Last Updated: February 6th, 2021
Apart from your clothing, running shoes are the most important gear for a runner. And if you are just about to begin your running journey and have just purchased your running shoes…you know that any decent pair will cost you a bomb…now the only question that is haunting you is “are running shoes durable”. So, let’s answer this question and check some ways to make your existing pair last longer. One more thing, if you are already fed up after seeing the price of running shoes, here is a list of affordable ones that will last you long and is of great quality…
Are running shoes durable?
Running shoes are durable and can last from a couple of months to several years depending on the usage, the brand you are purchasing, and the materials that are being used for the construction of the shoe. However, if you buy something in the range of $50 to $150, they will last the longest, whereas anything below $40 may not be as durable.
Now that we have answered the durability question…let’s find out when you should replace your running shoes in-depth…
How often running shoes be replaced?
We use running shoes for cushioning, and the midsole mainly provides protection and that.
The midsole of most of the running shoes is made from EVA foam which is pretty much an industry standard.
These foams are made by injecting air cells into a foam material which makes them lightweight and very shock absorbing.
However, with constant pounding, this foam loses its power to provide you with cushioning as it gets more compressed due to pressure.
Once it loses its cushioning abilities, it is time to get it replaced.
Research suggests that you should replace your running shoes after you have run 300 – 500 miles in them.
If you are a runner who runs 3 miles per day, 5 days a week, these running shoes will last for 5 to 6 months.
However, if you run less it will last you longer.
After that, you must replace them.
Otherwise, you will start getting overuse injuries ranging from minor aches and pains to major ones like a stress fracture.
Here is a handy guide for your running shoe replacement.
Also, it will last you years if your usage is minimal, however, in that case, it may start to disintegrate or the materials may start to dry up.
Here also, you will be forced to replace your running shoes.
Why am I recommending pricier shoes, when there are so many affordable ones?
Well, don’t get me wrong.
I also love shoes which are easy on my pocket. However, what I found was, they are mostly made from cheap materials and doesn’t last.
For me, some have fallen apart with a week and some gave me terrible pain in my feet and knees.
So, after a couple of bad experiences, I thought to stick to decent running shoes which cost me above $80 mostly.
However, I understand that many people will not want to spend that kind of money periodically, so I found some running shoes which will cost you $40 to $70.
These are from good brands and are well made. The materials used in them are also good and will not cause you unnecessary aches and pains.
Here I’ve included what to look for in affordable running shoes, exactly what to avoid and how to get affordable shoes from the best brands around. With this guide, you cannot go wrong.
How do you know it’s time to replace your running shoes?
When it comes to replacing your running shoes, you can never be too sure.
Most of the time, you will ask yourself, “Is it time? Shall I replace it next month or this month?”
Then time goes by and eventually it cost you an injury before you replace your running shoes.
Don’t worry…I have some simple solutions for you so that you never run into such kind of trouble ever again…
Test the midsole – Press at the center of your shoe with your thumb. Do that where there is the midsole. If you feel that it is hard and not bouncing back, it means, it has lost its cushioning. It’s better to get a new pair of running shoes.
Look for heavy lines into the midsole – After you have worn your shoe for some time, there will be some lines or creases that form on the shoe.
However, if the lines are too heavy, that means the foam is too compressed to make a recovery. At this point, it is best to replace the shoes.
Observe if you are getting injured more – This is one of the most telltale signs. If you are getting more hurt than usual or getting more aches and pains, then it may so happen that your running shoes have lost cushioning. Do the above tests to find out if it is time to replace the shoes.
New shoes feel more comfortable – The loss of cushioning happens very gradually. Most of the time, you will not be able to understand this loss. If you are not sure, try on a new pair of running shoes. If it feels more cushy and comfortable than your older pair, then it is time to get a new one.
How can I make my running shoes last longer?
Like anything in life, if you want to solve a problem, you need to have a plan…
Know your shoe – Well, this is not like knowing what the shoe is made of. Rather, you need to know the followings:
- Date of purchase
- Shoe Name
- First Use
- Miles ran
For “miles ran”, you can use a paper log or an online app. If you wear any fitness band, the smartphone app that comes with it will have a way of tracking this.
Save this information along with the picture of your shoe. After a couple of times, this will provide you with crucial information like which shoe lasts the longest as your usage.
You can purchase the next one accordingly.
Limit its usage – You should not use your running shoes for any other purpose, other than running.
Usage outside running will also get added to your total shoe mileage. So, overall you will use up your running mileage earlier.
Don’t put your shoes in the dryer – If your shoes get wet, never ever put them in a dryer. The glue in the shoe will start to disintegrate under such high heat. This will reduce your running shoe’s longevity, significantly.
Rotate your shoes – Like you, your shoes also needs time to recover from all the impact that it is withstanding.
If you continuously use the same running shoe, you are not giving it the time to recover and come back to its original form.
Hence, it will break down faster.
Instead, alternate your shoes and each of them will serve you longer.
What are the most durable running shoes?
- Price Range
- Quality of the materials of the shoe
It is really not possible to say which shoes are the most durable.
In general running shoes should last from 300 – 500 miles.
So, I’ll provide you with some running shoes which will last near to the upper limit of this range and are affordable:
Will the durability of my shoe get impacted if it gets wet?
Well, the answer depends on how you dry your shoes after you get them wet.
Also, how you get it wet also matters…
If you are running in the rain and snow, you will not see much of an impact other than that wet smell.
You need to get it dried properly.
However, if you give it a hot water bath, then it may start to fall apart, or the joints of your shoe will start to weaken.
This is due to the way in which these shoes are constructed.
Nowadays a lot of glue is being used in the shoes to give them that seamless finish.
This glue doesn’t hold up well under heat.
So, this may reduce the durability of your running shoes.
Also, if you put your wet running shoes in the dryer, you will also face the same problem as here also, the glues will not hold up well.
What to do when running shoes get wet?
Well, there is nothing much you can do, other than to get it dried.
Here is how you can effectively dry your running shoes:
Use some newspaper – You can ball up a newspaper and stuff it inside your running shoes and leave them somewhere they will get some air.
Keep it near a fan – If they are not soaking wet, you can leave them near the fan. The air will dry the shoes out.
Leave them at your balcony – Leave your wet shoes on the balcony. Place them against a wall at a 45-degree angle will heel touching the ground. This way the water will drain out the shoe faster and through a smaller area near the heels. Also, do not keep them in direct sunlight as this will affect the durability of the shoe.
Blogger and a fitness enthusiast. She loves running and Yoga and everything in between. She started running to manage her weight and to eat to her heart’s content. A true foodie at heart she shares whatever knowledge she has gained throughout the years about weight management and fitness.
Wang, L., Hong, Y., & Li, J. X. (2012). Durability of running shoes with ethylene vinyl acetate or polyurethane midsoles. Journal of sports sciences, 30(16), 1787-1792.
Swigart, J. F., Erdman, A. G., & Cain, P. J. (1993). An Energy-Based Method for Testing Cushioning Durability of Running Shoes. Journal of applied Biomechanics, 9(1).
Reinschmidt, C., and B. M. Nigg. “Current issues in the design of running and court shoes.” Sportverletzung· Sportschaden 14.3 (2000): 72-81.
Dib, Mansour Y., et al. “Effect of environmental temperature on shock absorption properties of running shoes.” Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine 15.3 (2005): 172-176.