Replacing your footwear often is essential for obtaining optimal foot health. However, many of us are guilty of wearing a pair of shoes that are way past their expiration date.
This is often down to a lack of awareness regarding the problems with worn-out footwear. Hence, today, we’re answering the question: How long do shoes last?
Here are some signs that you should replace your shoes:
- Upper and interior wear.
- Midsole compression.
- Outsole wear.
- Loss of cushioning.
- Sudden foot fatigue.
How Long Should a pair of shoes last?
Similar to the milk in your fridge, your shoes have an expiration date. Surprisingly, it isn’t when they’re full of holes and moldy—it’s actually way before that.
As a general rule, you should try to replace your footwear every eight to 12 months. This is where they’ll typically show signs of being worn-out. Of course, there are factors adding and subtracting years off of them, including running, work and spending time in the closet.
In addition to this, there are three main indicators of a worn-out shoe. These are:
1. Upper and Interior Wear
Place your shoes on a flat surface at eye level. Then look at the exterior of the upper part—check if it’s leaning or has noticeable distortion to the material. If so, it means there’s no support for your feet, and you should replace it.
The next thing is to inspect the upper for unusual wear or holes. These are other indicators that you should replace them.
Lastly, watch the inside around the heel area. Look at the material to see if it’s beginning to wear or deteriorate. If you’ve worn the shoes for less than six months and there’s wear in this area, the shoe isn’t right for your feet.
2. Midsole Compression
A clear warning sign that your shoes are approaching the end of the road is if they feel less comfortable. Perhaps they don’t deliver the same support, or maybe your feet are feeling more tired after work. This is due to the midsole wearing down because of compression.
The midsole is the cushioning part of the shoe. Over time, it becomes tougher for them to bounce back.
This also depends a lot on your feet. Some people are “harder” when they walk, putting more pressure on their feet, which, in turn, compresses the soles further. This could wear your shoes out quicker than expected.
3. Outsole Wear
Inspect the bottom of your shoes—if the outsole is significantly worn-out, look for another pair. Wear shouldn’t be noticeable in any area of the sole.
You can also spot outsole wear by placing the shoe on a flat surface. Get into eye level and see if it rocks, tips or sits at an angle. If so, the outsole is finished.
When Should You Replace Casual Shoes?
Casual shoes are everyday footwear that you wear during errands and perhaps even to work. When you should replace them depends significantly on the quality, how you treat them and how often you wear them.
If you wear your casual shoes three to four times a week, look to replace them once a year. If you drive a lot or, in general, don’t walk everywhere, they may last longer. But of course, watch out for the indicators above.
How Long Do Running Shoes Last?
In many ways, running shoes are like tires for your feet. Experts recommend that you replace your tires following 60,000 miles or so. The same applies to your running shoes.
Just as worn-out tires can damage your car, old running shoes can cause trouble for your body. Signs that you need to replace them include:
- Excessive aches and pain in the legs and feet.
- Loss of cushioning and bounce.
- Worn-out outsoles and insoles.
If you do keep track of how many miles you clock up in your running shoes, look to replace them following 300 to 500 miles. High-quality brands like Nike and Adidas can last up to 500 miles. Read our guide for the best Nike walking shoes.
Pay attention to how they feel at this point—if they’re still comfortable, you might be able to stretch it further. However, if you’re a serious runner, invest in a new pair before it interferes with your training.
For more running shoe information, please watch this video.
How Often Should You Replace Work Shoes?
Work shoes are often essential to stay safe on your worksite. Whether you’re based in a restaurant or around heavy machinery, proper footwear is crucial.
Besides the indicators of wear, you should also consider if their safety features have been compromised. Are they still slip-resistant? Is the safety toe sufficient?
With work shoes, you should generally replace them every eight to 12 months. This way, you’re always up to date with safety components and the fit.
How to Make Shoes Last Longer
There’s no way to ensure your shoes will last longer. But with proper care, you’ll get better results. Here are some tips:
- Rotate between shoes—don’t wear the same pair every day or everywhere.
- Between uses, give your shoes time to air out properly.
- Replace the insole once in a while to keep your feet comfortable even though the shoe is wearing down.
- If you wash your shoes, allow them to air dry instead of using the dryer. Leave them in a shaded spot and avoid too much sun exposure.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is It Bad to Wear the Same Shoes Every Day?
Wearing the same shoes every day can make them expire faster. It’s good to give them a break and switch to another pair on some days. This allows your footwear to bounce back and minimize extensive compression.
Another pro of rotating your shoes is that you give them time to dry out. Sweat can cause the materials to deteriorate faster, so leaving them in the shade for a day or two to air out is beneficial.
Watch this video for a more in-depth explanation as to why you shouldn’t wear the same shoes every day.
How Many Times Can Shoes Be Resoled?
This depends on your shoe and how it’s built. On average, manufacturers will limit the amount to two or three times that they’ll resole the shoe. However, if your footwear is in decent condition, you could ask a cobbler or professional to carry out the work.
How Long Do Shoes Last Unworn?
All shoes begin to age as soon as they leave the manufacturer. Even though leaving them in the closet can make them last longer, they’ll eventually reach a point where the glue dissipates. This is particularly the case for tennis shoes and athletic footwear.
Running shoes, for instance, may deflate while in storage, making them less cushioned. Tennis shoes tend to deteriorate where they’re glued together.
Nothing Lasts Forever
How long do shoes last? On average, shoes will last about eight to 12 months with regular, everyday wear. Of course, athletic or work footwear may not last as long due to the more demanding use.
Knowing the signs of worn-out shoes, such as wear on the outsole, heel and upper, is important. Replacing your footwear when signs of age are noticeable can save your feet from fatigue.
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