If you’re a regular runner who runs to exercise or enjoys the exercise, you must possess a pair of running shoes. Good running shoes are important accessories that make or break the run. Often, you may find it hard to say goodbye to your favorite pair of running shoes. However, there will come a time to replace your running shoes. Read on to find out what affects the lifespan of a pair of running shoes, how you can preserve its lifespan, and when it’s time to say hello to a new pair.
Before we begin, a very important question to answer is— why do we need to replace running shoes? For those who are thrifty and would like to keep to one pair of shoes, it may be hard to understand the need for new shoes if you’re okay with wear and tear and shoes that still work fine. The most important reason for replacing a pair of running shoes is safety. Although a pair of running shoes may look and feel fine, usage will wear and tear the shoe down beyond the surface of the shoe itself. It is therefore important to replace your running shoes when necessary to prevent an increased risk of injury.
What affects the lifespan of a pair of running shoes?
The lifespan of a pair of running shoes varies greatly, depending on the build of the shoe and materials used, etc. As a rough guide, a decent pair of running shoes should last you between 500 to 750km before it has to be replaced due to safety concerns. Therefore, it is natural that frequent runners, professionals, or seasoned runners will have to replace their shoes much more frequently than individuals who only run occasionally. In general, there are a few common factors that affect the lifespan of a pair of running shoes.
- Terrain: Where you run on makes a huge difference on your shoes. Compare running on a hill or in a park compared to on the roads, and you will realize that the texture of the surface that your shoes touch will affect its lifespan. When purchasing your shoes, it is usually stated what terrain the shoes are suited for, and what it is not made for. In our daily lives, it is likely that you will run across different terrains which may therefore affect the lifespan of your shoes. Therefore, it is important to make sure you run as much as possible on the specific terrain that your shoes were built for.
- Running style: Everyone has a different running form and style. Our individual foot strikes will also be different. To find out your impact zone, take a quick look at your most worn pair of running shoes, and look at which area has been worn down the most. For sprinters and hill runners, it is highly likely that the impacted area is under the big toe, or around the shoe’s front. Other areas that can be affected include under the ball of the foot and heel of the shoes, with the latter being the common case for long-distance runners.
How to lengthen the lifespan of your shoes
Keeping your running shoes in a good condition is extremely important for safety and to extend its lifespan.
To do so, you should dry them after use as much as possible.
Shoes often get wet but drying them both inside and out can keep them in use for a longer period of time and save money.
Moisture in your shoes can seep into the glues and materials that damage the shoes over time.
You should also make sure to undo the laces before and after sliding off the shoes.
Although it is more convenient to simply step on and slide into your shoes, doing so can crumple the shoe and damage its structure, particularly the heel over time.
Lacing on and off can help to preserve the structure of your shoe and keep them in action for a longer time.
Remember to also rotate between multiple pairs of running shoes, instead of sticking to only one.
You should also wear the right type of socks, those that match the quality and condition of your shoes for a comfortable run to prolong the shoes’ lifespan.
So when should I replace my shoes?
- Changes to the sole: The most obvious signs for you to change your pair of running shoes often appear on the soles. When the soles have been worn down to the tread, you will notice that the base-sole-shape of the shoe has changed. This is a clear indicator for you to get a new pair of shoes. Although the wear and tear may affect one area more than another, any sign of wearing down of the sole to the tread until it is smooth is a clear sign to change them.
- Sides of your shoe: If you notice that the sides of your shoes have worn down, it is most likely the time to change your shoes. Even though the soles of your shoes may still be fine, wider or flat feet may cause the sides of the shoes to wear through faster than the sole, resulting in a need for a new pair. If this happens, it also means that the shoes may be in the wrong size, and you should take note to change up your sizing for your next purchase.
- Pain and injury: Besides all the obvious signs of wear and tear on your shoes, the most important factor to warrant a new pair of shoes is any form of pain or injury. If your current pair of shoes cause you soreness in places that you have never felt before, like in the feet, upper back, and shins, it could mean that you need to get a new pair of running shoes soon. Any pain and injury caused by your running shoes is a sign that it is not safe for you, and may cause an increased risk for injury.
In conclusion, a good pair of running shoes help to keep your runs safe and effective. Besides prolonging the lifespan and condition of your shoes, remember to look out for the signs that your shoes need to be replaced to prevent any injuries before it’s too late.