Tips For Making Your Shoes Last Longer
Worn-out running shoes are an inevitable reality, but there are ways to squeak a few extra miles out of them and help them last to the higher end of the 300-500 mile range.
- i) Run on appropriate terrainThis one should be a no-brainer. Roadshoes are for road running, and trail shoes are for trail running.For example, the outsoles of road shoes are designed for smoothsurfaces, so taking them on trails is a surefire way to quicklydestroy the soles.
- ii) Have more than one pairRotating between multiple pairs ofrunning shoes wont technically extend the life of the shoe , but it will extend theamount of time between purchases a bit. Its also incrediblybeneficial for your body each pair will work your muscles inslightly different ways, making you a stronger runner overall.
- iii) Practice more efficient runningRunners who are light on theirfeet tend to get a lot more miles out of their shoes than runners wholiterally pound pavement . Practicing a more efficientstridequicker cadence, landing on your mid- or forefoot instead ofyour heel, etc.will help extend the life of your shoes.
- iv) Only wear them runningThats why theyre called running shoes,anyway. Theyre not walking the dog shoes, errand shoes, orhitting the town shoes, so dont treat them as such. Wearing yourrunning shoes for anything other than running will only speed up thewearing-them-out process.
Get Fitted By A Professional To Make Sure The Shoe Is Right For You
When you visit your local running store, the shoe-buying experience should include a knowledgeable staff member helping to determine which pair is best for you based on a variety of features: from measuring your foot size and arch height to doing a gait analysis.
The alignment of the customer has a lot to do with how durable that shoe is going to be for them, Weich explains. For instance, the durability of a neutral shoe is going to be greatly affected if the wearer overpronatestheyre going to wear down the big toe or the arch side of the shoe much more quickly.
Different Shoes Are For Different Runs
I think different shoes are meant for different types of runs and Im not alone. This is a key reason we rotate running shoes.
different running shoes affect running kinetics and kinematics at or before heel strike but not at mid-stance University of Cape Town research
While I love my minimal shoes , I learned the hard way that over 18 miles my knees and feet werent so pleased, but for short workouts theyre a great way to stay focused on connecting to the ground.
The more cushioned HOKA made me feel comfortable in longer runs by reducing the overall pounding. But again, on super long runs if you start to shuffle rather than pick up your feet, beware these can lead to trips! However, they are often the preferred shoe of many ultrarunners, so maybe Im just clumsy! Read more about choosing maximal or minimal shoes> >
Of course, youve also go options for a stability or other foot corrections, which Im going to detail below.
I think these can be helpful to wear as part of your rotation, especially when coming back from an injury and working on your muscle imbalances. In fact, Im testing out the best insoles for runners, to help provide my knee more support as my legs build back up post surgery.
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Should We Rotate The Same Shoe Or Different Types
We will touch on both below, but in truth I like to rotate in both ways.
- If you have a model you swear by and youve been injury free a long time, then yes you can simply rotate two pairs of the same running shoe model.
- If you have had some injuries, Id recommend you rotate different styles of running shoes
- See below for the benefits of rotating different models.
When To Replace Your Running Shoes
Your trusty pair of running shoes have been there for you through all the happy miles, and the hard ones, too, which can make parting ways tough. But eventually the day will come when your shoes will have reached their ultimate finish line knowing when to set them aside and lace up a new pair is important to your running performance and comfort.
You should generally replace your running shoes every 300500 miles. Thats because its around this point that the midsole cushioning on most shoes will lose resiliency and stop absorbing shock as well as when newer, which can cause more impact on your muscles and joints. This means that if you average 15 miles of running per week, then youll need to replace your shoes approximately every five to eight months.
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Get A Separate Pair For Different Activities
To extend the life of a good pair of shoes, use them for runningand only running. If youre going to the gym for strength workouts or kickboxing classes, get a cross-training shoe thats more appropriate for lateral-movement activities. Henry takes it a step further and has a few separate pairs to suit different types of runs.
Consistently rotating the shoes I run independing on the terrain, distance, and type of workouthelps increase their longevity, Henry said. When I used to run in the same pair every day, they needed to be replaced often. Now that I keep my shoes in steady rotation, they last much longer.
Not only will this keep your footwear fresher for longer, the habit of rotating out different pairs has been proven to help prevent running-related injuries in athletes.
Your Choice Of Running Shoes Was A Hit
Im so comfortable! But why is this only available in pink?
You have to let that go immediately. Color should not be a factor when youre choosing running shoes its all about fit and feel.
If youre still running in the first pair of running shoes you picked out aloooong time ago possibly based on color or price its probably a good idea to reevaluate the situation and ask yourself: Was my choice of running shoes spot on to begin with?
If you started shopping for running shoes with price or size as your priority, you probably got off on the wrong foot from the get-go.
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Should You Use New Shoes On Race Day
You need to test new shoes before running a marathon, but put too many pre-race miles on the shoes, and they lose some of their freshness. Here are Hals suggestions for preparing your new shoes for race day.
Have a question about running? Youre in the right place. Every Tuesday, world-renowned coach, author and athlete Hal Higdon posts and answers athlete questions here. You can submit your question by joining the discussions on Hal Higdons Virtual Training Bulletin Boards.
When To Change Your Running Shoes The Mileage Guide
With all the different types, designs, brands and styles of running shoes it can take hours of research and trying on multiple pairs before you finally decide on the right running shoes for you…
…Then once youve bought your pristine new shoes, you want to make them last for as long as possible – especially since quality running shoes can cost a pretty penny!
However, running in worn-out shoes can actually lead to a running injury so knowing when to swap out your old shoes for a new pair is very important.
After youve been running in your shoes for quite a while, theyll start to show signs of wear and tear.
