How Many Miles Do Walking Shoes Last? Clear Signs To Check

Your shoes don’t last forever. Hence, consider replacing them to ensure that you always have good footwear. Your feet will appreciate your effort a lot.

But when should you replace them? How many miles do walking shoes last? This guide reveals some signs you can check for before quitting your footwear.

So now, let’s join us and learn more interesting facts about walking shoes!

How Many Miles Do Walking Shoes Last?

Experts recommend replacing your walking shoes after 450 to 500 miles. However, the exact answer to your case depends on multiple factors, such as where and how you walk.

500-mile limit

A standard pair of athletic shoes have a 350–500 mile lifespan. The maximum distance they can go is around 500 miles, even if you’re using the most resistant models.

If your shoes have passed their limit of 500 miles and you keep wearing them, you will notice a significant decrease in their comfort and support.

Some people don’t agree with the 500-mile restriction. It’s up to you to replace your footwear at times. Yet, it’s better to consider a replacement after checking your shoe’s condition.

How Many Miles Do Walking Shoes Last? Clear Signs To Check

Where do you walk?

Your shoes will last for a longer period of time if you commute on flat concrete surfaces rather than on stone walkways, cobblestones, or other rugged terrains.

If you’re a runner or an athlete who spends most of your time outside, consider the traction factor. You will need special shoes made for a particular sport.

A daily pair of sneakers don’t have the same features and materials as a pair of running shoes. Remember that when you’re playing sports, your shoes’ friction and grip become more important.

How do you walk?

The way you walk affects how long your footwear can last. There are three main types of walking patterns:

  • Neutral pronation: Your heels hit the ground first and then roll toward your forefeet. 50 to 60% of us have this walking pattern.
  • Overpronation: Your feet roll inward significantly and never stay fully flat on the ground. About 30 to 40% of people walk this way.
  • Underpronation: Your feet roll inward slightly, and only your outer feet contact the ground. Only 5 to 10% of people have this walking habit.

People with neutral feet have more long-lasting shoes because they don’t cause much harm to the shoes with their turns and twists. Their feet often stay flat on the ground.

Meanwhile, those who underpronate or overpronate tend to wear out their footwear faster because some sections suffer from overuse.

Weather damage

The longevity of your footwear significantly depends on the weather. While sunny, dry conditions are ideal for your shoes, rain, snow, and other moisture-laden conditions will ruin them.

Besides, too much sun exposure can also contribute to the deterioration of your footwear because it dries out and cracks fabrics.

Your weight

The heavier you are, the more pressure you put on your heels and toes. You may find it more difficult to run fast due to the stress on your feet. Your footwear may not even reach the required 350 miles if you are obese.

Foot type

Walking shoes have specific designs to support your feet. So if your feet are flat-soled or uncannily shaped, they will affect your shoe’s lifespan.

When Should You Replace Walking Shoes?

Every material used in footwear has an endurance limit that it cannot reach. As a result, shoes have a finite lifespan too.

It’s crucial to recognize the indicators of worn-out walking shoes. Then, you can avoid potential problems, such as blisters, heel pain, knee pain, tendonitis, and other similar issues.


The outsole, or the shoe’s bottom, is the first place that shows signs of damage.

Hence, examine the shoe’s sole to discover any damaged areas. If so, you should get a new pair of shoes.

An interesting test to perform on your outsole is to place the shoe on a flat surface at your eye level.

If most of the shoe touches the ground, it means that the outsole is still good. And if not, the sole may have worn out.


The padding between the outsole and insole is the midsole.

The midsole of your shoes is often removable so that you can inspect it for wear on the shock-absorbing element.

It’s time to replace it if the midsole’s underside has cracks, thinning, or sagging.

Running or walking while wearing your shoes without any cushioning or stress absorption is the worst thing you may do to your ankles and knees. They will suffer a great deal from the stress you put on them.

You can check the midsole’s condition by wearing a new shoe on one foot and the older one on the other. If you feel the difference in cushioning clearly, throw away the old shoe.


Examine the cushioning, stitching, and fabric inside your footwear to determine if there are any flaws or problems.

If you can view inside, search for damage indicators, such as rips in the textile, ragged stitching, or thinner padding on the footbeds.

Upper wear

The upper wear is the first thing other people notice when looking at your shoes. It covers your feet and toes. Hence, this part is in charge of the aesthetic aspect of the footwear.

The upper wear is susceptible to weather damage because it faces the wind, rain, sunlight, and other external elements directly.

You can quickly inspect the condition of the upper wear. Check for rips, tears, color fade, and loose stitching to tell if you need to replace your walking shoes.

Some materials require more care than others. For example, if you have leather shoes, you will need to clean and maintain them more carefully than mesh shoes.

Heel counter

The heel counter is the small, plastic portion of the back of your footwear.

It helps stabilize and support your heels. You should throw away your shoes if the fabric of this section begins to split or distort.

You may accidentally make holes in the heel counter of your shoes, especially the ones you use more frequently.

Such problems are not common in casual or formal shoes because they only occur because of continuous heel movement.

Shoe lining

The lining starts to deteriorate as you put on the shoes, especially those with fabric lining. The more you walk, the faster it erodes.

You can’t easily see the problem in the shoe lining, but you can feel it. You’ll experience reduced comfort walking in your shoes if the lining begins to degrade.

When you travel for a long time, pains will start to show up on your feet, and the problem worsens more quickly because the lining and support are both losing their structural stability.

How To Extend The Lifespan Of My Walking Shoes?

Whatever you do, your shoes will ultimately wear down. We’ve provided a few quick tips on how to prolong the life of your shoes.

Choose a perfect fit.

First, buy the right shoes for your activities and meet your needs. They should also have adequate cushioning.

