If you’re a keen runner, the chances are that you’re going to wear out your running shoes much faster than someone who is an occasional runner. That’s just common sense. One of the most regular questions asked however, is how long are running shoes good for?
The answer? There is no hard and fast rule. It completely depends upon a number of different factors, including how often you run, the type of shoe, the type of terrain you’re running on, and the quality at the time of buying them.
Of course, that doesn’t answer your question, but there are several pieces of useful advice and things to look for, which will get the alarm bells ringing when it’s time to replace your old faithful running shoes with newer pair.
Remember, running shoes might be made of pretty advanced materials these days, but they’re still materials which have a wear and tear point, and at some stage, they’re going to need replacing. The more pressure you place upon your shoes, the quicker they will wear out. It’s that simple. If you continue to wear a pair of old running shoes, ones which have certainly seen better days, you not only risk injury and pain, but you also risk being much slower as a result. Not ideal for someone who is trying to reach their personal best.
Key Signs That Your Running Shoes are Ready to be Replaced
The shoe tread is worn or gone
The tread is one of the most important parts of a running shoe, and when the tread is gone, it’s time to wave goodbye. The tread provides support and traction, no matter what the terrain you’re running on. Over time, the tread on the outer sole will begin to erode away. You could compare it to a pair of car tires; they wear away after the car has done a lot of mileage, and they need to be replaced to improve performance and support for inner mechanics of the wheel.
Look for spots on the outer sole where the rubber has disappeared or worn right down. You’ll certainly see scuffing or marks, but that is normal; you’re looking for total erosion. It’s also possible that you wear out a certain side before the other one, and that is down to how you run, and where your foot lands first on the surface you’re running on.
You don’t feel the same level of cushioning
The shock absorption of a running shoe is designed to give you comfort and protection, and when you start to feel that you’re not getting the same amount of cushioning when you’re running, that’s a sure sign that your shoes are ready to go. Basically, the feeling should be like a spring, and when the shock absorption level is good, your shoe should help to propel you forward; when it is low, you will feel simply like you’re landing, and probably landing quite abruptly.
In order to spot this visually, examine your shoes and look for levels where the tread and the cushioning has diminished. Bend the shoe from the heel to the toe; if it rolls up easily, there is little shock absorption remaining. If there is resistance, there is still some absorption left.
The amount of running you have done
We mentioned that there is no set amount of time in terms of when to replace your running shoes, but there is a rule of thumb. The quickness of replacement depends on how much running you do, and generally speaking, 300-500 miles is the lifespan of a pair of good quality running shoes. Work out how much running you do and how often; this should help you predict when you might need to start saving to reinvest in another pair of shoes.
It’s a good idea to keep a record of how much running you’re doing, not only for working out when to replace your shoes, but also to help you plot and record your progress.
The quality in the first place
Of course, a cheap pair of running shoes (not the type in the Black Friday sales) is likely to be less quality than a pair which costs you more. It’s worth investing in quality when you first buy, in order to cut down on how often you need to replace them. We’re not suggesting you spend a fortune but remember that sometimes you really do get what you pay for.