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When Should You Get a New Pair of Running Shoes

When you joggle everyday you tend to put a lot of miles on your running shoes. In a little less than three months, myshoe pile current pair (Brooks Adrenaline GTS) has racked up just over 400 miles. It makes you wonder…

How Long Should Running Shoes Last?

I don’t know for sure so research was in order. First, my own history. For the last 7 pairs of shoes, I’ve logged 574, 515, 437, 373, 505, 344, and 489 miles respectively. On average, that’s 462 miles per shoe. In my case, shoe changing is dependent on how my legs feel, how the bottom tread looks, and the “sense” I have about the shoe.

But what about other runners? Over at the CoolRunning forums, other runners had these opinions.

“Depends on the shoes – usually 400-500 miles”
“I thought 500 miles was the limit”
“I got 700 miles”
“I switch at 300 religiously but I know some people who run their shoes over 1000 miles”

The group advice ranges from changing shoes 300 to 700 miles. So, I do just about what everyone else does.

But what do the “experts” say? According to this study from Smart Money,

Replace after: 300 to 500 miles run
Why: Foam-like material in the mid-sole of the shoe stops bouncing back. “You lose the shock-absorbing capacity,” says Dr. Jim Christina, director of scientific affairs for the American Podiatric Medical Association. And that can lead to heel and arch pain, or even stress fractures. Judge how much life is left in your shoes by the way they feel. When a running shoe becomes uncomfortable, it’s time to toss it. (You can lengthen the life of your running shoes, says Christina, by alternating between two pairs. That gives the foam mid-sole time to decompress between runs.)

Alright, it looks like I’m right in range for changing but the shoes don’t really feel like they need to be replaced. If mileage won’t tell you, how else might you know to change shoes?

When to replace running shoes

1.  When you feel soreness.  You can ignore the calendar if your shoes still feel ok.  But when your legs start to hurt, it’s time to get some new ones.  Usually, my knees will start to hurt while I run.  Or the joints and feet get sore.

2.  When the shoe has obvious wear.  Sometimes your shoe will get a hole in it or the bottom tread will wear out.  This is another good reason to get new shoes.

3.  When you feel like it.  While training for a juggling and running marathon you’ll put in a lot of work.  After your race you’ll feel beat and you can reward yourself with a new pair of shoes.  Retire those war worn sneakers and get yourself a new pair just because you feel like it.

Here’s a nice Ode to the Dead Running Shoe.

Joggle on.

This Post Has 3 Comments
  1. I rotate my shoes between 4 pairs, and since I started doing that religously my shoes have started lasting a lot longer. They last much longer on a calendar basis because I don’t run as many miles in them, and they last longer mileage wise because they do get to decompress and they also get to dry between runs. Depending upon the type of shoe (Most of my shoes are different styles and some even different manufacturers) I will usually get between 400 and 600 miles before I feel the need to replace them.

    I have had some shoes where I literally wore a hole through the soles, but usually my legs start to ache a little more and the shoe doesn’t feel quite right when I put it on.

  2. Yeah, I rotate mine too.
    If the heels get worn – i use them in the garden.
    I like #3 – new shoes can pick up the pace!

  3. I’ve got about 550 on my Brooks right now. It really feels like I need a new pair. My legs are started to get sore after/during the run. Of course, that could just be the fact that I’m running so much!

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