For Men And Women
There are a few different factors you should consider when choosing the best walking shoes for men or women:
- Fit: The shoes should fit comfortably and not be too tight or too loose.
- Support: The shoes should provide good support for your feet.
- Style: The shoes should be stylish and look good with your wardrobe.
- Price: The shoes should be affordable.
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Keep In Mind That Your Racing Shoes Are Especially Fragile
Featherweight super shoes built for racing half-marathon and marathons have a much shorter shelf life because the midsole foam materials are more delicate. Therefore they just cant endure a lot of miles. If you save those shoes for race day, you could get 4-5 races in them. But if youre also using them for long runs or up-tempo workouts, they might be cooked after about 250-300 miles. Keep in mind that super shoes also come at a higher price than your typical trainers.
How Can You Tell When Its Time For New Shoes
If you havent been keeping track of your current pairs mileage, Henry recommends inspecting their appearance from top to bottom. Check to see if there are holes forming in the mesh upper, the foam looks deflated/lopsided, or the once-grippy tread is starting to disappear.
Some tell-tale signs of a worn-out running shoe are when the design or pattern of the outsole begins to disappear, she said. This usually occurs in the same place for all of my shoesthe soles wear thin around the outer edge because I overpronate.
In addition to keeping an eye on the condition of the shoe, Henry also suggests paying attention to how your body feels during and after a run. When I start feeling aches in pains in my knee and hips, that is a red flag that my sneakers most likely need to be replaced.
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Dry Your Shoes Thoroughly And Quickly
And, if you have been running through wet trails, during or after a rainstorm, you need to ensure that you dry your shoes properly. Allowing your shoes to soak not only makes them smell bad, but theyll also start to feel uncomfortable. And, worse yet, the drying out process, if not handled properly, could lead to deterioration of the materials in your shoes.
To dry your shoes out, remove the insoles and fill your shoes with a paper towel or newspaper. Set them aside so that they dry properly and the moisture is absorbed into the paper. Let them dry for a few hours or overnight, remove the paper, and theyre ready for use again.
Gone But Not Forgotten
Thanks to some great running apps such as Strava, you can record what shoe you are using on your runs. This serves the dual purpose of being able to look back and know just what pair it was you had on when you beat that PB or ran in a certain race, as well as tracking better just how far you have run on the shoes. Finding out just how far you may have come on your current running pair of shoes may surprise you, so apps come in very handy – especially when you start a new challenge such as, for example, running 1000km in a month for the very first time …
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New Technology New Materials Higher Maintenance
Even though weve learned a lot in this articleremember that this information may not apply, forever. There are all kinds of new, lightweight shoes being released by brands like Nike and Adidas. Theyve been working on more economical designs, using lighter materials.
Most running shoes foam is manufactured with EVA , a copolymer, to create the foam. However, the new generation of running shoes, such as the Nike Vaporfly 4%, are explicitly designed to help the best marathon runners in the world achieve sub-two-hour times.
Newer models of running shoes use extra compliant foams infused with helion, polyurethane, or carbon dioxide. These new foam formations have been developed to improve speed and performance but not necessarily improve support or longevity.
So theyre going to require more care than the older models. Also, because newer shoes are being manufactured with different polymers, theyll react differently to hotter and colder temperatures, theyll wear out differently to EVA material, and your running form will probably change too . So all of the various factors that weve discussed here will change somewhat although the same principles will apply.
How Often Should You Replace Your Shoes
Your shoes are arguably the most important part of your running wardrobe, which is why runners spend so much time and money looking for just the right pair. Once you have found the perfect shoe, you should do your best to take care of them so they continue to provide the support you need throughout your training. This includes replacing them when theyre no longer in good condition. But how do you know when its time to replace your shoes, and why is it so important? We spoke with avid runner and podiatric medicine practitionerLaura Desjardins to find out.
