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Listening to Your Body: When to Replace Worn-out Shoes

Listening to Your Body: When to Replace Worn-out Shoes Featured Image

Let's talk about the unspoken bond we share with our running shoes.

They have seen us through countless kilometres, rain, shine, sometimes snow, up hills and down. They have been our trusty sidekick. But even the best shoes eventually break down.

So how do you know when it's time to give them a fond farewell? Well, it's not a matter of time but a matter of distance. The industry standard is roughly 800 to 900 kilometres. However, that is largely dependent on how we use those kilometres.

  • Do you run on a perfectly formulated running track or rough terrain? 
  • Do you run in the rain or in the sun? 
  • Do you use one pair every day or do you have a few pairs?  
  • Also, it comes down to your weight, and the running mechanics that influence a shoe's life span.


If you don’t have a smart watch to track 800 kilometres, here are a few signals that say "it’s time for a new pair.” 

Cushioning Check 

Remember when those shoes felt like clouds under your feet? Try as they might, that feeling dissipates. The primary function of a running shoe is to provide cushioning and support. Over time, the materials in the midsole break down, diminishing their ability to absorb shock and provide stability.

If you start feeling a lack of responsiveness during your runs that wasn't present before, it's a strong indication that your shoes are no longer delivering the necessary support. 

Additionally, many running brands are coming out with new, environmentally conscious, big win, lighter midsole foams, that are a lot of fun and have great underfoot experience, however they are less durable and will show wear and tear quicker. 

Visible Wear and Tear

Inspecting the physical condition of your running shoes is crucial. Look for signs of wear on the outsole, midsole, and upper. If the tread is noticeably worn, especially in areas you land on, the midsole appears compressed and creased, fraying in the upper, or there are more holes than a slice of swiss cheese, it's a clear sign that your shoes have served their purpose and it's time for a replacement. 

Listen up, your body's talking.

We runners are tuned in to our bodies so pay attention to any changes in your running form or biomechanics. Continuing to run in worn-out shoes may contribute to overuse injuries. Without proper cushioning and support, the repetitive stress placed on your feet, ankles, knees, and hips can result in injury. 

If you're feeling mysterious aches, pains, or just an overall "meh" during or after runs, it might be your shoes staging a silent protest. Regularly replacing your running shoes can help mitigate these risks and ensure a more comfortable and injury-free running experience.


So, we know the signs to look out for, but what can we do to increase longevity and keep your favourite running shoes around that little bit longer. 

Rotating a few pairs of shoes

Just as our bodies need rest to recover, our shoes benefit from a break too.   

If you generally use one shoe to do it all – running, errands, a holiday trip– your running shoes won't last long. After all those kilometres, the foam in your shoes gets squished and soaked with sweat. It needs a breather to regain its bounce and let off some steam, so you can maximise the performance out of every run. Rotating your shoes It's like giving your trusty running shoes a spa day.

Dry Them Out

If you’re in a rainstorm, on the trails, braving some winter kilometres, or just live in Vancouver, like I do, your running shoes are going to get wet. Like resting your shoes to let the foam come back to its original state, drying out your shoes ensures the materials remain strong. A quick way to keep them dry is to stuff them with paper (even better if the paper came with the box you bought them in) and store them in a cool, dry place. 

Keeping Them Clean

Unboxing a fresh pair of running shoes is like discovering a hidden treasure – spotless, precise, and eager to hit the road. You might wish you could freeze this moment and keep them pristine forever, right? Giving them a good bath will do wonders, but remember, they're like Gremlins! Keep them away from the dryer, bathe them by hand, and shield them from heat. This way, your running shoes will stay in top form, ready to support your every stride.

Get Fitted

Wearing shoes that don't fit properly can lead to various foot problems and injuries. Properly fitted shoes can also enhance your running performance. They provide the necessary support and stability, allowing your feet to function efficiently while running.

Different individuals also have different arch types (flat, neutral, or high arches). Getting properly fitted allows you to choose shoes with the appropriate arch support for your foot type, providing stability and preventing overpronation or supination. Making sure you are wearing the proper size, and getting the most effective support can also ensure you get the perfect shoe for the type of running you intend to do.

Replacing your running shoes at the right time is not just a matter of staying on trend, but a crucial aspect of injury prevention and optimal performance.

By paying attention to mileage, visible wear, loss of cushioning, biomechanical changes, and listening to your body, you can ensure that your running shoes consistently meet your needs. Don't let worn-out shoes hinder your running experience; instead, embrace the opportunity to upgrade and keep pushing your limits with the right footwear. Remember a happy pair of shoes equals a happy run, your body will thank you for it.

If you're looking for more guidance or have specific queries, feel free to explore our website for additional resources including our R&R running shoes awards of 2023.

Alternatively, don't hesitate to get in touch with us directly. Our team of fitting professionals is here to assist you.

Happy Running!

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