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When to Replace Walking Shoes 

 March 9, 2021

By  Abigael Destiny

Walking shoes wear out with the passing of time. And knowing when to replace them can be the biggest difference between walking comfortably and putting your feet at the risk of injuries.

Think about it:

The shoes you wear for every day walk maybe your best thing. But the time will come when replacing them becomes absolutely necessary.

That’s why in this guide, I’ll help you figure out the right time to get a new pair of walking shoes. Specifically, you’ll learn about: 

  • Why you should replace your walking shoes
  • When exactly to replace them, and
  • The tips you can use right now to lengthen the lifespan of your current pair of walking shoes 

So without further ado, let’s get to it.

Why You Should Replace Your Walking Shoes

The following are genuine reasons to replace your walking shoes right now: 

Replace Your Walking Shoes Because They’re Worn Out

 We often replace our walking shoes when they start looking old, or when they no longer offer the comfort we need.

But what can we say about torn shoes that still offer some level of comfort? 

My take is that if your walking shoes are torn or showing signs of wearing out, you should consider replacing them as soon as possible.

The right way to know if your favorite pair of walking shoes are torn or worn out:

  • Check if the tread at the bottom of your shoe is still giving you the traction you need for walking. If not, get a replacement.
  • Looking inside your shoe. If your feet keep sliding when you walk around, it’s a sign that the back of your shoe is worn out.
  • Looking for tear-outs around your shoe. If you notice any, it's an indication your shoe is getting old – and with shoes, old isn’t gold.

 After all, torn and worn out shoes are straight out bad. And bad shoes can cause body aches not to mention make it difficult for you to walk well.

Get a New Pair of Shoes if the Current Offers Poor Shock Absorption

Walking shoes lose their cushioning with each step you take. Naturally, it comes a time when you simply can’t wear them anymore. This often comes naturally.

So the moment you begin to feel like your pair of walking shoes have lost the cushioning and ability to absorb shock from the ground, don’t keep wearing them (because you’ll risk leg injuries).

Simply replace them with a new pair and you’ll always be safe.

Replace Your Walking Shoes If You’ve Worn Them for a Long Time Already

Durable walking shoes are great. If you’ve had them on for a very long time, chances are the pair has been quite helpful for long distance walks.

The problem is, shoes lose their protective power with frequent use.

And they’ll come a time when they are simply not worth it anymore. So much that wearing them can actually cause leg injuries or back pain.

What’s the takeaway?

Replace the pair of you’ve already logged hundreds of miles in them.

How Often Should You Replace Your Walking Shoes?

On how often you should replace walking shoes, let me say this:

There’s no exact time to get a new pair, but there a few suggestions that can help you get another pair at the right time.

Quite too often, footwear maniacs suggest replacing running shoes after every 300 to 500 miles. That’s about the exact same time to replace your walking shoes as well.

Again, you need to understand that manufacturers make their walking shoes differently.

And with technologies such as EVA footbed that elevate the cushioning of your feet and extremely lugged, robust outsoles that can stand up to use and abuse, some shoes can last longer than expected.

In other words, if you feel like your shoes are still comfortable, you may want to replace them after 1000 miles.

But be vigilant; you don’t want to put your feet at risk for the sake of saving some bucks so that you can keep your pair of walking shoes for longer.

Another way to determine the frequency of replacing a pair of shoes is to determine how many hours a week you use them for walking.

Generally, replace the shoes after every six months if you walk in them for 3 to 4 hours a week. If you walk for 7 to 8 hours a week, you shouldn’t use the same shoes for more than three months.

How to Know When to Replace Your Walking Shoes

As always said, nothing lasts forever, and your walking shoes aren’t about to be the exception.

Here’s how to know when you should replace them:

1. Keep Track of Your Mileage

Track you mileage, and see how further you can walk in these shoes before they give up their cushioning and shock absorption power.

You can use Map My Walk GPS app to track your mileage. It’s a good iOS and Android solution that allows you to see the time and speed spent while walking.

You’ll notice shoes start to lose their cushioning and shock absorbency at around 350 to 500 miles.

2. Check How Your Walking Shoes Fit

Checking the fitting of footwear is a good way to tell if your shoes are too big.

And it can go a long way to help you determine whether the pair is worth wearing anymore.

Generally, if your shoes are becoming loose such that your feet keep sliding around, they’ve completely lost their fitting and cushioning ability and therefore need a replacement.

3. Check the Condition of the Laces

Frayed laces can be a sign your shoes are starting to wear out.

If you notice some frayed laces, check out for other signs of a worn-out shoes. If you find none, just replace the laces.

4. Are there Creases on the Shoes?

I should mention that creasing in shoes is completely normal and usually doesn’t have negative effect on your feet.

Again, a pair of walking shoes may still have its cushioning ability and support your feet just fine.

It’s how ugly the creases make shoes to look that may necessitate the need to replace them.

How to prolong the life of walking shoes?

As much as your pair of walking shoes won’t last for a lifetime, there are a few things that you can do to extend their lifespan.

You should:

1. Rotate Your Shoes Frequently

How often do you wear the same pair of walking shoes?

Some people would rather use theirs for everyday walk, and only think of a replacement once the pair gives up their cushioning and support.

There’s nothing wrong with that. Only it makes the shoes tear apart too fast.

So if you want to extend the lifespan and durability of your walking footwear so that you don’t have to replace them too soon, alternate.

To alternate shoes means you should have a few pairs already.

More often than not, alternating allows you to give a pair you previously wore the time to rest before the next use.

2. Use Walking Shoes Strictly for Walking

This sounds like a no brainer, and it is.

However, it’s common that you’ve had the tendency to use walking shoes for more than just walking.

For example, while you can use running shoes for walking, it isn’t the same case the other way round.

In other words, using walking shoes for anything else other than the intended activity will make them wear out a lot faster.

3. Air Dry Your Shoes Regularly

Tossing walking shoes in a bag or in an enclosed area after is a common thing among many of us. And it’s straight out a bad habit.

By the time you get home from your usual stroll, your shoes will have collected dust and probably sweat like hell.

Leaving them in such condition doesn’t just cause them to smell. The sweat can soak up in the upper part of the pair and cause creases.

To control this, and further lengthen the lifespan of the shoes, air-dry the pair well. Doing so gets rid of odor and minimizes the chances of creasing – especially if they’re made of leather.

I don’t recommend using a dryer to dry your shoes. The machine can easy destroy the pair by breaking down the glue.

4. Remove Your Walking Shoes Properly

It’s possible to feel so exhausted after a long day of workout that removing your shoes properly isn’t something you think of.

More often than not, you tend to kick your shoes off your feet because you’re too lazy to remove them by hand.

But that’s not a good practice.

If you want your shoes to last longer, take them off the right way.

Loosen the laces and then remove the shoes from each foot by hand. Doing so will make them last just a little bit longer.

Abigael Destiny


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