Answering the question of when to replace a pair of running shoes can mean the difference between a safe and enjoyable run and potential injury and discomfort. Making sure your shoes don’t support your body properly can, at best, leave you feeling uncomfortable, and at worst, lead to shin splints, plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis and more. Learning when to switch out for new shoes is key for helping to keep you safe and healthy.

The miles on your shoes

How many miles should I run on a pair of shoes?

The general rule is, a pair of running shoes should last anywhere between 300-600 miles depending on the type of shoes, your running style and how often you run. Always check the manufacturer’s advice and replace the shoes after it reaches the given mileage.

How can you tell how many miles you’ve run?

The best way to track your mileage is to wear a GPS watch or smartphone app when you run. This will give you a total of the amount of miles you’ve run, while a combination of a journal and mileage counter can also help you keep tabs on your shoes and the distance recorded on them.

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Signs you should change your shoes

Besides monitoring the amount of miles you’ve put in your shoes, there are other signs to consider when deciding to replace them. Here are some things to look out for:

  • Loss of cushion: As your shoes age, the foam cushioning between your foot and the running surface breaks down. If you start to feel as though there’s less cushion than before, it’s time to change shoes.
  • Change in Midsole: The midsole is the cushioning and support part of a running shoe, and when the midsole starts to lose its shape and hardness, you’ll need a new pair running shoes.
  • Tearing of the Outsole: The outsole is the part of the running shoe that makes contact with the ground when running. If it begins to show signs of wear and tear it’s time to replace the shoes.
  • Misalignment: Wearing running shoes for too long can cause them to form to the shape of your feet and begin to misalign with your natural pose, which can lead to back, knee and hip pain.

Best time to replace shoes

When should I replace my running shoes?

You should replace your shoes when you notice signs of wear and tear, when you start to feel pain and discomfort in your legs, or when you reach the mileage advises by the manufacturer. Also, don’t forget to always replace your shoes after a long race, as long races usually put more strain on your shoes than running just a few days a week.

How do I know which running shoes to buy?

Before buying a new pair of running shoes, always check the manufacturer’s advice and use the “Run Challenge” model or the “gait analysis” process to assess the type of running shoes you need. Account for personal preferences and be sure to purchase running shoes with only slightly more cushion than you believe you’ll need.

Tips for keeping your running shoes in good condition for longer

  • Always store your running shoes in a cool, dry place.
  • Air dry your shoes after every run to help prevent the growth of potentially damaging mold.
  • Don’t leave your running shoes outside.
  • Don’t wear running shoes for any activity other than running.
  • Rotate between two, three or more pairs of running shoes on a regular basis to give each pair time to rest.
  • Always use inserts or custom orthotics in your running shoes, if necessary.

People Also Ask

How often should I replace my running shoes?

You should replace your running shoes after 300-600 miles, depending on the type of shoes and your running style.

What happens if you don’t replace running shoes?

If you don’t replace running shoes, it can result in discomfort and potential injury, such as shin splints, plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendonitis.

Can you wear running shoes for walking?

Running shoes are specifically designed for running activities and should not be worn for walking or any other activity.

How often should I replace inserts?

It’s usually advised to replace your running shoe inserts every 1000 miles or whenever you notice the insert losing its cushion or shape.

Do running shoes expire?

Running shoes don’t expire, per se, but after a period of time they will lose their cushion and shape, which could mean injuries and discomfort for the runner.

Final Words

Replace your running shoes in a timely manner and before your runs become uncomfortable. Understanding when to switch out for new shoes will support a healthy running routine, so pay attention to the signs you should change your shoes, use the manufacturers’ advice, create a rotation between more than one pair and monitor the mileage on your shoes. Doing all that will ensure you get the most out of your running shoes and keep running injury-free.