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Running shoes are getting more and more expensive each year. That’s why making your running shoes last longer is a great idea to save some money and to get the most out of your shoes.
If you’re in a rush, I’ll give you the 8 tips in bullet form straight away.
To make your running shoe last longer, follow these 8 simple tips:
- Hand wash and air dry only
- Don’t leave them out in the sun
- Store them in a safe place
- Rotate your running shoes
- Find the right running shoe for your running activity
- Only use them for running
- Allow them to dry after every use
- Untie before taking your shoes off
Though these tips are very easy to follow. However, they’re also surprisingly very easy to take for granted.
Ahead, we will go into detail as to how each tip will help extend the life of your running shoes.
How to make your running shoes last longer
Normally, your running shoes will last around 500 miles but there are several things you can do to make them last longer.
Hand wash and air dry only
Though technology has advanced a lot to make your life easier, these advancements do not apply to washing your running shoes.
Running shoes are equipped with specially made uppers and midsoles geared to make your run better and improve comfort.
Putting them in the washing machine can destroy their uppers and cause damage to the midsole. On the other hand, putting them inside the dryer can break down the shoe’s components and even cause them to shrink (remember what happens to your clothes after a few dryer sessions?).
That’s why when it comes to running shoes, washing them by hand and air drying them is the only way to go.
I made an article about the proper way of washing shoes without damaging them. Check it out after reading this.
Don’t leave them out in the sun
Although the sun can help you dry your shoes fast and kill bacteria, exposing your shoes to the heat of the sun for too long can also damage their components.
The best way to dry them out is to place them outdoors but under a well-shaded area. It is also advised to stuff old newspapers in the toe box to help absorb moisture and retain their shape.
Store them in a safe place
A safe place for running shoes is a well-shaded area, away from harmful elements such as snow, rain, dust, and extreme temperatures.
Also, don’t put your running shoes on top of another. Place them in their respective place in the shoe rack with enough space. Placing something heavy on top of them can deform the upper of the shoe.
A common scenario that happens at home is that when you put your shoes in the shoe rack, another family member may come in and put their shoes on top of yours. So, to avoid this, store your running shoes in a different place away from your casual shoes.
Rotate your running shoes
Give your running shoes time to rest by switching your running shoes every session. This is to allow the shoes’ midsole to decompress and return to its natural cushioning.
If you’re running more than 4 times a week, you should have at least 2 pairs of running shoes.
By the way, if you need to know more about running shoe rotation, this article will help you figure out how to build your own.
I have a pair of Brook Adrenaline (daily trainers), Brooks Cascadia (trail running), and Adidas Ultraboost (extra daily trainer) in my rotation.
If you’re looking for your first shoe, I highly recommend the Brooks Adrenaline 21 (stability) or the Brooks Ghost 13 (neutral). These shoes are really good daily trainers and are very durable. I’m almost 700 miles in and the outsoles are barely worn out. Both are available on Amazon.
Find the right running shoe for your running activity
Running shoes aren’t made the same. Some running shoes are made for running on the road while others are made on the trail.
Additionally, some running shoes are made for running races while others are made for everyday training.
There’s a lot of things that go behind choosing a running shoe. Luckily I made a guide to help you do just that
To put things simply, find out what type of running you’re usually doing and what’s the running surface of your route and use the right shoe for that activity.
That means, use road running shoes on the road and trail running shoes on the trail.
(Related: Trail Running Shoes: How Are They Different?)
Only use your running shoes for running
Sure, some running shoe looks good. Others are even being promoted as lifestyle shoes. Just take a look at this photo of me rocking the Adidas Ultraboost 21 to the bar. But… despite how good they look, you should only use your running shoes for running.
Every time you wear your shoes, your weight compresses the midsole and it will take 24-48 hours for it to decompress. If you wear your running shoes as casual wear, you’re adding unnecessary stress to the shoe, plus you’re adding wear to its outsole which could decrease the lifespan of your shoes.
Don’t wear your running shoes for lifting, either. Not only that it adds additional stress to the shoe, but running shoes are also not good for lifting because of their curved midsole and soft cushioning.
Allow them to dry after every use
It’s tempting to put your shoes inside the box every after a running session, but doing so can cause the running shoe to stink.
Before keeping them, remove the insoles and stuff newspapers inside the running shoe. After that, allow them to air dry in a well-shaded area with good air movement. This will prevent them from stinking.
But if they already do stink, here’s a quick guide to help you get rid of the smell.
Untie the laces before taking your shoes off
Do you remember that thing most of us do when we use our other foot to hold the heel down and we lift our foot out of the shoe without untying the laces? It’s the quickest way to remove our shoes, plus it’s convenient.
I do this a lot with my casual shoes, but with my running shoes? NEVER! Taking off your running shoes before untying them can stretch their upper and cause damage to the heel counter.
If you’re not familiar with what their purpose is, the upper is responsible for the snug fit of your shoes and the heel counter holds your foot in place so it doesn’t slide out when you’re running.
So the next time you’re too tired to untie your shoe, remember how much a new pair of shoes cost.
When to replace your running shoes
You should replace your running shoes the moment they feel hard on the feet and uncomfortable. But that’s a hard sign to look out for because you don’t notice the small changes in your shoes.
These 7 signs will help you confirm that you need to replace your running shoes.
- The outsoles are worn out
- The landing feels firmer
- Discomfort in the upper
- You often get body aches after every run
- Uneven wearing of outsoles
You can read the full article on when to replace your running shoes here.
The Wrap Up
Sadly, at some point you’re gonna have to replace your running shoe. It’s just the course of all things. Especially one that you use for quite an intense activity such as running.
But with a little patience, love, and care for your running shoes, you can add a hundred miles or so to the life of your running shoes.