Running Shoe Wear
A common question among runners is how many miles can be safely put on a pair of running shoes. Ultimately, the answer to this question is dependent on a number of factors and there is no right number for everyone.
In general, manufacturers recommend that running shoes can be worn for 300 – 500 miles. With the introduction of materials such as Fresh Foam from New Balance and Boost technology from Adidas, a big selling point is that these shoes will be more durable than those made from traditional materials (hence the higher price tag).
The number of miles that can be put on a pair of shoes is also dependent on the runner’s form, foot strike, weight, biomechanics, and preferred running surface. For instance, a runner with a heavier build who primarily runs on asphalt will wear out his or her shoes faster than a lighter runner who prefers grass and trails. Similarly, a runner with a neutral foot strike may be able to wear a pair of shoes longer than someone who heavily pronates or supinates.
The answer to shoe lifetime also depends on how the shoe is constructed. A lightweight or minimal shoe may not last as long as a heavily cushioned shoe. Racing flats are typically only good for 50 – 150 miles, while certain trail shoe models have been known to last well over 1,000 miles.
The most important component when determining a shoe’s lifetime is to listen to your body. Minor aches and pains in the shins, knees, and hips can often be cured by purchasing a new pair of shoes. It is always a good idea to keep track of how many miles have been logged on individual pairs of running shoes and to look for trends regarding when you feel they should be replaced.