When To Replace Running Shoes

If you are wondering when to replace running shoes and if you should be tracking how long you use them or how many miles you have run in them, here is the information that you need to know.

There are really a few ways to determine when to replace running shoes, and the method you use has more to do with you and what you do in them than anything else. For example, a 250 pound runner will normally wear out shoes faster than a 120 pound runner. Here are the most common methods to determine if it’s time for some new footwear.


A common standard is to replace running shoes after 300-500 miles of use. The idea here is that running breaks down the shoe over time, especially the insole (the part your foot sits on), which starts to reduce the absorption of impact that your shoes can provide. You can estimate miles by working out with a heart rate monitor or, if you use certain machines, logging the miles. Since there are many types of runners and running surfaces, this is probably the least effective way to track shoe condition, but it’s a good start. At any rate, it’s a good idea to buy your next pair at the 500 mile mark because you will likely need them soon.


A better method is to judge the quality of your shoes based upon how you feel. If your feet, shins, and/or knees seem to be hurting more now than they used to, it just might be your shoes. In fact, shin splints may be helped a lot by a new pair of shoes. Your shoes are a critical part of your overall ability to absorb the shock of running, so once they break down and fail to support your weight properly your body will increasingly absorb the shock. The best way to know for sure is to get your next pair of shoes and wear them for a workout or two. If you notice that they feel much better, you know it’s time to replace your running shoes.

Shoe Condition

Probably the best way to know when to replace running shoes is to inspect the shoe. Here is what you are looking for. First, the insole should have some cushion in it. Press down from the inside and see how it feels. If it feels hard or thin, it’s most likely shot. Second, grab the shoe with one hand on the back and one of the front and twist and turn it. If it’s real easy to do, your insole is breaking down. You should feel some resistance.

Time to Check Your Shoes

Remember, running shoes eventually wear out and should be replaced. Tracking mileage is a good way to know when you should be shopping for new shoes. When you feel aches and pains when you run it might be because your shoes are wearing down, and if you can twist your shoe easily or the midsole appears to be worn, it is time to replace your running shoes.

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