How Often Should You Replace Your Walking Shoes?

Walking is only fun when you have the right shoes on and shoes don’t last forever! They also don’t have to get all worn out for you to replace them. As finding the perfect shoe is a long process on its own, many find it difficult to part ways with their favorite pair. However, a shoe’s life is limited and it is important to replace them to ensure that your feet are safe and sound.


The General Rule

According to Dr. Pribut, an expert in pediatric sports medicine and biomechanics, you are expected to replace your shoes after a span of 350-500 miles. Even though we don’t work out our shoes like athletes do, if we simply calculate on the basis of a 30-45 minutes of walk each day, we would need to replace our shoes every 6 months. Furthermore, if we factor in our weight, higher the weight earlier will the cushioning and support mechanisms in your shoes fade. If you walk for about an hour or more each day, aim to replace your shoes every 3 months.


A Shoe’s Life

Unfortunately, many people tend to look at the base of their shoes to determine if they need to replace them. Most feel that if the treads of the shoes are still in a decent shape, their shoes are good to go. However, the midsoles of your shoes are the weakest and tend to fade away first. This part of your shoe is a thick layer of foam that is designed to support your feet and modulate foot mechanics. The midsole of your shoes absorbs the shock and impact as you walk or run and without the midsoles, your feet are left vulnerable to the shock of ground impact. An uneven surface and mis-balance would mean serious dangers to your feet or continuous foot pain.


Shoes Age too!

If you generally walk on hard surfaces such as roads and footpaths, your shoes will wear out faster than those used to run in green parks or on soft surfaces. It is also important to note that shoes do not start ‘aging’ the moment you buy them. That process starts as soon as they are manufactured. Think about all the elements in your shoes: the air pockets, the stitches and even the glue that holds it together. All these factors are susceptible to the environment and the longer you keep them, weaker their overall strength will be.

Ryan Hall, one of the world’s most famous marathon runners, is another advocate of regularly replacing your walking/running shoes. He changes his shoes after every 200 miles. He says, “My health is so important to me that I like to always make sure my equipment is fresh.” Sure, the average man doesn’t run as much as he does, but, the emphasis is on health.

So, to safeguard your own health, keep a check on your shoe’s health: the soles, the midsoles, the foot imprints on the soles, the treads and most important, the comfort level. If you think something is not right, replace them. However, to be on the safer side, consider replacing your shoes every 6 months.