Running Shoes – When To Replace Them? [Guide 2022]

You Need to Replace Running Shoes Regularly

To learn more about  Achilles tendon injuries read our blog post hereor plantar fasciitis read more here.


Most people wait far too long before replace running shoes and risk overuse injuries as a result.

Generally running shoes should last between 400 and 800 kilometres (or 250 to 500 miles), although this depends on:

  • your body weight,
  • how often and far you run,
  • the terrain you run on and,
  • your running style.

Heavy runners who pound the hard ground every day over long distances will wear out their footwear much quicker than a light jogger who runs once or twice a week.


Why Should I Replace Running Shoes in Time?

Mainly to Avoid Injuries

As you approach the “worn out” mileage mark, see how your shoes feel.

Don’t wait until the tread on your soles is worn completely flat, or you’re seeing the midsole showing through the bottom! 

A man in running gear holds his shin

What Kind of Injuries can Old Runners Cause?

There actually quite a number of different injuries that you could potentially incur from continuing to run in worn out runners including the following:

  • Achilles tendon injuries (including tendinitis, tenosynovitis and bursitis. to read more on Achilles tendinopathies read our blog post here).
  • plantar fasciitis, (read more here)
  •  forefoot injuries including morton’s neuroma, capsulitis, synovitis, plantar plate tears, bursitis,
  • toenail injuries including ingrown toenails, bruised and thickened toenails,
  • muscle or tendon injuries of the lower leg muscles (peroneals, tibialis posterior, tibialis anterior, Flexor hallucis longus, Extensor Hallucis Longus), read more about the extrinisc and intrinsic muscles of the feet here.
  • knee injuries
and several more…

How Do You Know When Your Running Shoes Need Replacing?

There are some visual signs to show that your running shoes replacing:


  • the bottom or sides of the shoe look quite damaged,
  • the tread is worn out or are uneven either from one shoe to another or from one side of the shoe to another or,
  • the midsole has creases in it,
  • it fails the “dead shoe test,” please see below.

Plus Some Things You May or May Not Feel:

  • you may feel like one or both of your feet is tipping “out or in” (over pronating or supinating). This can lead to stress on tissues on one side of the foot, ankle and leg,
  • the bottom of the shoes at the front are feeling thin. Have you ever felt like the front of your feet are feeling every bit of the road? They probably are!
  • The cushioning just isn’t the same anymore. That great cushy feeling you get in the store starts to lose its effect,
  • Your body is just not feeling as good after a run as it used to. Of course there could be many reasons for this, but one of them might be that your runners need replacing.

The "Dead Shoe Test"

A dead shoe test - hands are trying to bend the front of a running shoe backwards.

Our Podiatrists use the Dead Shoe Test to see if your runners need replacing.

If you can bend the forefoot of the shoe backwards (the opposite way to what your toes would flex) – then it is time to replace your runners!

 Also when pressing your thumb against the forefoot of the shoe there should be quite a bit of resistance against your thumb – if your thumb feels like it’s about to go through the midsole that means the cushioning has ‘had it’.

Below is a great video by Townsville Podiatrist Hayley Patterson on how to perform the “Dead Shoe Test.”

It’s also important to check that the wear pattern is even on each runner, and no excessive wear in any one area.

If you have concerns regarding your running technique, which runners you should be wearing or you have a lower limb injury, make an appointment with our team at Dynamic Podiatry by calling 3351 8878 or book online.

A man running shot from the knees down.

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