How long should shoes last?
3 months, 6 months, 12 months, 20 years?
All shoes are different, and some last longer than others.
For example: A dress shoe that costs $500 is going to last way longer than a $60 pair.
Also a running shoe that costs $30 will last a fraction of the time than a $200 pair will.
But there are other factors that determine the overall lifespan and that’s what I want to share with you today.
So in this article I will go into detail on how long your shoes should last and how to increase longevity.
How Long Should Running Shoes Last?
Running shoes wear down much faster than any other type of shoe because they are being heavily used.
Is it true that that only last 100 miles?
Again, it comes down to the quality of the shoe and the cost.
I personally think that that number is way off and I don’t know who made up that rule and why.
It’s not unusual for an average pair of running shoes to last 300 – 500 miles.
A running shoe that’s $90 will wear down faster than a running shoe worth $200.
But there are other variables too.
The variables are the weight of the person, the quality of the materials, the lighter the shoe, how your foot strikes the ground, etc.
The heavier the person, the faster the shoe will wear out and that’s with any type of shoe, not just running shoes.
As a rule of thumb: Running shoes should last 300 to 500 miles.
If you’re a beginner, you can go cheap and affordable because you’re only getting started and won’t be running that much.
But if you’re an expert, you will most likely be running 20 miles per week and that’s why you need to invest in more expensive running shoes.
How Long Should Walking Shoes Last?
Walking is not as hardcore as running, therefore you will get more miles out of a walking shoe compared to running.
Some people can get 400 – 600 miles out of one pair!
This is because they are not as lightweight as running shoes. The manufacturers can make up that extra weight by using durable materials.
They are a little bulkier than running shoes but that is done on purpose to get maximum life out of the shoe.
However, don’t use your daily walking shoes as everyday shoes as well.
Keep them separate so they don’t wear out in 3-6 months.
A huge problem people make is using the same shoe for daily walking and casual.
Keeping the shoes separate will make them last a lot longer (literally years), but I will talk about that soon.
Lets talk about dress shoes.
How Long Does Dress Shoes Last?
When it comes to dress shoes, you can’t just pick up a $60 pair of leather shoes and expect it to last for years.
There are many variables such as leather quality, craftsmanship, attention-to-detail, materials used, etc.
Low quality leather that has been dragged through chemicals and sprayed with all types of stuff before it hits the shelf is NOT going to last a long time.
Another example is that glue will fall apart quicker than stitching.
When searching for a high quality pair of dress shoes, the secret lies in the detail.
But you have to know exactly what you’re looking for first (how to spot cheap leather shoes).
Without the knowledge, you’re going based off of the sellers good word which is not always their best intentions.
But as a rule of thumb: A high quality, well-researched shoe can last up to 20 years, sometimes more. Anything under $200 is bound to drown within couple of years or less.
Also it’s better to go expensive with dress shoes as it will pay for itself in the long run, in my opinion.
What About Cross Trainers?
Cross trainers also take a beat just like running shoes.
Those box jumps, lateral movements, quick bursts, sprints, they all have an impact on the shoe.
The upper and outsole is more likely to show the first signs of wear and tear just because the nature of the movements.
And again, there are many variables that come into play that determine how long they will last.
The weight of the person matters, how often the person trains, what exercises they are doing, these all matter.
As a rule of thumb, cross trainers can last about 6 – 12 months with average usage.
Sports shoes take a beating so they HAVE to be made with good material.
Basketball requires a similar pattern to cross training, side-to-side directions in rapid succession.
The heel cushioning and stability takes a hammering from all the high jumps and lateral movements, which are very important at keeping you safe and injury-free.
The stability holds your ankles in place to stop injuries from happening and the cushioning softens hard landings.
Unlike other shoes, basketball has many variables, so it’s difficult to say how long they can last.
Some might say that if you’re experiencing aches and pains after training, it’s time to replace them.
But I say once the stability and the cushioning goes, they are over and should be used as everyday shoes instead.
It’s better to replace them before bad things happen.
When it comes to tennis, one thing’s for sure.
You need to replace your shoes before it gets to the aches and pains stage.
Different models have different life spans and everyone plays at different levels.
I’ve found that lightweight tennis shoes tend to be made with cheaper material and wear out faster than a sturdier and heavier shoe because they have more cushioning and durability.
The weight of the person also comes into play because the cushioning wears out faster.
But as a rule of thumb: The more aggressively the tennis players trains, the faster the shoe will wear out. Someone that plays 3 or more times a week will last 3-6 months. Others that play 1-2x a week may last a year.
Increasing Shoe Life
Of course these are only rule of thumbs and not a set rule for everybody.
There are some things we can do to extend the life of our shoes and I will show you how below.
Alternative the shoes
Getting more than one pair of shoes and alternating will make them last longer because they are not being worn as much.
You could wear 3 different pairs of running shoes each week, 3 pairs of walking shoes, and 3 pairs of everyday shoes.
The more shoes you have the longer they will last.
Doing this could make them last for years! And I’m not even exaggerating.
This is what I do, it’s what others do, it’s what stops people from going through their shoes like toilet paper.
Sure it’s an investment but pays for itself in the long run.
Let them dry after each use
This is something so many people get wrong.
We perspire about half a pint of sweat per day, and most of that goes into our shoes.
Not giving them adequate time to dry before wearing them just destroys them.
Air drying is the best possible way because you’re not exposing the shoe to heat which is going to soften adhesives and warp the shoe.
I’m not saying to leave them outside, I’m saying put them on a shoe rack so they’re safe from getting stomped on and will dry from air circulation.
Clean them regularly
I recommend washing shoes every couple of months in a washing machine, but cleaning them with a hand scrubber, water and soap every month or so.
I go into detail on machine-washing footwear here.
That’s basically all there is to increasing the longevity of your sneakers.
These are the most basic things people should be doing to keep their shoes in tip-top condition while increasing longevity, but is often overlooked.
It will take some getting use to at the start, but it pays off in the long run as they last longer and you get more mileage out of them!
Also don’t skimp on price.
Sometimes it’s worth spending an extra $30 for that better shoe.
The difference is a shoe that lasts 6 months and one that lasts a year.
Well There You Have It
That should answer all your questions about how long your shoes should last.
If I want you to take at least one thing from this article it would be that you NEVER ever skimp on taking care of your shoes and alternating them.
Alternate and let them dry for a couple of days before wearing them again.
Do that and I guarantee your shoes will be lasting years and not just months.
This is a really good secret that most don’t do.
Well that concludes this article.
If you have any tips you would like to add, please leave them in the comments below and I’ll get back to you asap 🙂
Cheers and have a great day!