Shelf Life of a Shoe

My tennis shoes have a life span?


Educate yourself on the life span of a tennis shoe!

All shoes age over time! We use them to climb rocks, walk through mud, and pound the asphalt. The foam and gel become compressed, and we lose the “comfort” that we once knew. Soles break down and wear. It’s inevitable, even for our favorite pair.

But what about those tennis shoes we use when running and walking? The countless miles we place on the soles. When do we know that they no longer can protect our feet and joints, thus increasing the chance of injury?

“Running shoes are the only protective equipment runners have to safeguard themselves from injury”, says Dr. Scarcella of the Cleveland Clinic.

If you run or walk, there are risks to wearing old shoes. These shoes no longer provide the support and cushion needed. Injuries like knee pain, stress fractures, plantar fasciitis, shin splints, ITBand syndrome, tendonitis or even back pain can occur. So, remember if you start to get a new ache or pain; it may be a sign that you need a new pair. 

However, it’s best to buy your next pair before your current shoes are worn. Remember to make sure to buy the right shoe type. Try using your old shoes as indicators of your foot posture. The treads on the soles will guide you to finding out if you overpronate, supinate or have a neutral gait. 

For running shoes specifically, it is best to track the miles you run in each pair. Even the most expensive or high-quality running shoes last between 300 and 500 miles. Running shoes, which are designed to be lighter and faster, last even less. 

There are a few tips to help identify when your shoes no longer are supporting your feet. 

  • Where did the cushion go? Pounding the pavement will take a toll on your cushion.  The foam or gel loses some of its ability to rebound from the force of your gait.
  • Visible wear. The soles of your shoes may display balding or excessive wear (your tread is worn down). If your sole is worn unevenly, you may need a different type of shoe. Having a physical therapist or expert to assess your gait would benefit you greatly.
  • New pains or developing injury. Hard workouts or increased mileage can make you feel sore the next day. If little pains persist, even after a normal run, it might be time for a refresh. 

Shoe cost is expensive and continues to rise; so how do you prevent your shoes from wearing as quickly? 

  • Try having more than one pair.  Rotating between multiple pairs extends the quality and life of your shoes.
  • Dry them out.  If you wash your shoes or get stuck in a down pour during your run; it’s important to dry your shoes out to keep them in top shape.
  • Choose the right surface when you run or walk. Road running shoes were made to run on pavement, and trail shoes were meant for the trails. So, make sure to select the right type when buying.

Let’s not forget walking distances also place demand on tennis shoes. Just like running shoes, you need to replace shoes that you walk in as well. 

Once you find a comfortable pair of walking shoes that support your feet correctly, it is hard to part with them. Remember, tennis shoes are normally manufactured with glue and have a shelf life too. 

While walkers are not pounding their shoes as hard as runners, tennis shoes used for walking are not  likely to have the support and cushion needed past 500 miles or 6 months. Remember our body force plays a factor. The more you weigh the faster the shoes will wear out. 

At PRO Physical therapy we encourage safe exercise. However, if an injury or pain occurs please do not hesitate to contact a therapist at PRO Physical therapy. At PRO we will help restore you to prior function and help prevent you from further injuries. Please contact us at 270-252-7600.

Stay fit, motivated, and challenged!   

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302 US HWY 68 West

Benton KY 42082 

Schedule Your Consultation at PRO Physical Therapy

Are you ready to end your muscle or joint pain? PRO Physical Therapy can help you get started today. To find out more about direct access and our physical therapy services in Marshall County, Kentucky, call 270-252-7600 and schedule an initial evaluation and our experienced insurance can verify your insurance coverage.