Five signs telling you it’s time to get a new pair

By Christelle Tolisora | Photo by Kristian Egelund/Unsplash

Admit it. Finding the perfect pair of running shoes is a struggle. But once you do, it’ll be just as hard letting it go. You’ve probably worn your trainers on the most challenging runs, perhaps even on tumultuous trails, but as they say, nothing lasts forever—and that applies to your good old running shoes. Your kicks have their own lifespan, but how do you know your sneakers are way past its prime? Here are signs to tell you it’s time to ditch them for a new (and probably better) one.

Mileage

One of the most effective ways to track shoe performance and durability is through its mileage. This can be a little bit tricky because it will depend on your weight and running style as well as the track surface you usually run on. Light runners can hit up to the 500 mile mark while 300 miles is a good parameter for the heavy ones. A quick pro tip: Have a training log where you can monitor the mileage of your shoes and the distance you covered monthly (or even weekly). Ideally, your running shoes should last three to six months depending on how often you use them through a week.

Running on Tough Terrains

Small holes and dirty running shoes? Not cool. Covering tough terrains might shorten the mileage of your kicks. The excessive rubbing of toes to the toebox and ankle to the Achilles notch will slowly rip the mesh off your shoes and can even form holes. Yes, you can still use it after a few runs, but when the holes increase in size and number, it’s better to just get a new pair. Also, leaving your shoes out to dry without cleaning it properly after a tough trail run will deteriorate the material of your shoes and may cause premature wear.

Worn-out Sole

A good traction capability is essential for running shoes. It provides the grip and balance necessary when running on different surfaces or trails. But with constant use, the rubber material on the bottom outersole will eventually wear off just like any other durable shoe. If you see that the outersole is white and “bald” then that’s an obvious sign that you need to buy a new one.

Depleted Midsole

Knowing the parts and function of your running shoes is an advantage. Once you notice that the important areas of your shoes have started to deplete, then most probably it’s time to replace them. The best example is the midsole, which is responsible for cushion and stability. Good thing is that you can test the compression of your midsole by pressing your thumb into it. If it feels intractable, opposite to its supposed “cushiony” feel, then it’s probably worn out.

Pain and Discomfort

The general rule of thumb: When it doesn’t feel right, change it. Your shoes may not be stable and may have lost its capacity to support you on long runs. If you constantly get blisters and start feeling excessive pain in your knees, ankles, and lower back, it’s your body’s way of telling you that your shoes have already reached their limit. A worse case is when you ignore these signs and end up with a serious injury.

Replacing your running shoes can be difficult (and costly), but investing on a pair or two that you can use in intervals will still cost you less. Ditching your old ones prevents you from getting serious injuries and lets you keep doing what you love.