If you have high arches, flat feet, or any other foot issues, choose supportive shoes with sufficient arch support. Look for stiff soles and additional side support if you want the shoe to be more secure.

When walking with your feet close together in new shoes, make sure there is at least a half-inch from the shoe tip to your longest toe. It can take a few wears before they feel nicely snug.

Rotate between your shoes

Always prepare at least two different pairs of walking or running shoes, and alternate them during the day. Then, each pair has enough to rest after following you through different types of surfaces.

For example, if you walk a lot to work or school, have at least two pairs of walking shoes that you can rotate.

Hand wash your shoes

Not all shoes can withstand the pressure of a washing machine. It may warp the form and damage the soles and arches.

So instead, you should hand wash your footwear. If you have leather shoes, we recommend dry cleaning them every day to maintain their glossy appearance.

Keep your shoes clean.

Not only can debris and dirt have an unpleasant look, but they can also harm your footwear over time. So try to keep your walking shoes clean by frequently hand washing them.

You should wipe off the dirt on your sneakers after every use. And when they get dirty, give you a thorough clean. Don’t forget to let them air dry before putting them on.

This video will show you more tips for cleaning different types of shoes. Please check and learn how to treat them properly:

Drying is also an important part of maintaining shoes. It would be best to place them in a well-ventilated area to air dry.

Applying heat to speed up the drying process is not advisable. The heat may affect the texture, decreasing its lifespan.

If you are in a rush, consider using a fan to dry your sneakers. Similarly, place your wet shoes in a windy place for a better effect.

Do not walk on wet surfaces.

Another possibility to shorten the lifespan of your shoes is to use them in wet areas. You need to check the surface beneath for every step.

Also, by keeping this tip in mind, you can avoid having your feet lose balance and possibly suffer a fall.

If it’s a rainy day, try to use waterproof footwear. Otherwise, spray a water protector over your walking shoes before going out.

Get your footwear professionally fixed.

Bring your shoes in to be serviced by a professional if you notice that the sole or heel is becoming softer.

They are important parts, so you need the right replacement. They may cost somewhere between $40 and $80.

Cobblers can reinforce your toes, outsoles, and heels. Supporting these parts will add new layers of protection to your feet.

Alternatively, you can buy a sole protector and put it on your shoe to give it an additional protection layer.

You can also use strong glue to attach the soles and side panels to your shoe as a temporary fix before sending them to a cobbler.

Store your shoes properly.

It would be best to keep your shoes in their original boxes. This way, they will stay away from dust, sunlight, and extreme temperatures.

If you use plastic shoe boxes, make sure they are completely dry. Then, the mildew can’t find the right environment to grow.

There may be more moisture in your often-worn shoes than in your stored ones. Hence, keep the shoes you like wearing in an airy space to let the damp fabric breathe.

Also, fill your walking shoes with newspaper. The paper can keep your shoe shape, reduce odors, and absorb moisture.

Your shoes will deteriorate more quickly if you keep them in a hostile environment. The closet is the ideal spot to store walking shoes.

Additionally, keep your shoes away from intense sunlight and humid areas. And frequent exposure to water can harm your shoes.


1. How to tell if my walking shoes are worn out?

Check the outsole of your walking shoes first if you’re confused about whether it’s time to get new ones.

It’s where your shoes contact the ground and suffer the most damage. If the outsole starts to show signs of wear and tear, replace your footwear.

Also, your shoes are too old if you see damage in the midsole, interior, upper wear, heel counter, and shoe lining.

2. How often should you buy new everyday shoes?

A good rule of thumb is to replace your daily shoes every six to twelve months.

You might need to change them more often if you wear them too much or for activities with more intensity.

Generally speaking, you should switch up your daily shoes every six months if you walk for roughly 30 minutes a day.

On the other hand, replace your footwear every three months if you use them for more than 30 minutes a day.

3. Is there an expiration date for walking shoes?

Unfortunately, a shoe has no specified shelf life. The construction quality, how carefully you maintain it, and where and how frequently you wear it will affect how long it lasts.

4. Can I recycle old walking shoes?

Yes. Recycling your old walking shoes is simple and beneficial. There are various ways to do this, such as:

  • You can donate them to a charity shop in your area. The cobblers can fix them and use them for other purposes.
  • Use a shoe recycle bin or shoe bank to use the textile parts of your shoe to make something. You can easily find those tools at supermarkets or recycling centers.

5. How often should I switch my insoles?

If you use them often, you should replace your insoles every six to twelve months. Check your soles to see if they can offer adequate support and cushion. If not, invest in new ones for your feet.

You can remove the insoles to check them properly. If they are fixed, press them with your finger and feel how they respond.

By comparing two insoles from two different pairs of shoes, you may examine the condition of your insoles easier.

6. Can I wear the same shoes every day?

Your shoes won’t keep their original shape if you use the same pair every day. Also, they won’t have enough time to dry.

Additionally, the outsoles suffer from a lot of strikes from the ground and your weight. Without frequent intervals in between, the outsole will quickly break down.

During your lunch hour or shift, switching your footwear can help. Your feet have a new start because they can work with other stress patterns.

Ensure that whatever footwear you select is comfortable to wear, does not limit toe movement, and fits your feet nicely.


Generally, walking shoes can work well before reaching 500 miles. However, their lifespan can be shorter or longer depending on multiple factors, such as how you use them, your foot type, weight, and weather conditions.

It’s essential to check for signs of damage. If your walking shoes are too old, replace them. They can’t give you the support and comfort you need. Sometimes, you will feel pain when wearing damaged footwear.

Hopefully, this guide has given everything you need to know about the lifespan of walking shoes. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask.

Thank you for reading!

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