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How Often Should You Change Running Shoes

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Why Replace Running Shoes

How often should you replace your running shoes?

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

So whats the midsole and why its 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 , Polyurethane , 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.

Heres 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, .

Heres the truth.

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

The longer you run in worn-out shoesas in they dont have the structure and components they were designed withthe higher the risk for something to go wrongand it eventually does.

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

What Affects The Life Of Running Shoes

When it comes to determining how long running shoes should last, three main factors need to be considered to help you determine their lifespan.

1. Run terrain

Where you run on the road, trail, track, inside or a mix, is one of the biggest factors that will determine how long your pair of running shoes lasts. Most running shoes tell you what the ideal terrain for that pair is, and for those that dont, road running is usually standard. In reality, most runners have some cross over with where they run even the city has rocky and dirt-covered parks that vary the kind of environment the sole of your shoes are exposed to. The main thing is making sure that the majority of runs you do match the terrain the shoe was made for, or else that shoe may not be the best choice for a long life of use.

2. Run style

The kind of foot strike you have also plays in to the life of a running shoe. If you are unsure of your impact zone when you run, take a look at the bottom of a well-used pair of your running shoes and see what part has the most wear: front, middle or heel. Knowing this arms you with more information when it comes to looking for a better suited running shoe, and choosing one built to sustain your style.

Remember, there is no right style necessarily when it comes to where your impact zone lies. Understanding and knowing which kind of runner you are is simply the first step in being able to better find the right shoe for you.

3. Runners build

When Should You Really Replace Your Running Shoes

If you ask the big shoe brands how often you should replace your running kicks, theyre going to give you a mileage estimate. Brooks, for example, comes right out and suggests every 250 to 500 miles, depending on the shoe. The problem is, theres little in the way of hard evidence to back the need for such frequent replacement, and running coaches recommendations to clients vary dramatically.

I dont follow the guidelines you typically see from the shoe companies, says Kyle Kranz, a competitive runner and coach. My rules are easier to follow and much more economical: If the shoes fall apart or you wear through the bottom, its time for a new pair. Kranz practices what he preaches, usually racking up between 800 and 1,500 miles per pair.

The Myth of Mileage

If a shoes expected mileage lies somewhere between Brooks Runnings suggested 250 miles and Kranzs 1,500 miles, it becomes evident pretty quickly that a shoes lifespan really just depends on the runner. Debbie Woodruff, a running coach based in California, points out that bigger men generally go through shoes faster than smaller men, since extra poundage compresses the shoes internal EVA foam more quickly. Likewise, dudes with less-efficient form who pound the pavement with each step tend to wear out shoes faster than those who are light on their feet. And of course, environment makes a difference: Rough terrain or loose asphalt tears up shoes faster than grass or well-kempt trails.

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Discover Top Brands At Family Footwear Center

If you run on varied surfaces, you might want to buy more than one pair of running shoes. For instance, you can get one pair that is a good road running shoe for hard surfaces on mostly dry conditions, and one that is more of a trail running shoe that has gnarlier treads and is also waterproof or water resistant for the occasional mud run or water crossing.

At Family Footwear Center we sell a variety of brands and styles of running shoes at our five retail stores and e-commerce website. While the exact selection varies depending on location, top running shoe brands we carry include:

Skechers makes a variety of athletic footwear styles to choose from including running shoes.

You Constantly Need To Adjust

How often should you replace your running shoes?

You have to make excessive adjustments to make the shoe comfortable within the first mile or two. You should consider replacing your running shoes if you constantly need to adjust the laces to be tighter or to open them up, if your toes go numb or are chafing or if you develop hot spots or sore spots on your foot.

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Youve Logged Too Many Miles On Them

Most shoe manufacturers suggest 300 to 400 miles for any given pair of trainers. While we can assume they shoot on the lower end of the spectrum , shoes are generally good for 350 to 500 miles. Each step in your shoe will compress the foam in the midsole and, after enough miles, the foam starts to decompress less and less to the point where its not supporting you as much as it did. Shoes become less effective at absorbing impact and leave you more prone to stress and impact injuries.

