Signs your running shoes are worn out

As your shoes get older, they lose their shock absorption capacity and cushioning effect. 

Running in old or worn-out shoes pose a great risk of injuries, pain, and aches as it causes increased stress on your legs and joints. 

How long do running shoes last?

It’s imperative to find out how long do running shoes last on an average before planning to retire them.

In terms of shoes, we don’t count their age but the miles/km they have covered since their purchase. 

As per experts, you must replace your running shoes every 500 to 750 kilometers (300-400 miles). In terms of time, it is roughly 4 months to 6 months.

However, this is not a universal rule and the actual age of your shoes also depends on many other factors.

The runners differ in their running mechanics, foot strike, and bodyweight. They also run on different types of surfaces or terrains. 

That’s why their shoes are subjected to different degrees of wear and tear.

The lightweight runners may take the upper limit of said range while heavyweight runners should stick to the lower limit of the above range for replacing their shoes.

If you run a lot on tough and uneven terrain, you may need to replace your running shoes even before the recommended limit.

Moreover, the built of shoes also have a say in its replacement. The good quality sturdier brands would last longer than the normal racing shoes.

Calculating the miles or Kms covered would be easy if you have a fitness tracker device. 

However, in its absence, you need to take a hard look at your shoes and see for the following signs of worn out.

Signs you should replace your shoes

Aching or paining ankles, hips or knees

If you begin to experience new aches and pains in your ankles, hips, or knees, after running in your old shoes, it indicates that your shoes have lost its cushioning effect and need replacement.

Feet soreness 

If you notice that your feet are abnormally sore and stiff after running in your old shoes, it indicates that your shoes have worn out in its shape that does not accommodate your feet comfortably anymore.

Worn-out treads 

If you notice that the treads on the soles of your old running shoes are worn out and they no longer roll in sync with your feet’s natural strides, it’s time to replace your old shoes.

The soles are usually the last to give in after shoe’s cushioning and shock absorbency. Therefore worn-out tread on soles speaks loudly that your shoes need replacement.

Worn out outer sole 

If you notice that the tough outer layer of your shoe has worn out, or shows uneven wear on both sides, it indicates that your running shoe needs replacement.

Tough midsole

If the midsole of your shoes feels tough, it indicates a loss of cushioning effect.

It indicates the shoe’s cushioning no longer supports your feet while running and put your feet at risk of injuries. Thus, you need to replace your shoes.

Heel Counter

If you notice that the heel counter of your shoes has lost its stiffness, feels soft, and bend sideways on pressing, it indicates your shoes need replacement.


If you observe that shank of your shoes loses its stiffness and appears to be broken, it doesn’t provide support and structure to the insole.

Blisters on feet

If you notice that you get blisters after running in your old shoes, it indicates that the shape of your shoe has worn out and no longer fits comfortably.

You need to replace your shoes and get a new pair.

Exceeds the recommended mileage 

If your shoes look fine to you but they have already crossed the upper mileage limit of the recommended range, replace them as they may wear out anytime and cause unexpected injury. 

If you run on rough terrains, then replace your shoes even before their recommended limit.

Reduced shock absorption

The quality of your running shoes remains intact until it provides good shock absorbency. 

This feature helps to prevent the strain and stress on muscles, ligaments, tendons, and bones.

If you experience the impact of your every stride on your feet, knees, and hip, it indicates that the shock absorption capacity of your shoes is deteriorating and requires replacement.

Uneven Wear

If both shoes show signs of uneven wear, it indicates issues with your running postures or mechanics.

It may be due to uneven posture which may require correction under expert’s guidance and it also calls for shoe replacement.

Overpronation: When your front foot turns too much inwards with every stride forward, it causes excessive wear on the front part of the shoe. 

This is referred to as overpronation and calls for shoe replacement.

Underpronation: When your foot moves outward with every stride forward, it causes excessive wear on the outside edges of the shoe. 

This is referred to as to underpronation and calls for shoe replacement.


To part away from your favorite shoes may sound heartbreaking, however, when your running shoes are old or worn out, you must bid goodbye to them to avoid injuries and discomfort.

If you run regularly as part of your exercise regimen, ensure to check your shoes after every running session. 

It’s always better to catch any issues upfront, rather than waiting for pains in your legs or feet.

Don’t go blindly by the expert’s recommendation of replacing your shoes after 300-500 miles. 

Rather, check your shoes regularly and take care of them for ensuring lasting usage.


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