These will be things like poor shock absorption, worn tread, they’ll feel flat and you might experience pain while running.
If you start to notice these signs of wear, its time to start looking for a new pair of running shoes.
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Use Running Shoes For Their Intended Purpose
There are differences between trail running shoes and road running shoes, race shoes and training shoes. So make sure you use them for what they were made for.
Wear trail running shoes on trails, road shoes on the road, and racing shoes for races. All of these shoes are specifically designed for a purpose and surface. Trail shoes have extra-grippy rubber lugs that are built to withstand dirt and rocks but will wear out faster on asphalt and concrete.
Road shoes wont give you the grip or the extra protection of toe caps and rock plates that you want on a burly trail, but theyll cushion your joints and give you good traction on unforgiving pavement.
Racing shoes are designed for fast running for a limited period of time. They wont hold up as well or as long as a trainer. Rotate your shoes and use them for the purpose the designer intended. It really does make a difference.
Enjoy More Cushioned Running Shoes
When I worked onsite at New Balance creating their wear test program, the shoe engineers told me that cushioned shoes can need up to 24 hours to fully bounce back and thus stay in the proper form to support your foot.
Thus giving them time to return to their full cushion makes them feel better, prevents injury and prolongs use. Bonus points because its wonderful when your shoe just feels softer too!
If you love cushion like I do, checkout these Nike Epic React!
While you can add in some insoles that provide cushion, this doesnt mean youve corrected the actual break down of the shoe.
As the functional breakdown occurs, it will actually change the way your foot lands, which changes your stride.
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How Long Do Running Shoes Last
Every pair reaches the end of the road at some point. Heres how you can tell when you need a new pair.
Its a hard question that all runners face: how long do running shoes last?
Retiring a favorite pair of running shoes is never easy. That pair that comfortably cushions the soles of your feet and makes runs magical by adding a blissful bounce to each step until they dont.
The sad fact is that no shoe lasts forever. So, from the moment you open the box and breathe in that new shoe smell to the day you pull them off your feet for the last time, how long can you expect a pair of shoes to last?
According to Greg Weich, a manager and shoe-fit expert at In Motion Running in Boulder, Colorado, the life expectancy of running shoes should be measured in miles rather than months or years: generally 300 miles at minimum, 500 miles at most.
If I were to give a number for most shoes, I would say its around 400 miles, Weich said. But there are many factors involved.
Weich likens it to wearing down the shocks on a car. Every time your foot hits the ground in that running shoe, youre compressing the midsole, he said. Eventually, its not gonna bounce back again.
After Weeks Youre Still Trying To Break Them In
You shouldnt need to break them in to avoid blisters like you would with a pair of high heels.
Your shoes should be comfortable right away, but they will be most comfortable two to three weeks into owning them. Thats when the cushioning begins to respond and adapt to your foot strike pattern, and the upper starts to fit and flex to your foot.
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You Have Black Toenails
Black toenails happen when the tip of the nail bed repeatedly interacts with the front wall or top of the shoe. That repeated impact causes bruising, which leads to blistering and the nail lifting off the bed and thats when you see that ugly purple color underneath.
However, if youre running a marathon or an ultramarathon, you can still get black toenails even when youre running in the right shoe.
So, it could be a sizing problem, but with longer distances, thats just how it goes, particularly if youre running downhill quite a bit.
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.
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How To Know The Life Of Your Shoe Is Coming To An End: Common Signs
On the sole
The most obvious sign of when to replace running shoes is the sole. Wearing down the tread until it is smooth and the overall change in the base-sole-shape of the shoe is one of the clearest indicators that it might be time for a replacement. This can be tricky as some parts will show much greater wear compared to other parts of the shoe . Luckily for On fans, the bottom of the soles through the patented CloudTec shows you clearly when an element is done by breaking through. When this happens, the shoe is beginning to be compromised and its time to start thinking about a new pair.
The upper wearing down
If the sides of your shoes have worn through but the sole of it still is in good health, it could mean that youve chosen the wrong size for your foot. Though length is how shoe size is measured, wider or flat feet can quickly wear through the sides of running shoes. If this is happening to you, a half-size larger could be whats needed for your shoe, or stretch laces that can adapt to the foot on the run . If youre still burning through the sides of your running shoes, a reinforced upper may also be something to consider.
Fraying of the inside heel
More than meets the eye
Pain and injury
If unsure, ask
On offers a free service where you can contact the Happiness Delivery team with pictures of your current shoes and get feedback about if they need replacing or not you can find out more about this service here.
Tips For Extending The Life Of Your Running Shoes
To keep your shoes going strong for as long as possible, try these tips:
- Rotate two pairs of shoes: The benefit is greater if you use different shoes because your body gains a slight cross-training advantage as it adapts to subtle differences in shoe design. Shoe rotation also gives midsoles time to decompress and the entire shoe time to dry out.
- Remove your shoes properly: Using the other foot to rake down on the back of the heel to pry off a shoe is bad form. Unlace each one instead and slip it off with your hands. Your shoes will thank you by serving you longer.
- Use your shoes only for running: Wearing running shoes around the house or town might make you feel empowered , but it will also prematurely wear your shoes down. They were born to runnot run errands.
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How To Make Your Running Shoes Last Longer
You may be thinking that youre going to have to spend a lot of money on running shoes because you are one of those runners that clocks in 30 or 40 miles per week. A lifespan of 10 or so weeks seems far too short for the money youre paying for the pair of running shoes that are perfect for you. But there are some tricks for preserving your running shoes and extending their lifespan.
The cushioning foam and rubber soles will be affected each time your feet hit the ground. Over time, your shoes arent giving you the improved traction, elasticity, or support anymore. It will leave you susceptible to injuries or joint pain. To get the most out of your running shoes, try out some of these tricks!
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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