6 Ways To Know It’s Time For A New Pair of Walking Shoes

By Dimi | Tips

dirty shoes

One of the most common questions people ask when they’re working out is ‘How long will my shoes last?’  The answer to this question depends on the make of shoe and how it’s used; a running shoe used on asphalt and concrete may not last as long as a walking shoe used on a dirt track. Some people expect higher priced models to last longer, but it doesn’t always work that way. In fact, good cheap walking shoes, like those from New Balance, often last as long as higher priced brands.  In general, look at your shoes lasting roughly about 500 miles, or approximately every four to six months.

When To Replace Walking Shoes: 6 Tests

But how do you know when to replace your shoes?  Below are a few things to look for when you think it might be time for some new ones.

Overall Appearance

Give your shoes a good visual inspection.  Don’t worry if they look dirty, that simply means you’ve been using them regularly.  Along with looking for extreme problems such as cracked soles or tears in the uppers, keep an eye out for general wear and tear, such as stretched out heels, worn down outsoles, and the way the shoes have molded to your feet.

The ‘Press Test’

Another way to tell if your shoes are ready for replacement is to do the ‘press test’.  This is especially helpful if your shoes’ midsoles are made from EVA foam, as the cushioning will compact and break down faster.  Using your thumb, firmly press on the outsole upward into the midsole and observe how the midsole behaves.  If it compresses easily with lots of compression lines and wrinkles, then it’s fine.  If you’re noticing fewer wrinkles and less compression, then it’s time to replace them.

How Do They Feel?

The best way to tell if you need new shoes is gauging how they feel while you’re wearing them.  When you wear them, do they fit snugly, giving your feet and legs sufficient support?  Do they feel well-cushioned?  Replace your shoes if you notice any pain or stiffness in your feet, legs, knees, hips, or back, as that’s a sign there is little protective cushioning left.  Also, replace your shoes if you notice new blisters or friction spots on your feet, as that’s a sign your shoes have stretched and are allowing your feet to move around more inside them.

Once you go out and replace your shoes, how do you keep them in their best shape for the longest possible time?  While there’s no way to stop them from eventually wearing out, here are a few tips for extending their lifespan:

Remove Them Properly

When you finish your workout, do you unlace your shoes and take them off with your hand?  Or do you use your opposite foot to pry them off one at a time?  By unlacing your shoes, you can help them last much longer.

Rotate Between Two Pairs

To make your shoes last longer, it’s a good idea to try to have at least two pairs on hand to rotate between.  This will help both pairs wear evenly and avoid the pain or other issues when your sole pair of shoes wears out.  It will also minimize interruptions in your workout regimen if you suddenly have to stop wearing a pair due to them wearing out.

Only Use Them for Exercise

Your walking or running shoes will wear out much faster if you’re also wearing them while you run errands, go shopping, or are out with friends.  To help them last longer, save your exercise shoes for the gym, and purchase a good pair of shoes to walk around in everyday.