Proper running shoes make a real difference. Not only will a good quality, well-fitting pair of trainers give you lots of bounce and help you avoid blisters, they’ll also keep more serious injuries at bay. Need more persuasion? Feel free to take a look at our guide to finding your perfect fit here.
But once you’ve invested in your ideal pair, how long can you expect them to last? The answer, as with so many questions related to running, varies – in this case, depending on your surface, running style and build.
The kind of surface or terrain you train on can definitely impact your trainers’ life expectancy. Treadmills are probably kindest to your soles, but they don’t make for the most exciting of runs. If you go off-road on rougher tracks, you can expect more wear and tear – especially if you’re wearing road runners which aren’t designed for heavy-duty running.
Flipping your shoes over and taking a look at the sole can be an effective way to work out your running style, and that can be an helpful indicator of how much life is left in your shoes.
Lots of wear on the toe or front? Sounds like you’re a sprinter or a hill runner – and you’ll need to keep an eye on things in case the sole splits.
Significant wear on the heel is more common with middle and longer distance road runners, but it’s still an issue. A strong heel is essential to support the foot and ankle, and once it’s worn down, the support is gone too.
The general rule is that a quality pair of shoes will last you 300-500 miles, but that’s an average. If you’re taller or heavier than average, you can expect to need a replacement pair closer to the 300-mile mark; if you’re leaner, you’ll be closer to the top end of that range.
Top tips for getting the most out of your running shoes
Trainers can be a significant investment, with many pairs coming in at around the £100+ mark. So it’s important to take good care of them – and if you do, they’ll take care of you.
Here’s some of the Great Run Team’s top tips for getting the most out of your trainers.
Tie and untie
Don’t just slip your feet out of your trainers without unfastening the laces. It might save you a couple of minutes but it’ll shorten the life of your shoes significantly.
Keep them away from the washing machine
Remove stones and excessive mud from your shoes after a run but resist the temptation to throw them in the washer – it’ll only weaken them. Pack them with newspaper if they get super-soaked and you need to dry them out quickly.
Only wear your shoes for running
Don’t waste miles on walking around town or heading to the shops – you’re wasting miles and wearing out your shoes when you wear them for non-run time.
Keep an eye
If you start noticing niggles, it’s time to try on a new pair. Notice a big difference? It’s time to invest. It’s also a good idea to write the date you bought your trainers inside them when you first get them – that way you won’t be guessing.
For more top training tips, have a look at our page here.