A simple Google search on the topic of shoe replacement can provide you with many different answers. Everyone seems to have different time and distance figures they swear by. So how do you know when it’s the right time to replace your shoes? Is it the amount of mileage on your shoes, or is after a certain amount of time, or is it something else?
The right answer to that question is dependent on many different factors. The lifetime of your shoes varies based on your activity level, weight, gait (the way you walk), distance covered, the amount of rest between wearings and the shoe itself. Which probably leaves you with more questions than answers.
Research suggests that wearing worn out shoes can lead to overuse injuries, as well as an exacerbation of pain. Athletic and casual shoes are primarily composed of EVA foam, which is a lightweight, cushioned material. Unfortunately, after the initial wear of the shoe, the foam begins to break down.
Here are some helpful tips to know what to look for in your own shoes, to decide when they are getting close to the end of their lifetime. As a general rule, if you wear the same casual, walking shoes each day, they will likely reach the end of their lifetime after eight to ten months. If you frequent the gym often, or are a runner, you will likely need to replace your shoes more often.
What to Look For
- Compression wrinkles in the midsole – deeper wrinkles indicate increased wear.
- Outsole wear – noticeable wear in certain areas of the outsole, where you can no longer see the pattern that once covered the rubber outsole.
- Uneven wear – one area of the shoe that is more worn down than the other side.
- Upper wear (Photo above, right) – noticeable thinning or hole development in the upper cloth or mesh areas of the shoes.
If you see some of these signs, but you’re not sure if it means that your well worn shoes are past their prime, it might be time to go shoe shopping. If trying on a new pair of shoes reminds you of what your shoes used to feel like, it’s time to make the investment in a new pair. Purchasing new shoes is an investment in your health, and choosing a ‘good’ pair of shoes will last you longer than an inexpensive pair.
Still have questions? Contact us anytime for our expert opinion!