This is a question we get asked more often in the shop than anything else. There is no simple answer. As a general guideline you should look to replace your shoes between 500-800 K. However there are a few things that might change that slightly.
1) How you run.
So if someone is new to running and has a very heavy foot strike they are going to wear down the shoes an awful lot quicker than someone who is gliding across the surface. Usually the first thing that goes in the shoe is the cushioning. When you're running it's three times your bodyweight coming down so be realistic. If you are perhaps a heavier runner you may only be getting towards 500k and they are done.
2) Your actual runners
I don't mean what brand you are in as in general there is little between the brands in terms of longevity but what type of running shoe you are in. For example someone might have a Saucony Kinvara or New Balance Zante. These are what's called a performance running shoe, so it's a light version of your standard shoe but isn't quiet a racing flat so many people would wear them as their only shoe. If you do there is more of a chance they would wear out quicker than a Saucony Truimph or Saucony Ride or New Balance 1080 as these are essentially marathon training shoes designed for the long runs.
3) Surface you run on.
So if your constantly hammering on Cement paths you might wear down the runner a little quicker than someone who is mostly on Tarmac or grass. Cement has very little give in it and is a harsh surface to run on it takes a lot of cushioning out of the shoe, grass is a better option or failing that tarmac is better than Cement paths.
4) How many shoes you have.
People tend to get longer out of their shoes if they rotate them. So someone training for a marathon for example may have a lighter shoe that they like to do their intervals on and a heavy more cushioned shoe that they like for the longer runs. Customers usually find that both shoes last that bit longer when you're switching between the two.
5) Your own weight.
You might meet a lot of your club runners who seem to get much longer out of their shoes than you. They may be a very light person who isn't hitting the ground with the same impact as yourself.
We often get customers coming into our Bray and Ballymount stores with their old shoes asking us "Are they done?". The person usually knows the answer themselves if the shoe feels like the cushioning has gone out of it and when they try on the new shoes there's a marked difference then they are usually gone. If you started to get a niggle or an injury you never had before, first thing I would check would be the shoes.
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