Are running shoes good for running?

FAQ durability of running shoes

Hereinafter FAQ article "Durability of running shoes" I dedicate myself in detail to the lifespan of running shoes. In addition to mileage information, I go into detail on factors that influence the life of the running shoe. Finally, there are clues that everyone can use to check whether their running shoes should still be run.

The following points are explained in detail:


How long do running shoes last?

The manufacturer asics writes the following on its homepage: “The durability of running shoes depends heavily on the person who uses them. Heavy runners and those with significant foot misalignments put more stress on the shoes than those who are lightweight and have an unproblematic, straight-line movement. As a rough guideline, a running shoe should last between 600 and 1,200 km, which corresponds to around 60 to 120 training units for the hobby runner. Experience shows that most runners need around two pairs of running shoes a year. "

The information on the durability of running shoes is very similar for the individual brands. Between 800 and 1,200 km is usually given as the average service life. As can be seen from these lines, the question of durability cannot be answered across the board. Running shoes usually last around 1,000 km. Anything is possible between 400 and 1,500 km. It is always important to note that the service life also depends very much on the model used. Novel carbon plate racers often only have a very limited lifespan of 200-300 km. In contrast, many training running shoes have a durability that is normally over 800 km.

What does the durability of running shoes depend on?

It depends …. The saying fits here well. The following points have a significant influence on the service life or durability of running shoes.

Causes that are based in the runner

  • Body weight of the runner: the heavier the runner, the lower the durability of the running shoe.
  • The runner's rolling behavior: the greater the deviation from the ideal (overpronation, supination, externally and internally rotated gait line, etc.), the greater the wear
  • Suitability of the shoe: The better the shoe fits the runner, the longer the shoe lasts. For example, a strong overpronator will wear out a neutral running shoe more quickly than a neutral foot runner will wear the same shoe.
  • Running style of the runner: The "cleaner" the running style, the longer the shoe lasts. For example, a runner who runs extremely over the heel will shit the shoe faster than a metatarsal runner.

Parameters that are based on training habits

  • Running speed: the higher the running speed, the faster the running shoe wears out.
  • Running route profile: Downhill stretches lead to more shoe wear than uphill sections.
  • Running surface: Gravel paths are the most damaging to the shoe. On the other hand, flat forest paths and meadow paths are the least common.
  • Frequency of running: The more often the runner runs one shoe, the shorter the lifespan of the shoe. a. when the shoe is used several times within a short period of time.

Influencing factors that are justified in the treatment of the shoe and the shoe itself

  • Alternation with other shoes: Alternating running shoes regularly (keyword: rotation) increases the lifespan of all shoes because the shoes can dry out completely between runs and the midsole can completely rebuild. Also read the Wiesels tips on buying running shoes under the item running circumference, keyword optimist rule.
  • Storage of the shoe: This is best done at room temperature. Extreme cold but v. a. Extreme heat (boiler room, trunk of the car in summer) reduce the life of the running shoe.
  • Caring for your running shoe: Proper care has a significant impact on the durability of running shoes. Read the FAQ article Care of running shoes.
  • Type of running shoe: Competition shoes have a (sometimes considerably) shorter lifespan than training shoes. Minimalist materials, lighter foam, less rubber in the outsole ensure faster wear in competition shoes.
  • Consistency and quality of the material: This concerns v. a. the midsole and the outsole. Most manufacturers now offer comparable qualities in the respective price range.
  • Area of ​​application: Even if it should be clear, it should be mentioned that a running shoe is designed for running. Playing soccer or tennis, but also excessive wear as a casual shoe, shortens the durability of running shoes.

Tip: record the kilometers run

It therefore makes sense to classify the influencing factors mentioned for yourself personally. The more negative influencing factors, the shorter the life of the running shoe. An exaggerated example illustrates this: A 120 kg runner with extreme overpronation, who is the only running shoe for his 100 kilometers a week, runs a minimalist carbon plate racer and also runs extremely hard over the heel, will only enjoy his running shoe for a very short time. Conversely, the less negative parameters affect the running shoe, the longer its durability.

The kilometers run provide the first clue. Here it lends itself to z. B. to record the kilometers of the running shoe (s) in a (digital) training diary / an online platform. This gives you a very good indication of when the shoes come into the critical area. The problem with no clue is that shoe wear is usually a gradual process. As a result, the wear is not immediately visible and noticeable.

The mileage of shoes is quickly underestimated. If you train twice a week of 10 km each, the shoe is usually ready after a year. One year - this is the normal rhythm of changing shoes for most amateur runners. For someone who trains ambitiously, it can quickly become 3 or more pairs per year. In case of doubt, it is better to replace your running shoe sooner than to take a break because of an injury caused by the old shoe!

How do I know that the shoe is finished / worn out?

Towards the end of its life, you should pay more attention to your running shoe and your own body. In addition to the kilometers run, the following questions can help to determine whether the running shoe has reached the end of its life.

Sudden, unfamiliar complaints

Do you suddenly experience unfamiliar discomfort / blisters / chafing? This is in relation to the running shoe v. a. interesting when these cannot be assigned to any other typical reason (e.g. extreme increase in scope or intensity). Then you should think of the shoe as a trigger and replace it if necessary. This can of course also be the case with brand new running shoes. Then the fit or type of the running shoe doesn't suit you. But as soon as the running shoe has successfully completed a few units and it works well, this reason is ruled out. Then at some point it's the age of the running shoe again.

How does the running shoe feel?

Does the shoe still feel good? The shoe should of course still be comfortable to walk on. Does the upper still fit well on the foot? Do I still have enough grip? Does it still offer the cushioning I want or does it feel too soft / too hard? Does it still roll normally or the shoe forces me into unfamiliar movements.

A good test is to try the same shoe or the successor in a running shop. Then you will quickly notice whether your shoe is already very far away from its origin or is still very good at walking and running.

Signs of wear and tear on the running shoe

What about external signs of wear and tear? Is the outsole still intact? When the outsole shows clear signs of wear, the midsole is usually already over. The weak point of the shoe is the midsole. More precisely, the midsole foam. While separate cushioning systems could often be built into a new shoe, the midsole, even if it still looks good on the outside, is over much earlier. If deep "cracks" appear in the midsole, this is an indication of the end of its service life.

The impression of the shoe geometry and the upper is also decisive. To do this, place your running shoe on a flat surface. If it tilts visibly inwards or outwards, the shoe must be replaced. Otherwise, incorrect loads would be increased by the shoe and that with every additional kilometer. The consequence would be an unnecessary increase in the risk of injury. The same applies to the shaft. If this is visibly "bulged", it no longer offers the foot sufficient support. In this case, too, the running shoe should be replaced.

The durability of running shoes explained in pictures and words

The following picture gallery shows some typical signs of wear and tear on running shoes and provides information on how they arise as well as recommendations for action when the running shoe should be taken out of service.

dirty but not defective running shoes (c) Laufschuhkauf.de

A key note at the beginning. Even if the running shoe looks so old and dirty, that does not mean that it has reached the end of its life. In this case, a thorough thorough cleaning is often sufficient.