Do running shoes really only last 300 miles?

When buying running shoes I’m always given the 300/400/500 (delete as appropriate) miles warning about getting a new pair. Even Strava reminds me I might need new running shoes soon when the miles creep up into this sort of range. So, is it a clever marketing tactic from the manufactures? After all I have running friends who tell me they’re hitting over 1,000 miles in a single pair of shoes, or is it actually true that you shouldn’t keep on running until the soles are flapping in the wind?

How many pairs!

I have a number of pairs (actually far too many) on the go at any one time – some for wet/muddy runs, others for when I’ll be running long miles on the roads, and some less cushioned models for shorter / quicker sessions. Recently a couple of pairs both started hitting the 450+ mile mark at the same time and I started wondering how much more they had to give – one particular pair of New Balance 860v5’s took me through my first marathon so I’d become a little attached! This was also around the time that I’d started increasing my milage in preparation for 2017’s marathon training and I’d been experiencing a few niggles and mild pains in my feet, all which I put down to the extra running. It wasn’t until one of the helpful reminders from Strava got me thinking… Could this be down to the shoes?

A quick bit of retail therapy later I had myself a fresh pair of 860v5’s and also a pair of 860v6’s (more on these in another post) in my hands. I’ve never really been one to need the latest seasons fashions, so these slightly older models came with a heavy discount and were a bargain 🙂

So, after a couple of weeks in my new kicks what’s the verdict? A world of difference! As soon as I put them on I noticed an immediate difference in comfort, particularly in the forefoot, and the foot pain I’d been experiencing has lessened considerably even though my mileage has still been increasing. Everyone is different, so I’ve no doubt that some people can happily run 1,000+ miles in a single pair, and I’m sure different brands and models wear at different rates, but in future I’ll be setting that Strava reminder for 400 miles so I can start thinking about replacing the old pair.

Please hit me up in the comments section or on social media and let me know your experiences.

P.S. Before you chuck your old kicks in the bin please do think about donating them to a worthy cause. Your local running shop can probably let you know about charities who would be grateful for them.

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