How do I know when my runners need replacing?

Brooks Glycerin | Sole Podiatry

We all seem to hold on to our runners way longer than we are supposed to. It’s only when we develop a hole, do we consider maybe then getting an update. No matter if you run marathons or just wear your runners for walking here and there, everyone needs to update their runners after a certain amount of time. By updating your runners regularly you could prevent a wide range of foot and ankle problems.



Mileage for a shoe refers to the amount of kilometres done in the shoe. The average mileage for most running shoes is between 500km and 1000km. It can be hard to calculate this,  but lets say you are someone who walks 4kms, 5 times a week then that is 20km a week. To get to 500km this would be at about 25 weeks or about 6months. At the 6 month mark your runner will be showing signs or wear and tear and a replacement will soon be needed. If you are someone that wears your runners all day everyday, or even just several times a week the amount of kilometres you have done in a week can very quickly add up. Most Podiatrists tend to advise replacing your runners every 6 months for moderately active people and once a year for people who use their runners for average day to day walking. People who train at a high level will often need to replace their training footwear even more regularly, to ensure optimal performance and cushioning. 



Athletic footwear technology has come a long way. The big companies spend hundreds of thousands of dollars creating new products to put into their shoes. Cushioning is an area where they spend a lot of time and focus on, to ensure the shoe feels good and helps to improve performance and prevent injury, but needs to also remain lightweight. The cushioning system within the footwear is often the feature which breaks down first, once the cushioning within the shoe starts to deteriorate, the performance of the shoe begins to decline as well, potentially opening up the wearer to increased risk of injury. 


What to look for in your runners?

A few simple things to look for in your runners if you are unsure of needing an update:


  1. Bend test- if you can flex the front of your runner and it can be bend all the way back towards the heel counter, it’s time to replace your shoe.
  2. Tread- the tread is the underneath (outer sole) part of your runner, you have noticed significant areas have worn out , it’s time for an upgrade.
  3. Compression- in certain areas of the sole, you may find parts where the materials are compressed and squashed. This is due to  the wear and tear of the materials themselves and can cause a change in how you will walk and run; as the compression can cause instability under your foot. 
  4. Pain- if pain starts to occur in the feet and ankles, it can be a big obvious sign that your runners need an update as the structure of the shoe isn’t sufficiently supporting or protecting your feet and ankles 


The team at Sole Podiatry can help you to identify some of these things within runners and other shoes. We can also recommend what type of runner may be the best for you and send you off with a referral to some footwear companies to lend you a helping hand.

BEND TEST: Shoes should flex at the forefoot only (like shown), never should they be able to fold in half.

Compression of the outside of the heel:


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