When To Replace Your Running Shoes + Why

As much as we love a new pair of kicks, there’s often that one pair of running shoes that you can’t seem to kick off for good. They seem to have molded to your feet after many miles + they still look [somewhat] presentable. Good shoes are not cheap, so it’s easy to stay in your comfort zone with your Cinderella pair. Still, it’s important to replace your running shoes every once in awhile to avoid injury + to keep you running your best.

Experts often recommend replacing your shoes every 300-500 miles, but who is really counting? Depending on the way you run, your mid-sole or the bottom of your shoes may wear out before the other. Some miles may be on tougher trails + the more you weigh may create more stress on your shoes. Of course, more expensive shoes will probably last longer than cheaper ones.

The best rule of thumb is to listen to your body. During + after a run, do you feel like your feet + ankles had enough support? If not, it’s likely time to replace them! Your body knows a good run versus a bad one + it’s important to listen to those cues to determine if you need new shoes. It’s not about wanting a *fresh-out-of-the-box feel*, but needing shoes that provide enough support!

If you also wear the same shoes to cross-train, the wear will be significantly more. Running shoes aren’t made for lateral movements [think side-to-side jumps or lunges] so you might want to reconsider using one shoe for every type of workout. The way your shoe strikes the ground can affect the wear and tear of your shoes as well. If you scuff your feet at all when you run, they might wear out more frequently.

Shoes that have lighter materials may also wear out more quickly than stronger materials. Your shoes might be light and bouncy, but that could mean their durability is lacking. If you overpronate, you might need more supportive + stable shoes to keep from rolling your ankles too much when you run anyway.Your body will adapt to your shoes, however, so your feet will naturally adapt to a less supportive shoe — that is, until there is nothing left to give in your shoes.

You can also rotate your shoes to extend their wearable life. The longer you go between wearing shoes, the longer the tiny air pockets within the soles have to bounce back from being compressed during use. Studies have shown that rotating two shoes every other day lasts the same time as three pairs not rotated. This also helps keep your feet from being stressed in identical ways every day. This is most important if you run late at night + again early the next morning.

Potential running injuries from overused shoes can include runner’s knee, Achilles tendinitis, plantar fasciitis, shin splints + even stress fractures. If you’re training for a race or trying to get serious about running, it might be worth it to have a running specialist at a sporting goods store help you out! They can help you determine the best shoe for your gait and stride. Always remember, every sales expert isn’t wearing the shoes — you are!

When it’s time to retire your running shoes, don’t feel obligated to throw them away! As long as they’re still looking good enough by your standards, they are still A-OK to keep for walking + normal daily activities. If they’re in good condition but you want them out of your space, share them in our Fitionista Detox group!

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