Replacing your footwear regularly is essential, whether it’s for aesthetics or foot health. Sometimes, you wear a pair of shoes for years and, at other times, they can hardly last you a season. So, how long do shoes last, exactly?
Don’t worry, we’ve all been there. Sometimes you just can’t say goodbye to your loved pair of shoes so you wear them past their expiration date. This often happens because you simply don’t know when is the right time to get a new pair.
Your first sign that it’s time to let go should be the lack of comfort they used to give you. If your feet feel more tired when you’re at work or your shoes no longer provide the same support, it’s probably time to do some shopping.
There’s no clear answer to how long shoes last. It can depend on many factors, including the type of shoes, their quality, how much you wear them and under what conditions, and more.
Without further ado, let’s see what are some of the things you should keep an eye out for when deciding whether or not it’s time to replace your shoes. On top of that, we’ll see how long certain types last, and what you can do to prolong that period.
Things to pay attention to
When thinking about how long shoes last, it’s important to consider some things first. Every situation is different and you should approach yours depending on the state of your shoes and where you wear them most of the time. Here’s what you should pay attention to.
1. How often do you wear your shoes
If you have a favorite pair of shoes that perfectly goes with every outfit your wear, it’s hard to resist wearing them every day. If you do, you won’t get as much life out of them because they’ll wear off pretty fast.
For example, if you use a pair of running shoes every day for everything you do, from shopping to working and going to the gym, you’ll notice that they’ll probably start wearing off in a couple of months. No matter how much you love that pair, it’s important to rotate your shoes if you’d like them to last longer.
2. Where do you usually wear your shoes
If you walk on cobblestones or any uneven surfaces, your shoes probably won’t last as long as they would if you walked on smooth ones. How long shoes last largely depends on where you usually wear them.
If you’re a runner or an athlete, or simply like to spend a lot of time outside, you should consider the traction, as well. Most sports have unique sneakers that are designed for them. For example, everyday sneakers won’t be made of the same materials as a pair of running ones.
If you’re doing sports, the grip and traction of your sneakers are essential factors. Most of the time, shoes used for outside activities will have a much shorter lifespan than those you use in an office, for example.
3. How do you walk
Although this one might sound weird, how you walk plays a huge role in how long shoes last. For example, your walk can express different patterns, such as overpronation, underpronation, or neutral pronation. Depending on your gait, your shoes will adapt to it over time.
In case of neutral pronation, your heel usually strikes the ground first as it rolls towards the front of your foot. In overpronation, however, your foot will roll inward too much, resulting in it never being completely flat on the floor.
On the other hand, if your gait shows a pattern of underpronation, your outer foot will be in contact with the ground most of the time.
It’s often that athletes have neutral feet and gait, which means their shoes have a longer lifespan, as their feet don’t cause any harm to their shoes. Twists and turns of the feet harm the cushion and sole of the shoes, and they wear off much faster.
How long do shoes last?
This is the question people who work in shoe shops hear way too often. Although that depends on many factors, some of which we’ve explained before, it also depends on the type of shoes they’re purchasing.
1. Running shoes
The ideal scenario would be replacing your running shoes every 300 to 500 miles, according to some of the biggest brands in the industry. For example, if you run 10 miles a week, the perfect solution would be to replace your sneakers after 30 to 55 weeks.
Although some people believe you should replace your running shoes every six months, if you run 50 miles per week, it should take a much shorter period of time. Calculating your change based on the miles you run would be ideal.
However, the best way to judge whether or not it’s time to replace your running shoes is by checking the state they’re in. If you notice any of these changes, it’s time to let them go:
- There are holes and tears in them
- The sole of your running shoes is now smooth or rounded
- You feel pain in your knees, ankles, and joints
- The midsole is now broken or compressed.
2. Hiking boots
Hiking boots are usually made to handle a lot of weather changes and uneven surfaces. Because of that, they can last anywhere between 500 and 1000 miles. That mostly depends on their quality and how long you’ve been wearing them, as well as the surfaces you walk on.
