When to retire your shoes

When you’re starting out as a runner, one of your first purchases should be a good pair of running shoes. But when do you buy your NEXT pair?


Running shoe companies generally say that you should be able to get 300-500 miles out of a pair of shoes, but that ballpark number will vary depending on a number of factors:


  • Do you wear your shoes when you’re not running?
    Wearing them to run errands, walk around on vacation, etc. all adds up and wears down the cushioning in the shoes.
  • What surface do you run on?
    Running on trails should help your shoes last a bit longer than running all your miles on roads.
  • What kind of shoe is it?
    Light-weight shoes have less cushioning and could wear out more quickly than heavier trainers. Also, the materials in some shoes (air units, gel, etc.) are more durable than foam and could impact the longevity.


Generally speaking, if you have had the shoes for several months and they start to feel like they’ve lost their “bounce” and/or you notice any new injuries, replacing your shoes is a good place to start. And remember that just because your shoes still have tread left on them, the cushioning could be gone — just like a flat tire could still have great tread.