How Long Do Running Shoes Last?

Just picked up a new pair of running shoes? Or are you wondering how much life your trusty running shoes have left?

How Long Do Running Shoes Last?

Either way, every runner wants to get the most value out of their running shoes!

Of course, by investing in the most expensive, best-reviewed running shoes on the market, you can generally expect them to last longer than a pair of run-of-the-mill running shoes.

But there are other factors that can affect how long they last, which are worth knowing and taking into account – even while you own and use them.

Don’t fret, though, as this guide explains everything you need to know, including the factors that will reduce how long your running shoes last, the signs that you need new running shoes, and how to look after your running shoes to make them last longer.

The Factors To Consider

There are many factors that can shorten the lifespan of your running shoes.

So, unfortunately, the short answer to the question is that it depends on these factors. And they include:

  • How much you run
  • Where you run
  • Running form
  • The quality of the running shoes
  • How well you look after your running shoes

Needless to say, how much you run and use your running shoes will naturally reduce their lifespan.

Where you run also plays a big part, since rough terrain—and also adverse weather conditions—can wear, damage, and degrade the materials.

Running form is another important factor, as hard footstrikes or even landing heel-heavy can damage the soles.

Lastly, and as mentioned above, the quality of the running shoes themselves (including the materials used, stitching, and overall construction) is a big factor.

It goes without saying that poorly made running shoes won’t last as long as ones that are high-quality, especially if you also don’t look after them!

The Average Lifespan Of Running Shoes

Nitty-gritty factors aside, a more general answer is found by looking at the average lifespan of most running shoes. 

And, as it turns out, this is 300 (482 kilometers) to 500 miles (804 kilometers), according to researched studies.

Unfortunately, if you were looking for a specific timeframe, the answer is in distance!

Of course, this will also depend on how often you run and how far.

But if you’re someone who, say, runs 10 miles (16 kilometers) a week, this would result in your running shoes lasting between eight and twelve months – at least by going by those numbers.

That’s not bad going for a pair of running shoes. Just don’t forget that terrain, weather conditions, shoe quality, and how well you look after your running shoes can still shorten the lifespan. 

The Signs That You Need New Running Shoes

How Long Do Running Shoes Last?

Have a feeling your trusty running shoes are on the way out? You might be onto something.

There are in fact several signs that your running shoes are on their last legs.

And, if you notice several of these signs, it’s probably a good idea to buy a new pair!

Aside from visible wear and tear, these signs include:

  • A “hardened” sole – the sole feels less spongy that when the running shoes were bought, with reduced shock absorption
  • The treads on the soles have worn away
  • Heel tabs or heel collars that are worn down
  • The shape of the shoe appears visibly “warped” compared to when bought
  • Pain or discomfort experienced while wearing or running

Another sign you might need a new pair of running shoes is by adding up how many miles you’ve run in them.

If you track your distance when running, this shouldn’t be too hard.

Using the average lifespan of most running shoes (300 to 500 miles) as a guide, you can then decide whether or not they need replacing. 

How To Choose The Best Running Shoes?

In a good majority of cases, running shoes will last longer when they are chosen correctly – i.e. with the correct size and fit.

So, in addition to choosing a trusted running shoe brand, making sure to find the best fitted shoes for you is just important when it comes to their longevity.

In general, running shoes should fit tightly but comfortably when the laces are done up.

Considering your foot width is also important, as tightness on the sides will result in discomfort and pain – if not at the start, but during (and after) your run!

The soles of the running shoes should also be soft and comfortable to stand on, with a sense of shock absorption and “springiness” with each stride.

Don’t forget that taking into consideration the socks you use when running is also essential!

So, all in all, the above makes it important to test out different running shoes if possible, especially the ones you’re considering to buy.

How To Look After Your Running Shoes?

Last but not least: how to take care of your running shoes to increase their lifespan!

You can do this by:

  • Running with good form
  • Running on a treadmill or soft terrain, such as grass
  • Cleaning and washing them properly
  • Letting them dry naturally (air-dry, not tumble dry)
  • Storing them in a safe, dry place

You can also make your running shoes last longer by rotating them.

In other words, having a second pair of running shoes to use interchangeably, such as one pair for indoor treadmill runs and another pair for outdoor runs!

Final Word

As a general guide, the average running shoes will last between 300 and 500 miles of use.

In terms of time, this will depend on how often and how far you run!

There are other factors that can shorten the general lifespan of your running shoes, though, and these include rough terrain, adverse weather conditions, bad running form, improper washing and drying of your running shoes, and the overall quality of the running shoes themselves.

Despite that, try not to worry too much about how long your running shoes will last.

Running shoes can last longer than you might think and can always be replaced!

Richard Harris