Expert reveals how often you should change your running shoes

Running shoes are a staple in most people’s shoe-drobe, but how often should we be trading them in for new ones?

The fact is, running shoes don’t last forever. Monique Craft, Under Armour HOVR Run expert, reveals that over time (even if they aren’t visibly falling apart) running shoes can lose their abilities to keep you safe while exercising. Here, she shares her guide to recognising the tell-tale signs you need to invest in a new pair:

What’s the general lifetime of a pair of running shoes?

“Running shoes lose shock absorption, cushioning, and stability over time. The general lifetime of a pair of running shoes varies as it depends on a number of factors including:

  • Where you run: Invest in footwear specific to the type of running you’re doing as the terrain - treadmills, roads, trails, etc. - all have an impact on the shoe. If not, they definitely won’t last as long and can hinder performance.
  • Usage: How often you wear them.
  • Your run style: Are you a heel striker? Do you run on your toes? It’s super important to research and invest in footwear specific to your needs. For example, Under Armour’s HOVR Guardian running shoes are built specifically to provide extra comfort for long distances and stability to protect from over-pronation.
  • Your build: The height and weight of the individual can affect the time frame of the shoes. When I used to work at Rebel Sport, women with smaller feet would often request kids shoes as they were cheaper. However, because these shoes are designed for kids weights, they would break down faster and require replacing a lot sooner.”

Why is it important to change them regularly? What can happen if you don’t?

“Continuing to run and train in worn-out running shoes increases your chance of overuse injuries as it places your legs and joints under increased stress and impact. It can also affect your level of comfort as old shoes can warp and the cushioning will break down, leading to injuries.”

Signs that you need a new pair of runners

“Taking care of the body is a necessity when running and having the proper footwear is paramount. The visual deterioration is the obvious sign that you need to replace your running shoes, but injuries and discomfort that comes from the breakdown of the shoe are the most dangerous and impacting.

“Often people start to feel a burning sensation on the soles of their feet in old shoes. In addition, the grip on the sole wears down in aged shoes which can lead to slipping. This becomes another injury risk, especially if you are an outdoor off roadrunner. These are all very important reasons to change your shoes regularly.

“Physical signs can include the smoothing of the sole where the tread and grip disappear, holes on the outerwear of the shoe and fraying on the inside of the heel. Your heels may also slip, creating friction. Lace locking is a handy trick I learnt to combat this; it provides more support for the foot in the shoe. Always ensure your laces are done up tight and correctly and don’t be tempted to forcefully squeeze into already-laced up shoes as it can affect how long the shoe lasts.”

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