It might sound obvious, but your trainers won’t last forever.
There might be some people who’ve been wearing the same trainers for two to three years, and glad that they’ve not had an injury at all.
If you are, then you’re greatly at risk of injury.
But, I warn you, this is an exception to the rule. We wear trainers to protect our feet from the surfaces that we run on. As well as to keep the optimum function of our muscles and our joints.
As you wear running shoes, their form, their grip, and support all diminish at different rates over time, but some of them are more visible than others.
With wear, running shoes will become thinner, and the midsole layer of cushioning will decrease. Thus they lose the ability to protect the feet and leads to the chances of injury.
However, there are ways to extend your running shoe lifespan. But also knowing how long do running shoes last or when to replace your running shoes is difficult. There are so many different opinions.
Well, in this article, we’re going to teach you what signs you need to look for if your running shoes need to be replaced and tips to make your running shoes last longer.
How Long Do Running Shoes Last?
Running shoes have a certain lifespan so it needs to replace with new pair. But, how many miles before you change your running shoe is such a grey area.
There are so many different suggestions out there that vary so much from person to person.
But as a general rule, replace your running shoes between 3 to 5 hundred miles or 450 to 600 kilometers. This could be the timeframe somewhere maybe between 12 to 18 months for a person who runs 20 miles per week.
These numbers are such rough guides, like your weight, your running style, the surface you run on, the type of running, and so on, which are all affecting factors.
8 Signs You Should Replace Your Running Shoes
Running shoes are made up of three different parts, all of which need to be taken into consideration when you’re looking at the wear of your shoe.
These are some of the signs which if you see, it’s time to start looking for a new pair of running shoes.
1. Worn-out the Upper Unit
The running shoe upper consists of the mesh, the laces, the eyelets, and the heel counter.
Now, obviously, you want to be able to tighten your laces correctly.
So, if you’re missing any eyelets, that’s not good, if you’re not getting the full support, the shoe needs to be changed. Also, keep an eye on the stitching, cuz if your trainers get wet regularly that can start to go.
When it comes to the mesh, you might be surprised to know that having a hole sort of on the top or somewhere that’s not affecting the supporter the comfort of the shoe, isn’t necessarily a problem.
However, if you do start to notice a hole where the upper joins the midsole, so anywhere along this line on either side, then that’s a sign it’s time to change your shoes.
2. Midsole Lack Cushioning & Shock Obsorbency
The midsole is the hardest part to notice, but often the first to go. And it’s also critical when it comes to wearing, as it’s designed to cushion the foot and act as a shock absorber.
Therefore, it’s essential to look closely for signs of wrinkles or discoloration.
The midsole is usually made of EVA and it’s often white in color. So, if you can start to see discoloration, going a yellow-brown type color, and I don’t just mean dirt, then it’s a sign that the shock-absorbing properties are going to be compromised.
And the same goes if you to see the development of fine, horizontal lines. It’s a common misconception to think that you only need to look at the sole of your shoe to work out the wear.
3. Outer Sole Worn-out
The outsole of the shoe will usually have black rubber that’s designed to protect the softer EVA midsole, as well as providing some grip for the comfortable running experience.
You can easily detect your wear pattern just by looking at the outsole. If you can start to see the outsole coming through the midsole then your running shoes are definitely dead and need to be replaced.
4. Outsole Becomes Flat & Loses Grips
The outsole is the most durable part of running shoes that actually comes in direct contact with the surfaces you run on. And most running shoe outsole comes designed with unique groove patterns to increase the ground traction.
But, due to running on different surfaces and using overtime, there is a chance that the shoe outsole gloves patterns become flat and collapsed. If so, the shoe may lack grips to the ground also lack shock absorbency.
If you find this sign in your trainer, the time has come that your need to replace your running shoes with a new pair.
5. Heel Counter Becomes Less Supportive
The most common wear on the running shoe upper is actually the back of the shoe, the heel counter. Inside of this heel counter, there’s a plastic cup that is designed to help prevent overpronation.
So, as your foot lands, to prevent rolling inwards too much. And it’s also there just to cup your heal, and hold your foot firmly in the shoe, connecting it to the midsole.
Now, if you can actually see this bit of plastic inside of here already, and you’ve not thrown your shoes away due to blisters or pain, please do so right now.
6. Do Stand Test
Lightly draw a line, or use some tape, to go directly down the middle of the heel counter. To do this, hold your running shoes so that you’re not distracted by the angle already.
