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Wendy Bumgardner

How Long Should Your Walking Shoes Last?

By June 14, 2010

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Walking shoe with worn soleHow long do you expect your walking shoes to last?  A reader wrote a negative review for the New Balance 1063 because it showed wear after about 300 miles and five months of use.  I also wore out a pair of New Balance 1063 in the same time period, but I'm not at all dissatisfied.

Athletic shoes are built to last 300-500 miles before losing their cushioning or having the sole wear out.  Often you will feel the difference in the cushioning long before you see wear on the sole or tears in the upper.  This means you must expect to replace your shoes every three to six months, depending on your mileage.

If you are a heavier person, you can expect greater wear on your shoes and a shorter shoe lifespan.

The 1063 is a lightweight training shoe, which generally means it will have a shorter lifespan for its cushioning.  After I bought the first pair and determined it was going to work well for me, I bought three more pair to have handy.  I rotate in a second pair of the shoes so I can feel the difference in cushioning and more easily detect that the main pair is going dead.

I didn't see any wear on the soles of my 1063s, but strangely enough the insole was worn through.  I've never had that happen before.  But I decided that was my cue to switch to the second pair after six months and turn the first pair into gardening or beach shoes or recycle them.

Photo © Wendy Bumgardner

February 24, 2014 at 5:02 am
(1) Gershon says:

The problem with shoes that don’t last a long time is they are expensive. If a $100 pair of shoes wears out in 300 miles, that’s 33 cents a mile.

The solution changes for long walkers not interested in speed. I use Danner combat boots for walking and I find no compromise in speed or comfort. I log my miles and have over 1,500 miles on mine. I put Gorilla tape on the bottom which prevents any wear on the soles. They are the most comfortable footwear I’ve ever worn.

Another boot I use is the 8 inch Red Wing work boot. These took about 20 miles to thoroughly break in, but now they are my fastest walking footwear. I also keep up with the Gorilla tape on the bottom so it doesn’t wear out. They are recraftable so the soles can be replaced.

Once a person lets go of the concept of walking to break records, many solutions open up. Heavy shoes do not affect speed much, and the better platform may increase speed.

I don’t drive my car much, and walking is a way to get places as well as a hobby. I walk about 10 miles a day, and I can’t afford to buy a new pair of shoes each month.

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