Skip to Main Content

Typically, runners should replace their shoes between 300 to 500 miles, but keep in mind that there are several factors that can make a difference in regard to how long they last.

What are some signs I should keep an eye on so I know when to replace my running shoes?

A few things, including high mileage, injuries, and wear and tear. See below for more details on each.

How do I keep track of my shoe’s mileage?

You can always use a tracking app, spreadsheet or even pencil and paper. But keep the following points in mind in determining when it’s time to replace your shoe:

     Small, or shorter-distance runners usually don’t wear out their footwear as quickly as those large or longer-distance runners that hit the ground with much more force after each step.

     Road running wears on shoes more easily than, say, trail running, so if you think you’ve worn out a pair of shoes while pounding the pavement, you likely have.

     When running in flats (which lack extra padding), regardless of size and body weight, the shoes need replacing after 125 to 250 miles; those shoes offer a bit less durability than normal jogging shoes.

     Knowing the distance you’ve covered allows you to keep an eye out for exactly when it’s time to replace the shoes and to avoid painful injuries.

Shop Fitness Trackers

What sort of injuries may indicate my shoes are wearing out?

     Shin splints, overly tired muscles, back pain, and sore knees are all signals you need to find a fresh pair of kicks.

     Over time, even the best running shoes stretch and lose that perfect fit, which results in painful blisters.

     Keep in mind those small, persistent aches and pains can eventually lead to major injuries if your footwear isn’t replaced.

Shop Braces & Support

What should I look for in terms of shoe wear and tear?

     Stretched heels, broken-down interiors, and worn-out outsoles are all red flags that indicate it’s time for a change.

     Tread is another vital component of the shoe that runners should monitor closely. Without proper traction, it becomes increasingly difficult to navigate paved roads on searing days or tough, technical trails on frigid mornings.

     The mechanics of how you land also play a part in wearing down specific areas of the shoe like the ball of your foot or the inside of your heel. An unbalanced tread can make slight changes to your running gait and potentially cause injury.

     Keeping tabs on the insides of the shoe is just as important. The part of the shoe that provides the springing feeling to each step, known as the midsole foam, will eventually deteriorate after significant use. When this happens, your knees, shins and ankles take more of the force of impact.

     Exhausted midsoles may also lead to foot instability, which can cause rolled feet and sprained ankles.

     To check if your midsole is shot, place the shoes on a flat table and look at them from behind. If the shoes are even and balanced, the midsole is fine, but if there is any lopsidedness, you’re due for a new pair of runners.

     Also check for midsole breakdown based on the shoe’s flexibility. Being able to bend the toe to the heel collar usually means the shoe no longer has any ability to absorb shock.

Shop Running Shoes

How many pairs of running shoes should I have on hand?

We actually recommend owning at least two pairs of running shoes and using them in regular rotation. By having two pairs, you may notice more easily when one pair begins to wear out. If you’re feeling a big difference in the amount of cushioning and comfort, it’s probably time to replace at least one of the pairs.