Once you’ve done that on both shoes, place them on a table or flat surface in front of you. And have a look to see if the line is perpendicular.
If, however, the line is off to one side or the other, then it’s a sure sign that the midsole is more compressed on one side than the other. And that will then exacerbate any gate issues you might have and will lead to injury.
7. Pain When You Run
If you are noticing some pain in your ankle, joints, and especially on your knees after every single run, this may be because the shoe has lost the cushioning and support. In this situation, you will require to invest in a new good pair of trainers.
8. Feels Uncomfortable
For running shoes, comfort always comes first. But if your running shoe causing discomfort, there could be certain reasons for it that we already discussed. A comfortable running shoe helps you run efficiently without any injury.
So, if you’re facing this issue, it is advisable to have an extra pair of shoes and rotate both regularly so you can avoid any major injury.
Things That Affect How Long Do Running Shoes Last
These are the factors that affect the lifespan of running shoes and will determine how often you need to change them.
1. The Running Surface
The running surface is the biggest factor that affects the lifespan of any running shoe. The shoes made for trail running, terrain, or uneven bouncy roads face more extreme conditions as compared to the shoes made for road running.
Thus the life of trail running shoes may be less than the road running shoes. Make sure you run on a which is specially designed for the surface which you are running on. This is how you make the most of the running shoe prolong.
2. Runners Running Style
The second most important factor that will determine how many miles/km you can run before replacing your running shoes is your running style or how exactly strikes your feet to the ground.
It’s not necessary that all men have the same running style, one person has a neutral running style and the other one may have overpronation. You can make sure by looking at the sole of your running shoe.
3. Runners Weight & Height
This is also a factor that plays a major role. A taller or heavier parson’s running shoe will wear quickie as compared to the normal person’s running shoes.
How You Can Extend The Lifespan Of Your Running Shoes
Running shoes can be expensive for some people who are not able to invest in a new one. But, the good news is there are some things to extend the lifespan of your running shoes.
1. Own Specific Shoe for Specific Surface
Not every single shoe is designed for all purposes. The same running shoes are not also designed for all running conditions.
They built for specific running purposes, as trail shoes made for running on the trail and lightweight-cushioned shoes are built for running on roads or for marathons.
So, if you carry a shoe that is just perfect for the running surface, you can not only prolong the life of your trainer but also protect your feet from being injured by providing the right support and comfort.
2. Use Only When You Run, Don’t Use for a Walk
There might be some people who tend to prefer their running shoes for casual and everyday use just because the shoe is very comfortable. But you know, this extra wear can reduce the life of your trainer.
If you do so, try to avoid wearing them after finishing your running and only wear the casual shoe for casual use and walking shoes for everyday activities.
3. Prefer High-Quality Branded Running Shoes
This is obvious that the more you pay the better quality you get. The same condition applies to running shoes. You should not compromise with quality when you have a flexible budget.
Always go with brands like ASICS, NIKE, HOKA, and SKECHERS. These are leading in the running and sports shoe industry and you won’t regret it.
4. Take Running Shoe Off the Right Way
It is always a good practice to take off the shoes by untying the laces after every wear. It might be tempting to take off the shoes by just toeing. There are many who do this.
Untying the shoe in this way can break down or worn out the shoe heel. Ultimately your shoes will wear out before the time.
5. Clean the Shoe after Every Run
Make sure you take care of your running shoes as you do when the shoe was new. When you complete your run, give your trainer a quick wipe to clean the dirt, dust, and water.
If a quick wipe-down not making your shoe clean, put then into a bucket of soapy water and hand wash using a sponge. But avoid washing them into a washing machine.
6. Air-Dry the Shoe to Stays them in Shape
As you avoid the washing machine to clean the shoe, make sure you also avoid putting them into the dryer. Let the shoe air-dry in the sunlight.
This will retain the natural shape of the shoe rather than break down by the high heat.
7. Replace Running Shoes Regularly
If you can afford to invest in another pair, it is a good option to give your trainer extra life. Now you can use both shoes on alternate days as well as for different running conditions.
This make sure that your shoe will get sufficient time to air dry.
I know trainers aren’t cheap, but replacing them regularly will actually save you in the long term.
So, throw out or recycle any old ones, before you get injured, as it will save you from time and miss-training, and money potentially spent on physiotherapy.
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