How Do You Know You Need New Running Shoes

As a runner, I know how important it is to have the right pair of running shoes. Not only do they provide comfort and support, but they can also help prevent injuries. But how do you know when it’s time to replace your running shoes? Let’s dive deep into the signs that indicate you need new running shoes.

1. Mileage

One of the most obvious signs that you need new running shoes is when you have reached the maximum recommended mileage for your specific shoe model. Every pair of running shoes has a lifespan, typically measured in miles. This is because the cushioning and support in the midsole of the shoe gradually break down over time, resulting in a loss of shock absorption and stability.

Personally, I like to keep track of my mileage using a running app or a running journal. It helps me stay aware of when I need to start considering a new pair of shoes. Most running shoes are designed to last between 300 and 500 miles, so make sure to keep an eye on your shoe’s mileage to know when it’s time to retire them.

2. Visible Wear and Tear

Another obvious sign that you need new running shoes is visible wear and tear on the shoe itself. Look for signs of fraying, holes, or excessive wear on the outsole, midsole, and upper part of the shoe. If the soles are worn out and the treads are flattened, it’s a clear indication that your shoes have endured enough to be replaced.

I remember one time when I noticed the outsole of my shoes was starting to peel off. It was a clear sign that I needed a new pair. Continuing to run in shoes with visible wear and tear can lead to discomfort and potential injuries, so it’s important to address these signs and invest in a new pair of shoes.

3. Lack of Support and Cushioning

Over time, the support and cushioning in your running shoes can diminish, especially with regular use. If you start to notice that your shoes no longer provide the same level of support and cushioning as they did when you first bought them, it’s time to consider getting a new pair.

Personally, I can feel the difference in my knees and ankles when my shoes lose their cushioning. It’s a sign that my feet are no longer getting the protection they need, and it’s time for an upgrade. Running in shoes with inadequate cushioning can increase the risk of injuries such as stress fractures and joint pain.

4. Pain or Discomfort

If you experience pain or discomfort while running that you didn’t have before, it could be a sign that your shoes are no longer suitable for your feet. This could manifest as aching arches, sore heels, or even shin splints.

I remember when I started developing shin splints during my runs. I couldn’t figure out why until I realized that my shoes had lost their support and were causing extra stress on my shins. Getting a new pair of shoes with proper support helped alleviate the pain and allowed me to continue running without any issues.


Knowing when to replace your running shoes is crucial for maintaining your running performance and preventing injuries. Keep an eye on your mileage, check for visible wear and tear, pay attention to the support and cushioning, and listen to your body for any signs of pain or discomfort.

Remember, investing in a new pair of running shoes is an investment in your running journey. Don’t hesitate to retire your old shoes and find a pair that will support you every step of the way.