Running shoes man and woman

Running Shoes – How Many Miles Is Too Many?

Running is a fantastic activity that carries a myriad of health benefits. Over the years, more and more products for avid runners have hit the shelves. Out of all the running equipment you use, your shoes are by far the most important.

Today I'll be discussing what makes a great running shoes, how many miles you should put on a pair, how to get more use out of them, and more.

Whether you're in the market for a new pair or you've been curious why your feet are sore after a short run, I hope this article teaches you something new and answers any questions that you may have.

How Many Miles Are Running Shoes Good For?

Let's start off by talking about the elephant in the room, how many miles should you put on your running shoes? If you own a car, you know that people often replace tires everyone to two years.

In a dream world, running shoes would last as long as car tires, which is around 60,000 miles. Unfortunately, running shoes have to be replaced much more frequently. There are a few circumstances that go into how often you should replace your running shoes.

If you have high-quality expensive running shoes, you can usually run for 300 to 500 miles before needing to replace them. If you have a cheaper pair of running shoes that are more low-quality, you may need to replace them every 100 miles or so.

It is important to note that when it comes time to replace your running shoes, there may not be any visible damage.

Are Your Running Shoes Worn Out?

So how can you tell when you're running shoes are worn out? As you just read, the signs are not always visible. Below are some bullet point tips that you can follow to check to see the health of your running shoes.

Physical pain after running -

One of the easiest ways to tell that it's time to replace your running shoes is consistent aches and pains after you run. 

While it is completely normal to feel sore after an intense workout or a long run such as a marathon, if you're feeling aches and pains without a change in your running routine, it may be time to find a new pair of kicks.

Uneven feel -

Another way you can tell if your running shoes are expired is if the soles become uneven. Not only is this a sign that you need a new pair of shoes, but it may also be a sign that you're wearing the wrong type of running shoes in the first place. 

To find out the type of shoes that you should be wearing for your feet, you can get a professional fitting.

Worn out soles - 

A tall tale sign to look out for is worn down soles. Using the car tire analogy again, similar to how vehicle tires have tread, so do your running shoes. 

The tread acts as a cushion and a grip. Depending on the type of terrain that you run on, the soles may get worn out rather quickly.

If you find yourself running on sidewalks or paved roads, they are more likely to get worn down in less time. This means that you will get fewer miles out of that pair of running shoes. To see if the soles are worn out, simply check for bald spots.

Flat feet - 

Last but not least, if you feel a lack of cushion while you're running, this may be a sign that the foam inside that your running shoes has worn down. 

When this happens, your shoes begin to feel flat and you will start to experience physical aches and pains.

Long Wear Time - 

It may be obvious, one of the easiest ways to tell if it's time to let your running shoes go is if you've used them a lot. If you're certain that there are a lot of miles on them, consider purchasing a fresh pair.

How to Get More Out of Your Running Shoes

Now that you know how many miles that you should put on running shoes, it's time to talk about easy ways that you can make them last longer. 

Let's face it, running shoes aren't cheap. Making them last as long as possible will help you save money in the long run. Below are a few tips and tricks to extend the life of your running shoes.

Keep them clean -

The first thing you want to do to make anything your own last longer is to keep it clean. Even if you're running on a freshly paved road, your shoes will get some dirt on them. 

Over time, excessive dirt can cause your running shoes to wear out when they still have some miles left on them.


Every time you get home from a run, simply rinse off your running shoes using a towel with warm water. If you're really serious with running, invest in specific shoe cleaning products.

Run on specific terrain -

You read a little bit about how the terrain that you run on can wear down your shoes quite quickly. 

To make your running shoes last as long as possible, be sure that you're running on the specific surface that your shoes were designed for. There are two different types of running shoes.

This includes road running shoes and trail running shoes. As you can guess, road running shoes are used for pavement and concrete surfaces. Trail shoes are designed to be used on gravel or rough terrain such as a hiking trail.

Get rid of moisture -

A crucial step to extending the life of your running shoes is to keep them dry. It's completely normal for your feet to sweat while you're running. Your shoes also may get wet if you're running in rain or snow.

After you get home from your run and you're cleaning off your shoes, make sure that they are dry on both the exterior and interior.

Double up - Lastly, it is in your best interest to own two pairs of running shoes at a time. The reason for this is that switching between one pair to another will alleviate stress on each pair and help extend the shoe's overall life.

It may also be a good idea to own one pair of road running shoes and one pair of trail running shoes.

Use running shoes for running - While it may be easy to just throw on your running shoes when you head out the door to go grocery shopping, it isn't doing you any favors in terms of the life of the shoes. It is in your best interest to only use running shoes while you're actually running.


Many people even go to the length of wearing different shoes until they're at the starting point of their run, whether that's a trailhead or your go-to street to run on. This is a great example of applying the above tip as well. Keep an extra pair of running shoes in your car or gym bag to help you get in the habit of only wearing them during their intended purpose.

frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Q: How can I choose the best running shoes?

A: The easiest way to choose proper running shoes is to know your foot type. Many employees who work at shoe stores are trained to help you find out your foot type and the best shoe for your body.

Q: Should I buy running shoes a half size bigger than my other shoes?

A: Many experts suggest that wearing running shoes a half size up is the way to go. You should have a little wiggle room, avoiding enough extra room to the point where the shoe will fall off. Your feet swell when you run, which is another reason to get shoe size a half size up.

Q: How tight should laces be while running?

A: When tying your running shoes it's important that they are tied tight enough. You also want to make sure the shoes aren't too loose. To do this, make sure that you're able to fit two fingers between the eyelets.

This is the perfect tightness for your laces. Three fingers show that the laces are too loose and one finger means they're too tight.

Bottom Line

It doesn't matter if you run twice a day or once a month, having proper fitting running shoes that aren't worn out is crucial.

If you're wondering if your shoes have reached their peak mileage, check to see if you've been feeling achy after your normal run. Check to see if the soles are worn out or if it feels like you're feet are flat.

Taking care of your running shoes after each run is also important. To get the most mileage out of your running shoes as possible, own two pairs and rotate between them. Don't forget to replace your shoes at any time between 300 and 500 miles.

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