Author Topic: Running shoes replacement every 300-500 miles? Reality or good marketing?  (Read 1725 times)

BOP Mustache

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Running guides recommend replacing running shoes every 300-500 miles. Which depending on how much you run might be every 3-6 months.

Is this reality or just savvy marketing by running shoe companies? Similar to spending x months salary on a diamond ring?

GoingToMaine

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I know that with hiking shoes / trail runners, I can definitely feel the support break down after a few hundred miles.  I'd assume it's the same with running shoes.  I don't go by set mileage - just when I can start to feel the impact more, end up more sore after hikes than normal, etc.

GuitarStv

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It's possible to run perfectly comforably barefoot.  I've never been too concerned about the support and cushioning that a shoe manufacturer has told me is necessary to run.  My shoes get changed when the sole wears through.

When I was boxing I was doing intervals and hillsprints amounting to five to ten kilometers a day, so not a huge amount.

use2betrix

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Depends. My first pair of Brooks Ghost 11’s needed to be replaced for cushioning purposes after about 425 miles, my next pair I replaced at less than 250 miles. The difference was that my first pair had a large chunk of treadmill miles, while the second pair was largely concrete miles. The tread wear was similar on the two.

I can echo what @GuitarStv says above regarding people running barefoot. There’s a fantastic book on running that spends a lot of time focusing on the topic, “Born to Run.”

I started running heavily about 16 months ago and am up to about 100 miles/month now. I find that cushioning does make a big impact on my joints, shins, knees, etc. when I run. I can 100% tell a huge difference between a pair of shoes with 250 miles vs a pair with 0 miles. I have a board in my closet that logs all my miles for my various shoes.. It’s not the most mustachian, but I have two pairs of Ghost 11’s, 3 pairs Ghost 12’s, a pair of Hoka’s, and Nike Zoom Air’s.. The Ghost 11’s are saved for casual non-running duty as they’re in great shape, just worn. I rotate between the others depending on my run.

I had a brooks 25% gift card off the entire purchase, which is why I have 3 pairs of the Ghost 12’s.. I know they’ll get worn out sooner or later.
« Last Edit: October 27, 2019, 07:47:43 PM by use2betrix »

mountain mustache

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Personally I start to feel the mileage on my shoes around 300 miles. I don't run (anymore) but I wear Hoka running shoes to work since I'm on my feet all day, and then walking dogs on my side job. I've had several surgeries, and have a lot of joint pain, so replacing shoes, and wearing really cushioned shoes makes a huge difference in my pain level. When I was in college I ran a lot, and I always had to replace shoes around 300-400 miles, or like clockwork I would get some random injury. I had friends who would run in shoes up to 2k-4k miles, and have 0 issues, and never got injuries. Every one is different...I spent the first 15 years of my life in a pool competitively swimming, and I swear it made me more prone to injuries on land, and also worsened my biomechanics when it comes to walking/running. But that is my unscientific theory. So sidenote aside, for me that 300-500 mile recommendation is 100% true.

jeninco

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I agree with previous posters, kinda: when I ran in "regular" running shoes, I'd start to get random pains around 300 miles or so. This culminated with an orthopedist suggesting I stop running for a bunch of weeks, when the pain in my hips turned out to be shoe-related.

Reader, I switched to "barefoot" shoes. (I actually tried running barefoot for a while, but I'm not a fan of picking annoying little gravel-y bits out of my feet.) I like the Merrills, but YMMV: in any case, it's a thin sole, and just enough upper to keep the things on my feet. They last until I wear out the sole (which has never happened) or rip up the uppers enough to require replacing. (I also do quick hikes in them, and trail running, and the uppers are not very robust.)

The downside is that it takes a while to learn to run in a way that's consistent with no padding in your shoes (I aim for a mid-foot landing, but what works for you may be different). It also takes a while to build back up to the mileage you were running before -- too many miles too quickly causes me achilles and various other posterior chain issues, because I'm actually using the muscles in my legs to land gently.

I second "Born to Run" and also suggest "Chi Running" for learning how to run gently.

zinnie

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This is all marketing. Yes, the shoes will feel less like you are walking on marshmallows after a while. But your feet will get stronger if you use less cushy shoes.

Source: Got new shoes before marathon in 2015. Have not wanted to spend money on new shoes, said fuck it, and have been wearing them ever since.

Cranky

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I have bad knees, not from running, just from usage. I walk several miles/day and after about 6 months I can really feel that I need new shoes and start looking around for another pair on the clearance rack. I move the old pair down to yard work status, and toss the pair before that because they look pretty crummy at that point.