Desjardins says on average, you should replace your shoes after about 800 kilometres. That being said, how long your shoes last depends on their structure and durability. Lightweight shoes with soft soles, such as a racing flat, will wear much faster than a sturdier shoe with firmer soles.
Aches and pains may also indicate that its time for a new pair of shoes. This is because the compressed soles are no longer providing the same level of shock absorption, which increases the stress on your muscles, bones and joints while you run.
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Why is it so important to replace your shoes?
How can you prolong the life of your shoes?
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Why Tracking Running Shoe Lifespan In Miles Or Kilometers Is Important
Studies on the lifespan of running shoes suggest that their ability to absorb shock diminishes over time, thus increasing the risk of injury. Cook, Kester and Brunet found in The American Journal of Sports Medicine in as early as 1985, that the initial cushion of running shoes dropped to 67% after about 150 miles and further to 60% after a little more than 500 miles .
So How Long Should Running Shoes Last
The lifecycle of your running shoes can be affected by lots of things from the shoe and how well its features match your biomechanical patterns, to how you use them and how well you maintain them. Obviously if youre a seasoned runner or professional that heads out on a long run every day, youre going to need a new pair of shoes much more frequently than someone who runs for fun or casually. Every shoe and runner is different. Below weve highlighted the major things that can affect the lifecycle of a running shoe, and signs to look out for when deciding if its time to say goodbye to your trusty run companion.
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It’s Easy To Get Attached But There’s A Mileage Number You Probably Shouldn’t Cross On A Single Pair Of Shoes
According to Strava, Ive run about 950 miles since the pandemic started. Ive worn seven or eight different running shoes over the last 18 months, but the overwhelming majority of that mileage was logged on my Saucony Endorphin Pro 1s, a highly-cushioned, carbon-plated running shoe that I will recommend to just about anyone who will listen.
I really love those shoes. Theyve been everywhere from Prospect Park to Death Valley. But at this point, theyre absolutely donezo. The traction is gone, the fit is too tight and even the colorway once a crisp racing white is now more of a pukey beige.
Why did I let them get this far? For all the usual reasons that casual runners hang on to their running shoes too long I felt comfortable in them, I was wary of breaking in a new pair, and even with GPS tools at my disposal, I legitimately didnt realize how long Id been wearing them. The official count: more than 700 miles and nearly 100 hours of running.
Its massively important for your health and happiness as a runner, though, to be able to recognize exactly when a shoe is ready to be replaced. The old prescription for most runners swap em out once a year may sound reasonable, but there are a variety of more relevant factors and pertinent clues that should actually influence that timeline. Heres what you need to know.
How To Get More Miles Out Of Your Running Shoes
Although you want to change your running shoes regularly, there are a few things you can do to extend the life of your running shoes
Following those 5 steps will prolong the life of your running shoes and save you money in the long run. This is why:
Own more than one pair of running shoes
If you can, its a good idea to have at least two pairs of running shoes at a time that you alternate between. This distributes the stress of all your running between two pairs so that they last longer.
Alternating also gives the cushioning, or EVA foam, in your shoes time to decompress and return to its natural shape. When you run, the foam decompresses from the impact so allowing some time in between your next run in that pair of shoes will allow the foam to decompress and dry out so that it can provide the correct amount of cushioning and shock absorption that its supposed to.
Another benefit of running in two pairs of shoes is that if you have two slightly different types of running shoe, your muscles will work slightly differently which will help keep you from straining or fatiguing them.
Only wear your running shoes when going running
Because running shoes are so comfy and versatile , its tempting to simply wear them as you go about your day.
Put them on and take them off the right way
Wash your shoes
Dry your shoes
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How Long Should Running Shoes Last
If youre a regular runner, youve probably wondered how long your running shoes should last. Most runners get attached to their sneakers. They form friendships and chase their goals with them, and so it can be incredibly difficult to part with them. Fortunately, you can keep your running shoes for as long as they need to. Most pairs last around six months. Heres how to tell when its time to upgrade.
