"I'd rather be seen on my bicycle than on a park run" - Quote from the dark side

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Replacing Running Shoes

I always try to get as much distance as possible out of my running shoes. I’ve been keeping track of this since 1994 and get an average of 1210km (750 miles) per pair. The most was 1549km (960 miles) and I’ve also had shoes that only lasted 820km (508 miles). I would say 800km (496 miles) is the minimum distance one should get out of a pair of shoes. Maybe I’m totally off the mark, but I think most would agree 800km – 1000km should be the minimum. I’m happy with my average 1210km (750 miles) per pair. This is all when running on the road only, no trails. That’s a different story.

I was applying some Sole Saver patching to my old shoes a while back when my son asked me why I made such a mess of my shoes. After explaining that patching the soles help a little to get more distance out of the shoes he suggested I rather buy new ones. Well his eight years old and buying new ones obviously looks very logic to him.

I usually run with two pairs of shoes, alternating them for long and short runs. I use a pair for long runs until I’ve done about 800km with it. Then I swop them with the newer pair and use the old ones for shorter runs until they really can’t be used anymore. That’s when I buy a new pair and run the short runs in the new pair until I swop with the older ones and so I carry on, alternating older and newer shoes as I alternate hard (long) runs with easy (short) runs.

In South Africa running shoes aren’t that cheap and paying about R700 to R1000 (that’s SA rands) is normal. I asked about shoes and the distances people get out of a pair on a local forum recently. It seems my average of 1210km is fairly high compared to most other runners. The average for other runners was between 600 and 800km (372 and 496 miles). The shoes in the photos below had 1000km behind them when I applied the patching. In general the soles still look very good. I always have problems with front foot support before the soles show much wear and tear.

I usually buy 2 - 3 pairs of shoes per year if I run throughout the year as planned. Seems I’m lucky I don’t need new shoes more often. How often do you buy new running shoes?


Running Through Life said...

I error on the side of caution and generally get about 400 miles on a pair before I start looking for my next pair. I can't believe the miles you are getting out of yours. If it works for you, I say keep doing it because you are saving a lot of money.

Julie said...

Hi Johann,
Wow, you actually get pretty good use out of your shoes!! I am sort of in the same boat with Tony on miles for my shoes....usually 400 to 450 and then its time for a new pair. Usually my shoe bottoms have no more grip and that drives me totally bonkers:) I should probably be running with two pairs of shoes too. I think that is a great idea and know alot of runners that do that. Good job on the patching...you are so crafty:) Happy Wednesday Johann!!

ajh said...

I go for 500 miles a pair and I track my mileage on them on line. I have one pair with less than 100 miles left, I started a new pair for my half marathon and I have yet another new pair put away I got on sale. I give my used ones whereever I can. I just gave a bunch to our PE teacher to use for kids who never bring sneakers.She said some kids would take them home and I said GREAT as long as they are being used. I worry too much about injury to go too long on a pair.

Coach Dave said...

Hell you guys get some serious mileage out of your shoes, I only get about 700 km's (434 miles) before I need a new pair and my shoes size is not that easy to find. US 15 2E Asics Cumulus.

Jameson said...

I know I NEED new shoes more than anything.

joyRuN said...

I get about 500mi on my shoes, but I've been HORRIBLE about tracking the mileage lately. I figure my feet/legs will tell me when I really need to get a new pair :)

Like you, I also alternate my shoes so I can have them last a little longer.

Christina said...

I wonder if the shoe companies don't have us brain washed into thinking we need new shoes every 300-500 miles. I get about 400 but I think its just mental that I need new shoes. The padding is wore out, I'll get injured, shoes weren't made to last more than x miles. All these things yet are they true?

Colin Hayes said...

I agree with other that say you're getting above average mileage out of your shoes! I wish I could do the same! I currently rotate 4 pair of shoes (1 for trails, two for standard road training, 1 for speedwork and races). I just retired a pair that had 520 miles on them. I had relegated them to my short, slow runs, but I started having knee problems. When I finally retired them for good, the knees gradually felt better. I would love to keep running in them, but my body told me the limit was around 500 miles.