Running sport shoes closeup outdoors in action on mountain road.

How Long Do Running Shoes Last & How To Extend Their Life?

If you love to run, then you know that a great pair of running shoes is essential. Your feet are amazing, but you still need to protect them with a high-quality pair of running shoes. This is an instance where you do not want to skimp on the quality. You do not need to spend a fortune, but you do want to invest in something which is going to last.

Talking of lasting, how long do running shoes actually last? I set out to find the answer to that question and also find out how to get the most out of your running shoes. So, if you want your running shoes to last, follow some of my tips, and you will get the most out of your favorite pair.

How Long Do Running Shoes Last?

The bad news is that running shoes do not last forever. The soles on the bottom scuff and wear down, while the foam inside slowly compresses under your weight. The repeated pounding on the ground takes its toll on your shoes, and damage to the shoes can cause injury and soreness for you.

If you are running every week, then you can expect a pair to last you 5-8 months (300-400 miles or 480-640 kilometers).

via GIPHY

How To Tell When Your Running Shoes Are Wearing Out?

The best way to tell when it is time to change your running shoes is by the look and the feel.

There are many ways to see when your shoes are wearing down, and the most obvious is with a worn sole. Think of the tread like that of a tire. When it is worn, it becomes more dangerous to run. If the soles are worn, you are not going to get the traction and support which you need.

When you are running, think about the feel of your feet and shoes. The midsole of the shoe is the part which supports and comforts your foot. It absorbs the impact as you run, and should have some bounce to it. As the shoe age, the foam will lose its elasticity, and you will feel this when you run.

If you have aches and pains after your run, when there were never any before, then it could be the shoes which are to blame. You never want to keep running when you are sore after, and that is a good indication that it is time for a new pair.

‘Global Triathlon Network’ explains when to replace your running shoes.

How To Extend The Life Of Your Running Shoes?

Running shoes will eventually wear out, and there is nothing which you can do to stop it. There is, however, a lot of things which you can do to get the most mileage out of your running shoes. Here are some tips for long-lasting shoes.

Own At Least Two Pairs Of Shoes

Owning two pairs helps to distribute the wear, and giving one pair a break makes them last more than twice as long. Two pairs of shoes will cost twice the price but will save you money in the long run (excuse the pun).

If you do find shoes which you like, it is always beneficial to buy a second pair in case you cannot find them again. You can also often take advantage of deals like ‘buy one get one half off.’ Buying multiple pairs of shoes will make them last longer and could save you money.

Dry & Air Out Your Shoes

One of the biggest killers of shoes is moisture. It is obvious when shoes have become soaked in the rain, but not so much when there is sweat in them.

After every run, it is important to give your shoes time to dry and air out. This will help to keep them in shape and protect the materials. Find a cool, dry place, and give them time to dry. This is made easier when you follow my first tip and have two pairs of running shoes.

Clean Your Shoes

Moisture is not all that can wear out running shoes; dirt can too. If you love running, then you have probably run through mud, sand, dirt, and more. It is fun to do and offers something different than just solid surfaces.

If you have dirtied your shoes, I recommend cleaning them as soon as you can, and then letting them dry out. Dirt can cause the materials in your shoes to wear down quicker. A few minutes work is all it takes to prolong the life of your shoe.

Match the Shoe to The Surface

It is fine to go off-road every now and then. And, let’s face it; you would get bored if you did not. But, make sure that you match the shoe to the surface.

Not all running shoes are created equal. Road-running shoes are made to run on hard surfaces like roads and sidewalks, while trail-running shoes are created for the off-road areas. The shoes have been specifically created for a type of surface.

two men running on a trail

If you run on trails a lot and use only road-running shoes, or vice-versa, then the shoes are going to wear down quicker. A little foray onto a different surface is fine, but do not make a habit of it.

Buy Quality Running Shoes

At Durability Matters, we are all about high-quality purchases. You do not need to pay a lot, but you should expect to pay a little more for something which will last. This is especially important for running shoes.

Take a look at my own pair.

I have been using my Adidas Canadia TR5 Trail Running Shoes for two years now. I use them mainly for trail running (that is what they are built for) and have put over 200 miles on them. From time to time, I also use them for running on my treadmill.

For a pair of running shoes which are halfway through their life, they are still surprisingly comfortable and do not show a lot of wear and tear.

Adidas Kanadia TR5 - 02
Adidas Kanadia TR5 - 03
Adidas Kanadia TR5 - 04

I love the mesh tongue and upper, and definitely feel the extra air circulation on hot days, my feet staying dry, cool, and comfortable. The non-slip lining was one of the features which made me fall in love with the shoes. When I am running, my foot stays firmly in place, reducing internal slipping, and stopping blisters and other abrasions.

These shoes are extra durable with great cushioning and have superior traction, that is welcome when I am bounding through the mud. They help to make running fun.

Related: 5 Most Durable Running Shoes

Buying a cheap pair of running shoes will do nothing for you in the long-term. They are going to wear down quickly, and you are soon going to be finding yourself with sore feet and another purchase of running shoes.

Having long-lasting shoes starts with purchasing high-quality shoes. Invest in quality and save money.

Always Undo the Laces

It can be tempting to slip your running shoes on and off. You want to get out there; the sun is setting, and you want to run in the last bit of warmth of the day. However tempting it is, you should always untie and retie your laces when taking them off and putting them on.

It is a simple thing, but slipping your shoes on constantly can cause the upper to stretch. A stretched upper will not fit as snugly as it should, and your foot is not going to be supported as well. When this happens, your feet can become sore when you run, and a new pair of shoes beckons.

Only Use Your Running Shoes For Running

Your running shoes may look great and feel comfortable, but you should only use them for running. It makes sense that wearing them all of the time is going to wear them down quicker. They are built to run in, and using them for anything else would be a waste. Follow the destiny of your running shoes and save them for running. If you do, they will last for as long as possible.

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Some simple tips, which are easy to follow, and which will make a real difference. Not only will these tips save your favorite pair of running shoes, but they will also save you money. If you love to run, then a high-quality pair of running shoe is a must. Take care of them and enjoy the journey.



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Henrik

Henrik is a minimalist and founder of DM.

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