First, consider your running style. You want a pair of shoes that feel comfortable. They should provide enough cushioning and support to help you run for a long time. You dont want to experience soreness or pain when youre running. A new pair of shoes should be able to address these problems. Listen to your body. You might have more aches and pains, or the tread has worn unevenly. If these symptoms persist, you should buy a new pair of shoes.
The lifespan of your shoes depends on how often you wear them. Brooks Running suggests a pair to last around 250 miles, while Kranz recommends a pair to last 2,000 miles. The exact number depends on several factors, including your body type, running surface and overall mileage. Most runners say the average shoe should last for 300 to 500 miles. Some claim their shoes to last up to 700 miles. However, this figure is dependent on a variety of factors, including the type of footwear you wear and how often you run.
What Affects The Life Of My Running Shoes
Several factors influence how long your running shoes last, which is why different people will have different results. Different running styles also affect the way shoes wear out. For example, a runner who overpronates, which is when the foot rolls inward too far, will show wear at the big toe joint and inside the heel. Runners who underpronate, or keep most of their body weight on the outside of their foot, will see more wear on the outer edge of their shoe.
Height and weight also play a role in how long shoes last. The shoes of larger-than-average runners wear out more quickly, so to make them last longer, look for shoes such as the GEL-KAYANO 28 , which has advanced support and cushioning.
It’s not just what’s going on inside the shoe that affects how long it lasts, however. Where you run can change the speed at which shoes wear out, too. Running on a paved road causes your shoes to wear out faster than when you run off-road so take your running route into consideration as you look for new shoes.
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How Often Should You Replace Your Running Shoes
Its generally accepted that the standard lifespan of road running shoes is somewhere between 300 miles and 500 miles, or around 500-800km if youre that way inclined, and lightweight shoes tend to be somewhere between 250 and 300 miles. So if youre running 20 miles per week, youll probably need to replace them after 4-6 months.
However, where you fit in that range depends on a few things:
The Landing Starts To Feel Firmer Leading To More Soreness And Aches After A Run
When your shoes are put in an activity as repetitive as running, the shoes midsole gets compressed from the repetitive pounding. At some point, the EVA foam no longer provides cushioning.
Though you can still run on them, they no longer provide the cushioning required to protect your knees from overuse injuries. Plus, youll start to get aches and pains more often. When that happens start looking for a new pair of running shoes.
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Tip #: Create A Shoe Rotation
A shoe rotation is having 2 or more shoes to switch up in training. Though it might sound like youre going to be spending more, youre actually saving more money in the long run . Having a shoe rotation will significantly increase the lifespan of your running shoes.
That said, If you used a pair of shoes for a long-distance run, you shouldnt use the same pair the next day to allow the midsole foam to recover and go back to its original stretch.
Heres an example of a shoe rotation :
- Well-cushioned daily trainers: Brooks Glycerin 19
- Speedwork shoes: Saucony Endorphin Speed
- Long run shoes: ASICS GlideRide 2
- Racing Shoes: ASICS METARACER
- Trail running shoes: Salomon Sense Ride 4
How To Make Them Last
While running shoes will eventually need to be replaced, there are tricks and tips that can actually make your running shoes last longer. Aside from taking care of them on a regular basis, there are other things you can do to make sure that you get more out of your investment.
Here are two of them:
- Make Sure to Pick The Right Pair
To make sure that the running shoes last longer, it is important that they fit well and arent under a greater strain than what they are designed for.
Make sure that there is enough room for the foot to move around and adjust the lacing so that both the foot and the shoe are comfortable.
All in all, what you really need to do is to make sure that you pick a good brand with a solid model, and youre all set.
- Use Two or More Pairs
Running with a single pair of shoes will take a toll on their lifespan. The foamy material will lose volume much quicker if its being stressed on a daily basis. Giving the shoes a two- to three-day break while taking a spare pair out for a jog will allow the foam to grow back to its original volume.
While giving it a break wont do much else, it is a good way to keep the shock-absorbing properties of the shoes around for longer.
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