Khaetra

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I replace mine every 300-500 miles.  I need the support and when I no longer have it I grab a new pair.

des999

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I run about 15-20 miles a week.  I tend to replace mine more on feel than actual miles.   but, that usually ends up being 400-500 miles.  I personally have had an injury from old shoes, so I won't let that happen again.

but...  I have been doing some research into the whole barefoot running, and I'm starting to buy less supported shoes with the idea that I might like to try it some time.

I'm also toying with the idea of trail running, to build up strength in my feet. 


bluebelle

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Re: Running shoes replacement every 300-500 miles? Reality or good marketing?
« Reply #10 on: October 28, 2019, 07:45:42 AM »
I have bad knees, not from running, just from usage. I walk several miles/day and after about 6 months I can really feel that I need new shoes and start looking around for another pair on the clearance rack. I move the old pair down to yard work status, and toss the pair before that because they look pretty crummy at that point.
+1   I notice a big difference between new and worn runners when walking.   For those of you that think it is marketing hype - be thankful that your joints don't notice a difference.  In my 20s I would have said it was marketing hype, in my 50s, I notice a significant difference.   

For those that said it wasn't mustachian to swap shoes when you feel they're worn out - I disagree.  I don't think the premise of mustachianism is to spend the least amount of money, but to thoughtfully spend it on things that bring value......not having feet/knees/hips/everything hurt brings tremendous value.   Good runners have a huge impact on my quality of life.  Anyone that experiences chronic pain understands that they'd spend money to reduce that pain.   I have a make/model that works best for me, and I will continue to buy that style.   I just don't buy this year's style, I buy last year's when they're down below 1/2 price.   
« Last Edit: October 28, 2019, 07:48:20 AM by bluebelle »

GuitarStv

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Re: Running shoes replacement every 300-500 miles? Reality or good marketing?
« Reply #11 on: October 28, 2019, 07:51:55 AM »
I'm not entirely convinced that the cushioning in most shoes solves more problems than it creates.  I walk and run differently in big cushy shoes than I do barefoot or with minimal padding in a shoe.  When you remove the cushioning, if you've developed bad movement patterns you will hurt yourself . . . but the solution to that is not to keep buying cushy shoes for the rest of your life.

des999

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Re: Running shoes replacement every 300-500 miles? Reality or good marketing?
« Reply #12 on: October 28, 2019, 08:13:18 AM »
I'm not entirely convinced that the cushioning in most shoes solves more problems than it creates.  I walk and run differently in big cushy shoes than I do barefoot or with minimal padding in a shoe.  When you remove the cushioning, if you've developed bad movement patterns you will hurt yourself . . . but the solution to that is not to keep buying cushy shoes for the rest of your life.

I tend to agree, but I also think everyone is different, so it's really not the same answer for everyone.

Cranky

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Re: Running shoes replacement every 300-500 miles? Reality or good marketing?
« Reply #13 on: October 28, 2019, 08:28:43 AM »
Well, you can pretty much see on my X-rays that my knee cartilage is gone, so I don't think walking through the snow in my bare feet will help with that. It's really all about comfort, for me - but again, I'm not a runner.

Malcat

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Re: Running shoes replacement every 300-500 miles? Reality or good marketing?
« Reply #14 on: October 28, 2019, 08:32:54 AM »
Well, you can pretty much see on my X-rays that my knee cartilage is gone, so I don't think walking through the snow in my bare feet will help with that. It's really all about comfort, for me - but again, I'm not a runner.

Same here, my joints are fucked. However, my old-lady orthotic shoes and my custom insoles are not squishy, they're rock hard. Since converting to orthotics, I'm not 100% sold on the ergonomics of shoes being squishy.

erutio

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Re: Running shoes replacement every 300-500 miles? Reality or good marketing?
« Reply #15 on: October 28, 2019, 09:10:11 AM »
Squishy shoes just helped someone run a sub 2 hr marathon and a female break the woman's marathon world record all within the last month. 
It's probably all marketing, but you guys talking about barefoot or mininalist shoes are about 5 years behind in the marketing hype.  Sounds about right for mustachians.  ;)

Malcat

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Re: Running shoes replacement every 300-500 miles? Reality or good marketing?
« Reply #16 on: October 28, 2019, 09:16:48 AM »
Squishy shoes just helped someone run a sub 2 hr marathon and a female break the woman's marathon world record all within the last month. 
It's probably all marketing, but you guys talking about barefoot or mininalist shoes are about 5 years behind in the marketing hype.  Sounds about right for mustachians.  ;)

For most healthy athletic people, it won't matter what they wear in terms of run times as long as they can get a proper stride.

What works for a young athlete with a high performance body is different from what will work for arthritic joints.