The 350 to 500 mile range is admittedly pretty broad some certainly stand the test of time a bit better than others. I suggest thinking about getting a new shoe to rotate in with at 250 to 300 miles so you dont end up in a dead or dying shoe for over 100 miles.

Appearances Are Often Deceiving When It Comes To Running Shoes

With the technology and materials that companies have these days, they are able to manufacture running shoes that continue to look good for many years after their inner components have worn down.

Although everyone wears shoes down differently depending on their build, running style and how often they use them, Akron Marathon race director Brian Polen said theres one rule of thumb, err foot, that applies to most everyone:

Dont have a birthday party for your running shoes, he said.

Running shoes dont last forever, said Polen, who has helped thousands of satisfied customers as co-owner of the Vertical Runner specialty running store in Wooster, Ohio. You may run only on a treadmill, sidewalk or paved bike trails and those shoes may stay very clean.

Shoes are made very robust and most of them are not going to blow out. The technology on the soles is getting so good that now theyre not even wearing out. You might look at your shoes and think, Wow, these are in great shape. I dont really need new ones.

Thats often not the case, though.

There are a lot of components inside a running shoe with the cushion and the support and different pieces that make the shoe perfect for you that do wear out that arent really visible, Polen said.

If you stay in a pair of running shoes for too long, unfortunately one of the first signs that theyve worn out is getting injured.

But, of course, not everyone is the same.

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What Type Of Runner Are You

Less frequent shoe buying if you:

More frequent shoe buying if you:

  • Run with a lighter footstep
  • Run with a heavier footstep
  • Are a low mileage runner
  • Are a high mileage runner
  • Use traditional running shoes
  • Use racing flats or minimalist shoes
  • Run on grass or other soft surfaces
  • Run on cement or other hard surfaces

Tips For Extending The Life Of Your Sneakers

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If youre the type of person to splurge on sneakers or have a favorite pair youre not keen on getting rid of in a few months, there are some things you can do to keep them around for a bit longer.

First, have an extra pair of shoes on hand so that your sneakers get a break. This is particularly relevant for sneakers used for running and other high-impact activities. Gleaton recommends rotating running shoes daily to give the foam in your shoes time to fully decompress.

By rotating your shoes, youre giving them time to breathe so they can come back to their full potential versus running in them again the next day and continuously flattening them, she said.

Second, have activity-specific shoes and do your best to only wear those shoes for their intended activity. If youre the type of person who exercises and then immediately goes to do errands or meet up with friends, you may want to consider packing an extra pair of shoes to prolong the life of your workout sneakers.

Walking adds miles to your shoes, so to extend the life of shoes particularly for running, where you need the most protection Id suggest keeping those shoes only for running, Gleaton said.

Need a new pair? Here are 20 favorites that Amazon reviewers say are astonishingly comfortable.

HuffPost may receive a share from purchases made via links on this page. Prices and availability subject to change.

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Here Are Additional Factors That Affect When To Replace Your Running Shoes:

  • Minimalist shoes have less cushioning, so expect them to be done around 300 miles.
  • Traditional running shoes and maximum cushioning shoes tend to last until around the 500-mile mark.
  • Heavier people will get fewer miles than lighter people, regardless of shoe type.
  • If you wear your running shoes casually, those miles also count toward the total.
  • Dirt on your shoes is no big deal, but if you see significant wear and tear, it may be time to retire your shoes. Keep an eye out for heel damage, worn soles and rips and tears.
  • If you notice new discomfort in your feet, legs, knees, hips or back after running, it may be time for a new pair of shoes. The same is true if youre getting blisters or feeling hot spots where you never used to.

How To Choose Running Shoes Wisely

Many running stores swear by a treadmill gait analysis but is it really the be-all and end-all when it comes to finding the right shoe?

A treadmill gait analysis can be a useful tool. Having rear foot video analysis shows over-pronation at mid-stance, so its helpful to narrow down the shoe choices based on which type of shoe might be most appropriate.

Although, new research in biomechanics proves that over-pronation isnt the scary thing we once thought. Some people do over-pronate severely, but for slight over-pronation, its just about adding some support and stability.

