Shoes are arguably one of the most important investments a runner can make. However, even the fanciest footwear wears out over time. Replacing your running shoes before they start causing trouble is key to maintaining peak performance, but how do we know when that time has come? 

There is no universal expiry date, but we can generally gauge when to call time out on a pair of kicks. The longevity of your running shoes is subject to various factors like weight, terrain, frequency of use, and the materials the shoe is constructed from.

Asking questions at the time of purchase, either in-store or online, about materials and construction can provide a general ballpark of the lifespan of your potential new shoes, but there are multiple factors to consider that influence longevity. 

Shoe Construction: The way a running shoe is built greatly impacts its lifespan. Investing in high-quality shoes should equal greater kilometre coverage. The materials and technologies incorporated into shoes should prioritise durability and endurance.

Your Run Habits: The style of running you’re into; marathon, trail, urban jogging, or treadmill, will influence the wear and tear on your shoes. Running on pavements or trails versus softer surfaces like grass can impact the condition of your shoes differently.

Your Build: Factors such as weight, height, and overall build play a key role in determining shoe lifespan. Heavier and taller people exert greater pressure on their shoes, potentially wearing them out faster.

Your Technique: The way you run, including factors like pronation type, affects the wear pattern of your shoes. Understanding your pronation style and running technique can help gauge how many kms your shoes can endure before needing replacement.

Your Socks: Turns out, you really do need socks with running shoes. Running in traditional sneakers without technical socks can be harmful to both your feet and your expensive running shoes. Without socks absorbing sweat all that moisture ends up in your shoe, reducing their lifespan. 

If you’ve not thought about the function of your running shoes in a number of months it might be time to have a critical look at how they’re holding up. With winter around the corner, now is a great time to think about upgrading your step.