Also, as to "what works" depends on the outcome you are looking at. Performance or long term wear on the joints??

With my mangled, arthritic asshole body, I can't get performance or protection from squishy shoes. But comparing my body to an athlete is apples to oranges.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2019, 09:19:08 AM by Malkynn »

jeninco

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Re: Running shoes replacement every 300-500 miles? Reality or good marketing?
« Reply #17 on: October 28, 2019, 10:39:32 AM »
Squishy shoes just helped someone run a sub 2 hr marathon and a female break the woman's marathon world record all within the last month. 
It's probably all marketing, but you guys talking about barefoot or mininalist shoes are about 5 years behind in the marketing hype.  Sounds about right for mustachians.  ;)

For most healthy athletic people, it won't matter what they wear in terms of run times as long as they can get a proper stride.

What works for a young athlete with a high performance body is different from what will work for arthritic joints.

Also, as to "what works" depends on the outcome you are looking at. Performance or long term wear on the joints??

With my mangled, arthritic asshole body, I can't get performance or protection from squishy shoes. But comparing my body to an athlete is apples to oranges.

I'm a somewhat athletic over-50 person in a female-shaped body. I'm not looking to set a new world record, I'm wanting to stay in shape, keep myself sane, and develop motion patterns that I can continue with for a long time. I'd like to remain uninjured for as long as possible. I'd like to remain strong in all the ways I can remain strong, and I'm particularly interested in balance and flexibility, as that's what I'm going to need for the long term.

Also, it drove me bonkers to have to throw out a pair of shoes every 6-9 months. I don't use anything else "disposable", (well, TP...), so why am I treating $100+ shoes like they're disposable?
 The "minimalist" shoes I run in keep the gravel (and today, the ice) out of my feet, are great fun to run in (for me) and last several times as long as 6-9 months. Also, my joints don't hurt running in them. In exchange, I have to pay attention to my form and develop muscles other than my quads. I'm good with that.

mm1970

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Re: Running shoes replacement every 300-500 miles? Reality or good marketing?
« Reply #18 on: October 28, 2019, 11:32:11 AM »
Depends on the person, the shoe, and what you use it for.

I'm hard on shoes.  I rarely make it to 300 miles.  I usually need to replace at around 250 miles - last ones made it to 283 but they were pretty done by then.  I cannot even wear them to walk a mile in anymore.

Some shoes have more support, and the support lasts longer.  Some don't last as long.  I even switched to "barefoot" shoes for awhile, but that didn't work for me at all.

So, what happens?  Well, things start to hurt.  Knees, shins, feet, ankles.  Depends really but usually feet and knees. I use my running shoes for only running, when they wear out they can sometimes be worn to work (casual) or walking.

I wear my last pair's running shoes only for weights (they are too thin for walking), the ones before that for walking (different brand).

A couple of decades ago, I participated in the Breast Cancer 3-day walk a few times.  Same back then.  I'd train 1000 miles a year, and would go through 4-5 pairs of shoes.  I'm hard on shoes.

ericbonabike

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Re: Running shoes replacement every 300-500 miles? Reality or good marketing?
« Reply #19 on: October 30, 2019, 07:53:53 AM »
I think that depends on a couple things:
1) How much running you do a week.
2) Are those your only running shoes
3) How much do you weigh
4) what type of running you do


at my peak, I was running 70 miles a week.  I would buy 2-3 pairs of shoes at a time, and cycle through them. Everything I've read says that a hard run will compress the foam which will optimally will be allowed to recover over a day or two.  If you're running every single day, then you reduce the foams ability to recover and then you wear down the shoe sooner.   Near the end of the life of the shoe, my ankles and knees would start to get a little more achy.  And I'd retire a set of shoes, and boom, my joints would start to feel better.

But, if you're only running 20-30 miles a week, long runs in the 5-6 mile range, you could probably stand to wear them a bit longer.  If you're a bit lighter, you could stand to wear them a bit longer.  If you run in those same shoes every single day, you'll probably reduce the life.   

But yeah, my personal experience is that running shoes typically have a life of 300-500 miles.  Then they get retired into "walking" shoes, or "mowing" shoes. 

Civex

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Re: Running shoes replacement every 300-500 miles? Reality or good marketing?
« Reply #20 on: October 30, 2019, 10:32:23 AM »
I'd vote reality; I usually go through ~2 pairs on a marathon training cycle, which is somewhere around 600-800 miles. At that point the soles are worn pretty flat.

I over pronate (very flat feet) and if I don't replace shoes often enough my ankles and knees hurt. IME there is only so much a person can do to correct their running mechanics and I need a good shoe to do that and shoes break down.