If you wear the same shoe all the time, you can actually develop tiny weaknesses where the shoes are the strongest, and over time that can create injuries in those places.

But, weve also learned that there isnt necessarily one right shoe for every person. You may choose to do your long runs in a pair of Brooks Adrenalines, but favor the Ravenna or the Launch for shorter stuff.

If you wear the same shoe all the time, you can actually develop tiny weaknesses where the shoes are the strongest, and over time that can create injuries in those places.

The perfect running shoe is just there, it does what you need it to do, and its comfortable it should feel like a part of your foot.

If you liked this post, dont forget to share so that others can find it, too.

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Youre Having More Pain

An increase in aches while running or after can be caused by shoes that need to be replaced. As the shoe wears down, the cushioning will wear down. If your knees, ankles, or hips hurt more than usual, your shoes might be the culprit. Muscle fatigue or shin splints may be caused by a decrease in cushioning in the shoes that happens as they are worn down.

Pain on both sides especially means that you need new shoes.

Sore feet are also another sign that your shoes need to be changed. Stiffness or soreness in the bottoms of your feet, especially near the arches, can be because of shoes that should be switched out. The shoes may have worn into a shape that doesnt suit your feet, which can be causing the pain.

Shoes that are worn down also may not provide enough shock absorption. You will start to feel every step and impact as you are running, which is a big sign that you should look into getting new shoes. Having good shock absorption helps reduce strain on tendons, joints, bones and muscles.

Track The Miles On Your Shoes

How often should you change your running shoes?

Someone whos a very efficient runner and has an ideal body type can run 1,000 miles on one pair of shoes, Polen said. I also know a runner who hits 265 miles and buys a new pair of shoes theres no way around it. If they even go up to 280 miles they end up with sore spots and pains.

Once a person gets an idea what their wear pattern is for a pair of shoes, Polen suggests tracking the mileage that they put on their shoes. There are a lot of cool apps, but one of the easiest ways to track shoe use is to actually write the mileage on the shoe box each time you put them away after a run.

If your knee or ankle starts hurting you can look and see the data on your shoe box, realize theyre at 400 miles and know you probably need a new pair of shoes, Polen said.

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How Often Should I Replace My Running Shoes

When it comes to equipment, running is a simple sportregardless

of whether youre training for a 5K, a half marathon, or a full marathon . Generally all thats needed are the right clothes and, more importantly, a good pair of running shoes. But just how long does a quality pair of running kicks last, and how do you know when its time to swap in a brand-new pair? . We dive into the science to ensure your feet stay looking their best.

How Often Should You Change Your Running Shoes

While youre hitting the pavement or running the trails, you count on your shoes to last long and offer support. However, even the most durable pair eventually needs to be replaced.

So, how often should you change your running shoes?In general, running shoes should be replaced after 300 to 500 miles of use. For runners who average twenty miles a week, this is about every four to six months. Heavier runners should change shoes at around 300 miles.

Smaller or lighter people can generally go longer between replacing their shoes than heavier or larger people can. Consider switching out your shoes seasonally, or about four times a year, so you can try different shoes and be sure youre wearing a pair that is in good shape. It may be difficult to track how many miles you have ran, so this rule of thumb can help you.

Most shoes you buy will tell you what their ideal terrain is. If it doesnt say, then know that most shoes are made for road running. Many runners have crossover during their runs, and this can impact how long the shoes last.

How you run also plays a role in the length of time your shoes will last. Those who are heel strikers will find themselves changing their shoes more frequently because of the stress this running style puts on the shoe.

On rocky terrain, the midsole will take more pounding, and you will have to replace your shoes sooner.

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Theres Little Tread Remaining

Have the treads worn down on the soles of your shoes?

Well, thats another clear indication its time to get a new pair. Worn soles mean the cushioning and shock absorbency of the shoes will also have suffered.

Continue to use them and you could easily get injured. Be sure to replace them at your earliest convenience. Heres more on the key parts of a well constructed shoe.

How To Know The Life Of Your Shoe Is Coming To An End: Common Signs

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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.

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