When should I replace my running shoes?

It depends.

There’s not necessarily a firm answer to this question that applies equally to every runner—or even the same runner at different stages in training or life—but in most cases the lifespan of a good pair of running shoes could be anywhere from 300-500 miles, maybe as many as 600 if you have a very efficient running style, an exceptionally well built pair of shoes, and stick to softer surfaces like trails.

The most important thing is that your shoes are still providing the support, cushioning, and grip you need to prevent fatigue and injuries. Midsole cushioning and tread flatten and wear down over time, reducing the shoe’s ability to absorb shocks and provide adequate grip. You’ll likely feel the difference, but if you aren’t sure, try on a new pair and see if the old ones feel flat. Once you start nearing (but haven’t quite reached) the end of one pair’s lifespan, it’s often wise to buy the next pair and break them in slowly, rotating between pairs for a few weeks before retiring the old one.

A specialty running store can help you determine when your old pair is out of gas and help you pick out a new one. We can help, too, with shoe recommendations, treatment for foot pain, or orthotics to provide extra cushioning and control abnormal motion. To schedule an appointment, please call 760-568-0108.

Dr. Harvey Danciger
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Dr. Harvey Danciger is a podiatrist and foot surgeon in Palm Desert, CA specializing in the foot and ankle