Whether you're an avid marathoner or simply enjoy the occasional jog, it's important to know when to change your shoes. If you keep running on worn-down soles, you risk incurring injuries that warrant an otherwise avoidable trip to the foot doctor. There is no uniform answer to the question of when to replace your sneakers, as it depends on everything from how much you run to the condition of your feet. Use this guide to determine if it's time for a new pair.
A Guide to Replacing Your Sneakers
The prevailing wisdom is that you should change shoes about every 350 to 500 miles. For some people, this equates to buying a new pair every six months to a year. Some write down the date they bought their shoes and track their mileage so it's easy to know when they're approaching this threshold. Usually by the time you accrue this many miles, your sneakers will show visible signs of wear, such as uneven soles, creasing, cracks, or rips in the fabric. As soon as your shoes appear damaged, replace them.
Your Lifestyle & Activity Level Matter
If you're training for a marathon, you'll typically have to replace your shoes every few months because you’ll rack up so much mileage. Keep in mind where you're running as well. Pavement causes more wear and tear than a treadmill, for instance. If you're a trail runner, consider investing in shoes designed to handle rugged conditions so they'll last longer. If you're muscular or heavier set, your joints and feet bear more weight, meaning your soles will wear down a bit faster. Pick shoes that suit your chosen physical activity; if you're not sure what shoes are best, talk to your foot doctor.
Listen to Your Body
Don’t ignore muscle pain, shin splints, or aching knees and ankles. When soles wear down, the support isn't there anymore, leading to pain throughout your leg as you run. Visit your foot doctor to get an assessment and ensure it's not a more serious injury, but keep in mind it could also be a sign that it's time for a new pair of kicks.