The bottoms of running shoes | Featured image for When to Replace Running Shoes blog from Refine Health Group.

Whether you’re a dedicated runner logging miles every day or a casual jogger hitting the pavement a few times a week, your running shoes play a vital role in your overall comfort, performance, and prevention of injury. Knowing when to replace running shoes is essential for all types of runners to maintain peak performance and to protect their feet in the long run.

In this blog, we’ll explore the signs that indicate it’s time to retire your trusted pair or pairs of running shoes and invest in something that offers optimal quality, support, performance, and longevity.

When to Replace Running Shoes for Dedicated Runners

Track Your Mileage

Those who hit the ground running every single day are going to cover higher weekly mileage in comparison to those who run for fun. To determine when it’s time to upgrade, keep track of your mileage using a running app or a logbook – whatever is the most convenient for you and your lifestyle. As a general guideline, replace your running shoes every 500 to 800 kilometres to ensure optimal cushioning and support, preventing any structural damage to your feet long term.

Keep an Eye on Signs of Wear

Whenever you’re cleaning your shoes, putting them on, or even when taking them off, give them a thorough inspection for signs of wear and tear. Look for worn-out outsoles, smooth spots, and loss of tread depth underneath – especially in high impacts areas. Those who run every day or for sport are going to show more signs of wear than those who run only a few times a week or every so often. This is why it is crucial to stay on the ball and address any wear-related issues quickly.

Comfort, Performance & Support

Runners are taught to be in tune with their bodies for the sake of their health and wellbeing and can often tell when their shoes are losing cushioning and overall support. If your shoes are no longer feeling comfortable, or you noticed an increase in impact during your runs, or just a general decline in performance, it’s time to look for some new shoes that will better cater to your feet and your body.

Note Any Pain & Discomfort

Pay close attention to any new aches, pains, or discomforts throughout your feet, ankles, knees, and even your shins. Running in worn-out shoes can lead to overuse injuries, hindering your progress and enjoyment and causing more pain in general. Don’t ignore these warning signs; replace your shoes to prevent potential injuries as soon as you notice a detrimental shift.

When to Replace Running Shoes for Casual Runners

Time-Based Replacement

Wanting to know when should running shoes be replaced as a casual runner? There is no need to track your mileage as someone who doesn’t run every single day or for sport. In that sense, consider replacing your running shoes every 6 to 12 months, depending on how frequently you run. If you run infrequently, inspect your shoes for signs of wear at least every few months.

Regular Visual Shoe Inspections

Much like sport runners, visible signs of wear and tear can develop over time regardless of how often you’re taking a run. Make sure you are regularly check for worn-out outsoles, uneven wear, and any deterioration in the midsole before or after a run. Even if you haven’t reached the specified lifetime of your shoe, it is still recommended that you replace them if you notice significant wear.

Take Note of Discomfort & Fatigue

You may not experience the same level of aches and pains as sports runners (this is subject to your own body, however) but discomfort and fatigue can still arise no matter what. If you find yourself feeling less comfortable during runs or notice increased foot fatigue, consider getting a new pair of running shoes to save future burdens.

Quality Support & Stability

Even casual runners benefit from the proper support and stability provided by quality running shoes. If you are feeling less stable during running sessions or notice excessive rolling of your feet, it’s time to retire your old shoes and find a pair that offers the right level of support. This needs to be tended to rather promptly, to save your feet and ankles from any damage that could hinder your running abilities.

General Tips to Take into Consideration

Rotate Your Running Shoes

Answering the question of when should running shoes be replaced has been narrowed down to the regularity of hitting the road – however, a general rule of thumb is to consider rotating between two pairs of running shoes each time. This allows each pair to recover and prolongs their lifespan – alternatively split the duration between the shoes at your leisure, as long as they’re regularly getting used.

Find a Dedicated Shoe Store

Visiting a specialty running store is going to be more than beneficial for your feet and overall running wellbeing. Professionals can analyse your gait, suggest the right type of shoe for your foot structure, and offer expert advice on when to replace your shoes depending on how often they are used.

Remember: Listen to Your Body

Whether you run daily or just on occasion, pay close attention to any signs of discomfort, pain, or fatigue that your body could experience. Your body will often let you know when it’s time to retire your old shoes, so don’t put it off or prolong the upgrade. Afterall, we need to take care of ourselves now and into the future for optimal lifestyle health.

Let Refine Health Group Streamline Your Wellbeing

If you’re still unsure of when to replace running shoes and you need to speak to a specialist – get in touch with us at the Refine Health Group physio clinic on 07 3216 1330. We’re here and ready to assist in making life that little bit easier. For convenience, you can also contact us in writing at or through our online form. For those who run as a sport, we also have a specialised sports physio Brisbane residents know and trust.