We know, we know, running shoes aren’t cheap. But, as you use your shoes, mile after mile they eventually begin to lose their cushioning, stability, and shock absorption. Whether you’re Forrest Gump or just like to jog a few miles every now and then, running in old shoes can quickly lead to injuries like shin splints, knee problems, IT band issues and more. If you press the midsole of the shoe and it feels more hard than squishy, the foam cushioning is likely wearing out.
A general rule that many people follow is changing their running shoes every 300-500 miles. Dalissia Grothe, P.A. at OrthoCarolina Gastonia, says “I tell my patients who run more frequently to change their shoes every 300 miles, but if they don’t run very much they can get by with once a year.”
Dana Cumberworth, P.A. at OrthoCarolina Hand Center and University who is also a triathlete, offers this advice: “Proper footwear is important. But knowing when to swap out into a fresh new pair of kicks can be challenging. Many go by the 300 miles rule. I don't log my miles. I know once my feet, knees or hips start to get achy, it's time for a new pair! You also want to check the bottom treads to make sure there are not any bald spots. “
Caleb Masland, a Boone-based running coach, recommends rotating different pairs of shoes, even owning up to 3-4 pairs at a time that you regularly use. For more advice from Caleb about changing your running shoes, check out Coach Caleb's website.
Originally published June 6, 2014 and updated July 24, 2018.