Ask the Expert Question: “How many miles are running shoes good for?”
This is a valid question for the runner who hasn’t run since the Crim as well as for the runner who has been running all winter long. Typically, a good pair of running shoes will last around 300 to 350 miles, possibly more or less depending on some variables.
Water, snow, and other elements absorb into the midsole of your running shoe, hardening it over time. This stiffens up the sole of your running shoe and provides less flexibility and cushion, which you will start to feel over time as your feet will ache and feel uncomfortable.
Running on an indoor track over the winter may prolong the life of your running shoes because they have been shielded from the elements (for the most part). However, if you think your shoes are fine since you haven’t used them in several months you may be surprised when your shoes seem a little stiffer than before. Just sitting around will break down your shoes over time and also harden the midsole unless you are able to store them in a perfect environment, which is highly unlikely.
If you keep running in your shoes until your feet hurts that is a warning sign you needed new shoes a few miles ago. You may think your feet ache because you haven’t ran in a while, which may be true, but it typically also means you need new shoes. Proper shoes are the key to longevity in running, so it is a good idea to listen to your feet and keep them happy to prevent injuries that set you back or end your running completely.
About the expert: Curtis Thompson is a multiple time state champion in track, thirty-year Crim runner, and owner of Complete Runner in Flint. Follow his running blog to learn more running tips and product reviews.