How Do You Know when to Replace Running Shoes

If you are serious runner, the proper fit and 'run specific' shoe should be top priority.

If you are serious runner, the proper fit and 'run specific' shoe should be top priority. Wearing the wrong type of shoe will lead to painful shins, joints, or even injury. The proper style and fit in a running shoe will prevent injury, give you comfort, and it will last longer - which means you can run longer.

It is a very good idea to log the miles you run so you can track when the shoe needs to be replaced. You can feel and see if your shoe is worn and ready for retirement, but sometimes mileage is a good factor when judging whether to replace them or not.

There are three types of running shoes: 1) Neutral; 2) Stability; 3) Motion Control

The way you run, or your 'gait', will determine what type of shoe to wear.

You are either a: 1) Neutral runner; 2) Overpronate when you run; or 3) Supinate

Pronation is the inward roll of the foot and the heel and arch which occurs naturally at the heel strike as a cushioning mechanism.

Overpronation is when the feet roll inward too much.

Supination is where the feet do not roll inward enough.

You can determine this on your own but the best way is to go to a run specific store, have them watch your gait, then fit you with several different shoes that fit your need.

Note: the price tag does not mean a better shoe. On average, expect to pay $90 or more for the newest style of run specific shoes. Older styles, based on the season they were released, can be found at a discounted price. But the most important factor is the fit, comfort and type of shoe that fits your running style/gait.

Most serious runners will have, at a minimum, two pairs of shoes. This gives each pair time to 'recover' from a run, which in turn gives them more life. If you alternate or rotate shoes after each run, your shoes will last longer.

Serious runners log their runs. They log distance, type of run, and the terrain: from street, to trail, to cross training and/or a run on the treadmill. Getting an idea of your distance is the key to gauging the life of your shoe. So track your mileage.

Most would suggest replacing your shoes between 350-500 miles. This seems like a ton of miles, but some runners rack up these distances in just a few months.

The question you need to ask is: are you a long distance runner or a short distance runner? Those who train for longer distances will put more wear and tear on their shoes and will more likely change shoes on the lower end (

Although mileage is a good indicator of shoe replacement, the wear and tear of the sole, as well as the

comfort of the shoe, is as important.

If you are feeling discomfort with your pair do not ignore it. This could lead to serious injury. If the sole of the shoe shows significant wear, replace the shoes as this can also lead to the discomfort and eventual injury.

Follow the indicators provided: mileage, wear and tear on the sole, and overall comfort, and you will lower the risk of injuries and your 'running life' will be a pleasurable one.

The following is simple guide on how runners can determine when to replace their running shoes. Use this only as a guide and not a hard fast rule. It may differ for each individual. Nevertheless, this is a very good guide to follow:

Miles: 5-25 per week

Replace shoes every 250-500 miles (based on the indicators provided above)

Miles: 25-30 per week

Replace shoes every 3-4 months. That's approximately 300-480 miles

Miles: 30-50 per week

Replace shoes every 2-2.5 months. That's approximately 248-500 miles

Anything more than 50 miles a week and you better have a nice bank account.

Remember, this is all based on the comfort and wear and tear of the shoes; which is different from runner to runner. Longer distances on a daily run, from a heavier runner, will put more wear and tear on their shoes than longer distances for a lighter runner. Shorter distances, on a rugged trail run, will put more wear and tear on shoes over the same distance on a treadmill.

Once the shoe loses shock absorption capability and stability, a runner is at risk for injury.

Taking your shoes to the maximum distance in miles may be perfectly fine if wear and tear and the comfort of the shoes remain. Many factors will come into play but the most important ones are comfort, proper fit, and the correct style.

Hit the pavement and run like the wind! Don't ever stop!

"There is no finish line!" Nike