Family life

When do you replace your running shoes?

Jennifer suggests you should keep track of the miles logged on your running shoes to avoid injury.

By Jennifer Pinarski
When do you replace your running shoes?

Photo by Aeroppon via Flickr.

I am paranoid about replacing my running shoes before they have too many miles on them. The general rule of thumb is running shoes need to be replaced between 600KM and 800KM. Wearing them beyond that puts you at an increased risk of injury — and don’t be fooled by how new they still may look! It’s the high-density foam, stitching and rubber soles that start to give. 
When I was running and racing on roads, I could always tell when my shoes were near the 350K mark — my IT band started to hurt. Because I ran on pavement, my shoes still looked new and clean with minor wear on the heels, but my knees knew the truth. The recommended limit it just that - a recommendation and I'm of the belief that sooner is better than later.
These days, all of my training is done on trails and I credit the soft surface and varied terrain for staying injury-free for as long as I have. That said, when I stepped out of bed yesterday morning, my right heel screamed in protest — and I immediately started listing injuries associated with heel pain. Plantar fasciitis was at the top of the list. I took a look at my running shoes and, despite being filthy from the trails, they looked great — none of the telltale heel-wear that I associate replacing shoes with. Then I checked my Daily Mile training log and immediately stuck my tender heel in a bag of frozen corn. Since buying my shoes in December, I’d racked up 726KM on my current shoes — well over any sensible distance. The miles that went into ultra marathon training snuck up on me and I broke all of my own rules when it came to replacing running shoes.
Of course I panicked. The Creemore Vertical Challenge 25K  is three weeks away and buying new shoes always makes me nervous. Even buying the exact same shoe comes with some risk, and being injured right now would be awful — especially considering I need to work on running a lot of hill kilometres. Even more traumatic than running injuries is going running shoe shopping with my children. Going straight to barefoot running (like @sassykim1 suggested) is more tempting by the day.
I hit the Twitter #momsrunning and #runchat streams to find out when other runners replace their shoes and if shoe shopping fills them with the same sense of dread.
@fitmombarrhaven - I got a pair in Dec and then got a new pair 3 weeks before my first Marathon end of May ...I seem to have gone through them ...
@ramavery - 500K or when you get paid and the kids didn't break or grow out of anything or need $ for trips etc.
@dana_reinke - Once a year or when my knees start to hurt — spring = new shoes. New shoes are so motivating. (ordered her last pair of shoes online!)
@deannegage - 800k is as much as I've gone. But generally, every 700k. During training, that's usually 2-3 times a yr. (consults her training log when changing shoes)
@beana619 - For me 300-400 miles

@fitcheerldr - Mine have 2000k on them & I'm still setting PB's in them. I can't afford new ones. (stays injury free with spinning, swimming and strength workouts)

When we the last time you bought new running shoes?

Photo by Aeroppon via Flickr.
This article was originally published on Jun 11, 2012

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