If you hike in rain, snow, or on wet surfaces, your shoes will get damaged quickly, especially if they’re budget-friendly. However, any hiking boot with Vibram soles usually lasts around 1000 miles. If you notice any of these issues, it might be time to get a new pair:
- The boots started to leak
- They can’t grip the surface properly and their soles seem worn out
- There are cracks in their soles that affect support and comfort
- If you’re no longer able to lace your boots because of broken hoops.
3. Cycling shoes
With cycling shoes, you won’t have many worries. Since you don’t use them to walk around the whole day or run, they can easily be replaced every 3000 to 5000 miles. How long shoes last, of course, depends on the brand, your riding style, the weather you’re using them in, and more.
If your cycling shoes have cleats, you’ll probably replace them many times before purchasing a brand-new pair. This type of shoes can last you for years, but here are some things that will show you when it’s time to get new ones:
- Your foot easily slides off the pedal and feels sloppy
- Their springs look polished with flat bits
- It’s becoming rather easy to release from the pedal.
4. Skate shoes
If you skate regularly and for about 2 to 3 hours per day, your shoes probably won’t last for longer than 4 months. Because of all the cool tricks you do, skate shoes often get worn out pretty fast. If you’re a huge fan of skating and you do it for more than 3 hours daily, be ready to replace your pair monthly.
Again, most of the time, the duration depends on the surfaces you’re skating on and how much time you spend doing it. If you notice any of these issues, it’s probably time to replace your shake shoes:
- There are holes in your shoes and the stitching is ripped
- The soles are flapping every time you do the trick or simply walk
- Your feet begin sliding off the board and your grip tape is hurting you.
How to make shoes last longer
Now, although there isn’t a single answer to how long shoes last, there are some things you can do to prolong their lifespan. Here’s what you should pay attention to.
1. Make sure they fit
When choosing the right shoes for you, make sure you’re picking the ones that fit you well and can meet the requirements of your activities. On top of that, make sure you know what your feet need, especially if you have any foot-related issues.
For example, if you have flat feet, it’s essential that you wear shoes with good arch support. Extra support on the sides and rigid soles are perfect for those of you who need more stability from your footwear.
On top of that, it’s crucial that your feet have enough room, so make sure there’s at least half an inch for your longest toe. If you just got your shoes, don’t be fast to judge them. They might need a few wears before they become comfortable.
2. Don’t wear them all the time
Although it might be pricey, it’s important to have at least two different pairs of shoes for each of your activities. That way you can rotate between them and they’ll last you much longer. It will give your shoes some time to “recover” from your wear and tear. Even shoes need some break from time to time…
If you love to go to the gym, it would be ideal that you have at least two pairs of sneakers you can alternate. In the end, it might even save you some money because you won’t have to replace them as often.
3. Take care of your shoes
Yes, even shoes need some special care. If you want your shoes to last longer, it would be ideal that you treat them with the right products that were made for that type of shoe.
It’s often the case that people throw away a perfectly fine pair of shoes simply because they don’t know how to take care of them. Extending the life of your sneakers can be done by simply using products that were designed to do exactly that.
Luckily, there are plenty of them on the market that you can choose from. For example, a waterproof spray creates a barrier between your shoes and any kind of liquid.
An odor eliminator, on the other hand, takes care of the unpleasant smells, while a cleanser gel can help you remove any dirt or stains from your beloved pair.
4. Wear them for the right activities
It’s important that you choose shoes that were designed for the activities you plan on using them for. For example, there’s a wide range of walking shoes for those of you who love to walk. Cycling shoes, running shoes, golf shoes… there’s the right pair for everything and everyone!
We don’t recommend using running shoes for hiking, for example, or your tennis shoes to run. It might seem like a cheaper solution but, not only will it be really uncomfortable and can cause some foot issues, it also probably won’t last you for a long time.
Treating yourself to a nice pair of shoes for your favorite activity is the right thing to do.