How Long Do Shoes Last? The ultimate guide on all shoe types – running, walking, and climbing

Have you ever wondered how long shoes last? Replacing your footwear regularly is essential to maintaining good foot health.  Many people are guilty of wearing their footwear way beyond their lifespan because they do not know how long shoes last.

The life cycle of shoes will depend on various factors such as the type of shoes, wear time, materials, and a few others. So, if you want to know how long a pair of shoes last, you’re in the right place.

How Long Do Shoes Last?

In general, shoes should be replaced every 8-12 months for most people. At this stage, the shoe will typically show signs of being worn. There are certain factors that can add time to or subtract time from your shoe’s lifetime, including running, work, or spending time in storage.

You should repair your shoes if there are signs of upper and interior wear. Examples of these signs include midsole compression, outsole wear, loss of cushioning, and sudden foot fatigue.

However, the three main indicators of shoes that need to be replaced are:

Upper and Interior Wear

Place shoes on a flat surface at eye level and look at the upper part of the shoe to see if they’re leaning or are distorted in any way. If they are, then it means there is no support for your feet and the shoes need replacing. Also, look for unusual wear or holes as these are other indicators that you should replace the shoes.

Lastly, look inside the shoe. Pay special attention to the heel area as the inside heel of shoes tend to wear out quickly. Look to see if the material is beginning to wear or deteriorate. If you’ve worn the shoes for less than six months and you see signs of wear, then it is time to replace the shoe.

Midsole Compression

If you feel like you’re not getting the same support from your shoes as before or if your feet are feeling more tired after work, then it can be that the midsoles are being worn down due to compression. The midsole is the cushioning part of the shoe After wearing the shoes for a while, they don’t bounce back as they use to.

Issues with the midsole can also depend on your feet and the way you walk. Some people walk harder and put more pressure on their feet while walking. This compresses the soles and causes them to wear faster than you’d expect.

Outsole Wear

Have a look at the bottom of your shoes to see if the soles are showing signs of wear. If they’re significantly worn out, replace the shoes. Remember, wear should not be noticeable in any area of the sole.

Another way to check for wear on the outsole is to place the shoes on a flat surface and get to eye level to see if they rock or rest at an angle. If they do, then the outsole is damaged, and the shoes are no good for your feet.

How Often Should You Replace Everyday Shoes?

Everyday shoes or casual shoes are shoes that you wear when running errands and going to work. When to replace this type of shoe heavily depends on the quality, how you care for them, and how often you wear them.

If you wear these shoes 3 to 4 times a week, then you can replace them once a year. If you drive a lot or don’t do much walking, they may last longer. However, look for the indicators mentioned above and if you find any signs of wear, then replace the shoes immediately.

How Long do Running Shoes Last?

When you think about it, running shoes are very much like the tires on your car. It is recommended that you change your tires following 60,000 miles or so. The same formula is used when gauging the life of running shoes.

If you keep track of how many miles you run with your running shoes, then you should replace your shoes every 300 to 500 miles. High-quality running shoes can last up to 500 miles, but pay attention to how they make you feel.

Worn-out running shoes can cause aches and pains in your feet and other parts of your body. Look for these signs that’ll tell you it’s time to replace your running shoes:

  • Excessive aches and pains in feet, legs, and other parts of the body
  • Loss of cushioning and bounce
  • Worn-out insole and outsole

How Long do Walking Shoes Last?

Walking shoes like running shoes are built to last around 300 to 500 miles. While walkers are not putting as much pressure on their shoes as runners, it is unlikely you’ll get good support past 500 miles even in the longest-lasting walking sneakers. Your weight can also play a huge role here as the more you weigh, the faster your walking shoes will wear out.

If you’re wondering how long walking sneakers last, then you can use you following formula. If you walk 30 minutes a day or three to four hours a week, replace your walking shoes every 6 months. If you walk 60 minutes a day or seven hours a week, replace your shoes every 3 months. Of course, look for signs of significant wear and replace the shoes immediately even if it’s before the 3-month or 6-month period.

How Often Should You Replace Work Shoes?

Your work shoes should be in the best condition possible because they can offer protection for your feet. Whether you work in a restaurant or with heavy machinery, proper work shoes are crucial. Other than indications of wear, you should also pay attention to the safety features they come with. Check to see if the shoes are slip-resistant or if the safety toe is sufficient.

Generally, work shoes should be replaced every 8 to 12 months. This way they’re always up to date with safety components and the fit.

How Long do Climbing Shoes Last?

Climbing shoes usually last anywhere between 4 to 10 months. However, this depends on how regularly you wear your climbing shoes. If you wear your climbing shoes 3 or 4 times a week, they will deteriorate faster than if you only wear them twice a week.

Climbing shoes can last even longer – as much as 2 years – if you wear them once or twice a month. They can go beyond that and can last up to 5 years if you wear them only a couple of times per year.  Climbing shoes can also last a long time especially if you choose to replace their worn-out soles. Of course, if other parts of the shoes are damaged, then you should get a new pair.

How Long do Pointe Shoes Last?

Pointe shoes support toe dancing and allow dancers to balance, slide, spin, and perform other movements. They are the best type of shoes that allow dancers to balance their weight to the shoe directly within the arch and surround the toes.

Due to this, pointe shoes tend to wear faster. Professional dancers may have to replace their pointe shoes after 12-15 hours. This is because these shoes are made from natural materials that break down over time. The best way to tell it’s time to replace your pointe shoes is if you feel the ground through your shoes.

How Long do Tennis Shoes Last?

The general rule of thumb for tennis shoes is about 45-60 hours. If you play once a week, then you’d only have to replace your shoes at least once a year. However, to determine how long tennis shoes last, you’d need to consider a few factors. These include brand, model, how often or aggressively you play, and the surface of the court you play on.

Bigger players will wear out their tennis shoes faster than smaller players. If your shoes don’t squeak anymore when playing on a hard court, it is time to replace them. If you’re not getting the same traction as before or feeling more ankle and foot soreness than usual, replace the shoe.

How Long do Vans Last?

Vans are popular and can be worn for many activities. If you’re wearing Vans for skating, they may last a few months; however, it all depends on the frequency of wear and the tricks and flips you’re performing. If you’re wearing them for mountain biking or cycling, they can last anywhere from 6 to 10 months. If it’s just normal wear and you’re not doing much walking, Vans can last a year or two.


Now you know when to throw away shoes, you should never again wear shoes that have gone past their expiration date. Remember, shoes don’t last forever. Look for the indicators mentioned above and replace your shoes when necessary. This way your feet will always be happy.

If there’s a particular shoe that you don’t want to throw away just yet, read this article highlighting the best ways on how to restore shoes.

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