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 500 miles on a pair of shoes?
phaedrus


Joined: 26 Nov 2004
Posts: 37

500 miles on a pair of shoes? Posted: Tue Dec 07, 2004 10:32 am 

How much mileage do you get out of your running shoes before you replace them? How do you know when it's time for them to retire?

I've heard 500 miles per pair used as a rule of thumb, but I wonder if that isn't a myth made by the manufacturers to sell more shoes. It seems like the rate of wear must vary a lot depending on your weight, the type of surfaces you run on, and other factors. I would also guess that some shoes are more long-lasting than others, but I've never seen shoe reviews address durability.

I follow the 500 mile rule myself, although my old shoes don't really feel any different from new ones. Maybe I have insensitive feet?


OldManRunner
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
Rochester, NY
Joined: 28 Nov 2004
Posts: 262

Re: 500 miles on a pair of shoes? Posted: Wed Dec 08, 2004 7:33 am 

Actually, I usually only get about 400 miles out of a pair of shoes. Beyond that, and I'm likely to start getting pains in my hips and in the balls of my feet. Depends on the shoe, though, and the time of year when I'm wearing them. I tend to get more miles out of my winter Nike Storm Pegasus waterproof shoes than a normal Nike Pegasus, probably because a lot of the miles are on snow, which provides a cushioned surface all by itself.

Rickshaw
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
San Francisco, CA
Joined: 26 Nov 2004
Posts: 1157

Re: 500 miles on a pair of shoes? Posted: Wed Dec 08, 2004 11:12 am 

My Asics 2080's (still living in 2002 here) seem to last forever, even though most of my running is on pavement. The only way I can tell they're old is that they're dirty and smelly. But I am relatively lightweight at 140 pounds distributed over a size 12 shoe, so maybe there's less force per unit area on the shoe to wear out the midsole.

marathoner443


Joined: 08 Dec 2004
Posts: 4

Re: 500 miles on a pair of shoes? Posted: Wed Dec 08, 2004 8:26 pm 

I'm convinced that the 300 miles out of a pair of shoes deal is the running shoe companies trying to get our money. My Brooks Addiction motion-control shoes last at least 600 miles, and even my super-cushioned Mizuno Wave Riders made it to 337 before I gave up on them.

I've found just recently that the best way to tell if your shoes are wearing out is if you ache all over. I was wondering recently why my knees, ankles, hips, everything would hurt during a longish run (11 miles) until it hit me that it might be my shoes. Good thing I thought of that before I ended up injured...

~Bethany


BCT


Joined: 09 Dec 2004
Posts: 1

Re: 500 miles on a pair of shoes? Posted: Thu Dec 09, 2004 11:45 am 

Besides the force per unit area thing, realize that some people strike the ground very hard, and some people are so gentle that "strike" doesn't even seem to be an appropriate word to describe what they do. Over the past 10 years or so, I've gone from being one of the former to being one of the latter.

When I first started running, I dug my heels into the ground and wore through the rearfoot outsole within a hundred miles or so. I eventually learned to stop doing that, and decided it would be better to stomp the hell out of the ground with my forefoot. At that point, I could make my shoes last for about 300 miles before they'd be almost fully compressed and leaning to one side (Brooks Adrenaline, Brooks Talon, Adidas Supernova, many models of Asics GT 20X0).

Over the past couple of years, I have taught myself not to hit the ground so hard in the first place. I do almost all of my runs (all but 1 or 2 in a given month) on concrete sidewalks now, about 60 - 75 miles per week, and I wear either cross country racing shoes (e.g. Nike Waffle Racers) or very light casual shoes (e.g. Puma H Street - designed like a track spike without spikes, never really intended for running). I have run more than 300 miles in my current pair of Waffle Racers, and probably close to 500 in my H streets. All 4 of those shoes weigh less than a pair of Asics 2080s, and I dont' see any reason why I won't be able to run several hundred more miles in each.

Rickshaw wrote:
My Asics 2080's (still living in 2002 here) seem to last forever, even though most of my running is on pavement. The only way I can tell they're old is that they're dirty and smelly. But I am relatively lightweight at 140 pounds distributed over a size 12 shoe, so maybe there's less force per unit area on the shoe to wear out the midsole.


Imarnr

Portland, OR
Joined: 10 Dec 2004
Posts: 2

Re: 500 miles on a pair of shoes? Posted: Fri Dec 10, 2004 11:43 am 

There are a lot of individual varibles in miles/shoe. Gait mechanics, weight, and running surface come to mind. For me, I know it's time when my knees start to ache. This is usually at 350-400 miles.

allen

Utah
Joined: 16 Jan 2005
Posts: 27

Re: 500 miles on a pair of shoes? Posted: Sun Jan 16, 2005 5:27 pm 

When I ran marathons back in the 89s, I got about 1200 miles on my shoes. When it started to feel like I was running barefooted, I knew I needed a new pair :) Never did have any problems getting that many miles, though.

