Nagging little niggles in the form of shin pain, sore arches, or aching knees may be a sign that you’re not getting the support you once were from your favourite running shoes. Likewise, if the midsoles and outsoles are compressed or worn – it may be time for a new pair! As shoes age, they lose the ability to absorb and withstand shock, to provide your body with adequate cushioning, stability and support, which increases the stress and impact on your joints and your overall risk of overuse injuries. But how do you know when you should replace your running shoes?
I advise runners if they are sitting on the fence and not sure when to replace their running shoes, to go into a local shoe shop and try on a new pair of the same shoes they’ve been training in, next to the old ones. If the old favorites feel flat and “dead” compared to the new ones, there you go – time for a new pair! The best way to tell the difference is to feel the difference.
Numbers wise, a good running shoe should last you between 600 and 800 kilometers (three or four months for regular runners). The range is approximate because it is largely dependent on running style, surface, build and training load. Heavy, larger framed runners, or runners who pound the pavement with unforgiving force, will likely be at the lower end of the mileage range; while smaller, lighter, or more efficient runners, can often squeeze a little more mileage out of their shoes. The easiest way to keep track of how much mileage you have on a pair of shoes is to track it on your fitness tracker or training log. Then, when you start approaching say 400 kilometers in your shoes, begin breaking in a new pair and rotate the two for the remaining weeks. If however, the outsole of your shoe starts to break down and start looking like the bald car tyre, replace them immediately. Hopefully this clears up any fence sitting! Best of luck with your training!