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When to Replace Your Old Athletic Shoes

In 1962, Neil Sedaka famously crooned that “breaking up is hard to do.” He probably wasn’t talking about his favorite pair of running or athletic shoes, but for those of us who enjoy active lifestyles, the bond between an athlete and his or her comfiest pair of old sneakers is often very real!

runners runningHowever, while breaking up is indeed hard to do, you have to know when it’s time to let go. Yes, a well made pair of shoes can last you several months to a year or longer, depending on how much you use them. But they don’t last forever. With enough mileage, they stop offering you the support and cushioning you need to prevent pain and injury—even if, on the outside, it looks like nothing is wrong.

That’s because the midsole—the part of the shoe between your foot and the sole that operates as a shock absorber—compresses and loses its springiness over time. The shoe may feel like it fits you like a glove, but if it can’t cushion the impact shocks anymore, your feet are going to get stressed much faster than in a new pair of shoes. Furthermore, more obvious signs of wear—glue separating, treads fraying, even holes appearing—may become increasingly apparent.

Generally speaking, most athletic and running shoes should hold up for around 300-500 miles of running, or about 45-60 hours of strenuous sports play (basketball, tennis, dance, etc.). Yes, that’s a pretty big range, because it depends on a lot of factors, including the quality of the shoe and the stress from each impact. For example, those who are overweight or who run with a very hard, high-impact heel strike will probably wear out their shoes faster, all other things being equal.

So, how do you know when it’s time to replace your shoes? In summary:

  • Every 300-500 miles is a pretty good guide—that’ll tell you if you’re in the right ballpark.
  • If you begin to experience more foot pain or blisters during or after exercise—especially if you haven’t changed your shoes or routine much—you probably need new shoes.
  • You notice the treads on your shoes have worn down considerably, especially if the wear patterns are uneven.

If you want to increase the mileage you get out of your athletic shoes, try not to use them for everyday purposes, but only for sports. You can also buy a couple of pairs of the same type of shoe and rotate them so you get to enjoy a comfy, reliable fit for twice as long.

For more foot and ankle sports care tips, keep reading the Dallas Podiatry Works blogs! If you need help finding a good pair of shoes that fit you well, or you need help with a sore, painful foot or sports-related foot or ankle injury, please call us at 972.566.7474 to set up an appointment. Alternatively, you can fill out our contact form online.

Your Top-Rated Podiatrist in Dallas & Beyond

The doctor has great “bedside manners” when talking to patients. Great staff and comfortable atmosphere.

Derrick W.

The staff at Dallas Podiatry Works could not have been more courteous, helpful, and professional in doing their job. They made me feel comfortable when I was there, which is certainly appreciated. They answered all the questions that I had and just made each visit the most pleasurable that it could be. I would highly recommend them to anyone needing this type of foot care.

Joseph B.

I would highly recommend Dr. Brook to anyone with foot problems–especially problems that stump other podiatrists. He really is very caring and very knowledgeable.

Jeannette H.

Dr. Joel Brook and the staff were nice and helpful. Though I was a new patient, I got right in as soon as they were open in my preferred location. They diagnosed the problem and provided medicines along with a perfect gel bandage so I could keep exercising while my toes healed. My toes already hurt less and look a little better each day. If I have future issues, I will be a repeat customer. Here’s hoping I don’t, but at least I know my feet are in good hands.

Meryl E.

I visited this office for an ingrown toe nail a few years ago. After seeing another doctor, who made it worse, he referred me to Dallas Podiatry Works. The doctor there was able to fix my problem. I’m not great with reviews, all I can tell you is that this doctor and staff will have you up and running or doing whatever it is you do in no time. You will be in great hands. You’d be a fool not to use this doctor. Now its time to visit him again for the other toe.

Google User

Been having bad ankle pains for 6 months was referred here and it was a great visit ladies in the front desk medical assistants and the Doctor were all very friendly and make you feel very comfortable.

Elizabeth G.

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