I'm older now (69) and am getting 500-700 miles. I could get more if I wanted to, but being older I'm interested in giving my body more protection that it would have if I stretched it out to 1200 miles. I'm about 5'8" and weigh 160. I'm a heavy supinator and use Etonics Stablizer Pro. That is an old shoe, but it handles my supination well.

/Allen


Rickshaw
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
San Francisco, CA
Joined: 26 Nov 2004
Posts: 1157

Re: 500 miles on a pair of shoes? Posted: Sun Jan 16, 2005 7:15 pm 

You're the first person I've heard of who supinates. All this time I thought it was an invention of the shoe companies!

allen

Utah
Joined: 16 Jan 2005
Posts: 27

Re: 500 miles on a pair of shoes? Posted: Sun Jan 16, 2005 9:30 pm 

Rickshaw wrote:
You're the first person I've heard of who supinates. All this time I thought it was an invention of the shoe companies!

Hmmm... Maybe I can get the shoe companies to fork over a commission for advertising supination :)

I have a page on shoes in my web site with pictures showing how I use a glue gun to keep heel wear down. A couple of months ago I thought it would be nice to have a before/after picture of my running shoes, before being new shoes and after being several hundred miles. I also will have a picture of my walking shoes that I wear for everyday use. Because I'm wearing stabilizer shoes, the before after pictures shouldn't be much different from each other. The walking shoes are cheepie shoes, and you'll see the supination at work. I have a table set up in the page for the pictures, and I have the before picture, but it will be a while before I get an after picture and the walking shoe picture.


boomerfss

Kamloops, B.C.
Joined: 12 Dec 2004
Posts: 5

Re: 500 miles on a pair of shoes? Posted: Mon Jan 17, 2005 8:41 pm 

I just had to "weigh" in here. I am lucky to get 200 Km (120 miles) out of any of my shoes. New Balance seem to be the worst. I am 5'8" and 210 lbs. so I could lose a few pounds. So far the Mizuno seem to last the longest. I have a slight supination as well.

Rickshaw
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
San Francisco, CA
Joined: 26 Nov 2004
Posts: 1157

Re: 500 miles on a pair of shoes? Posted: Tue Jan 18, 2005 9:37 am 

Only 200km? Wow, that must get expensive pretty fast! What wears out, the cushioning or the outer sole? That definitely sounds strange... There are plenty of sturdier shoes made specifically for heavier runners, so I would think they should certainly last longer than that.

Have you tried bringing an older pair of your shoes to a running specialty store for them to look at? They could probably examine the wear patterns and give you some helpful advice.


mfox

South Orange, New Jersey
Joined: 19 Dec 2004
Posts: 367

Re: 500 miles on a pair of shoes? Posted: Tue Jan 18, 2005 4:30 pm 

For the longest time I used to think I was a supinator. I always thought that if the wear pattern on the heel of my shoe was towards the back outside edge it indicated I was supinating. But based upon many articles I've read I've come to believe I have a neutral stride. I recently saw an article (I think in Runners World...Shoe Doctor?) that if you have a neutral stride you should see the wear on the back outside edge of your shoe and under the ball of the foot at the big toe. Well, I looked at my shoes (several pairs....I can't seem to get rid of them; but that's another topic) and sure enough the wear pattern was similar to that described for a neutral runner.

allen

Utah
Joined: 16 Jan 2005
Posts: 27

Re: 500 miles on a pair of shoes? Posted: Tue Jan 18, 2005 10:03 pm 

The wear pattern you've described fits in with a statement from a podiatrist a couple of months ago. He said it is normal to land on the outside of the heel and then roll in to the center. Pronators roll too much, and supinators don't roll enough. In my case, after 300-400 miles, the outside of the heal of my right shoe would be compressed more than the center and inside of the heal. The difference would be about 1/4 inch. My left shoe was ok.

sfird
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
Long Island, NY
Joined: 10 Dec 2004
Posts: 80

Re: 500 miles on a pair of shoes? Posted: Wed Jan 19, 2005 6:50 am 

I'm 5' 8" and weigh 152. Normally I get a new pair of shoes after around 300 miles although my shoes normally show little to no wear. At the moment I have two pairs of NB 1023, each with 300 miles on them. Since there is no wear and everything feels fine, I think I'll push the envelope another 100 or so miles.

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