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How many miles do you put on a pair of running sneaks?

And how do you decide when to retire them?

I used to abide by the 300-mile rule - many years ago (10?).  

Then I started running in Newtons, which seemed to last between 4-500 miles before retirement.

In recent years I have switched to Altras, which seems to depend on the model. I had a pair of Ones that barely made it to 300 miles. Then I went through three pair of Escalantes, which each got an easy 400 miles a pair.

For trail running I tried some Newton Bocos, which got over 300 before I retired them for other reasons. 

Then I blew through two pairs of Altra Superiors, which seemed disappointingly frail for trail runners.

I look at red wear, but more importantly, soul cushion, to determine if a pair of sneakers is spent. 

The Escalantes are my favorite road runners ever. I could probably get more than 400 miles out of them, but like to avoid injuries. (Plus they make nice house slippers in retirement. Trail runners get put on lawn-mowing duty.)

Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.
20 Replies

@TomIrvine I just replaced them based on the wear pattern.  Never bothered with the mileage

Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.

Hi Tom - I think you are doing it right. From what I have read and found from friends it is very dependent on how cushioned they are, how heavy you are and the specific shoe models. I seem to get a lot more from shoes that are more minimal (less cushion to compress?). These days I wear mostly Topo Athletics minimal road shoes (ST-2, ST-3) and have gotten well over 500 miles from them. Previously I wore Skora (went out of business) and often got 700 miles or so on a pair and others got a lot more. I do typically have a few pairs in rotation and don't run in same pair on back to back days. I only wear my running shoes for running, nothing else until they are retired. I can also tell when they are getting close to retirement if I start to experience shin or knee pain when running in a particular pair.

Thanks @DogMom! I was hoping I wasn't the only mileage-logging geek. You brought up a good point about noticing things like knee pain or the like as indicators that the cushioning was spent.

A friend of mine is a Topo enthusiast. I have not tried them yet. 

Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.

You're welcome!

If you like Altra you may also like Topo - they have have a similar wide toe box and minimal drop (not always 0 though). I find their sizing more consistent and generally for me they fit and wear better.

Love too terra ventures.  on third pair.  doing full JMT with my border collie service dog this summer in topos!

Usually 500 here, then donation to charity or they become back shoes at the lake house. 

Hi @TomIrvine!

I'm a big, big Strava user, and the app has a feature that helps you track your shoe mileage, which helps when you have a lot of pairs of shoes. Prior to Strava, I used to store all my running shoes in shoeboxes, and make tally marks on the outside. Not having to retain so many shoeboxes has freed up so much room in my closet!

For me, mileage varies based on the make of the shoe. I've gotten 500-600 miles out of the Brooks Ghost, New Balance 880, and Nike Pegasus. (I once knew a guy who said he retired his Pegasus shoes at 1K miles!!!) But the 11 or 12 pairs of Saucony Kinvaras I've had over the past decade only managed about 250 miles; a fast and light shoe doesn't last long for someone whose gait is neither fast, nor light!!

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

I have retired my last two pairs of pegasus shoes at 1,000 miles each (I wore the soles through) and the previous two at 800.  One of those I gave to my son and probably could have run them a bit longer.  One caveat, though.  All those miles were with better insoles. The originals do not last nearly that long.  Other shoes, including Altras, have not been nearly so sturdy.

I also have a relatively light and fast cadence (190 spm), which makes a significant difference.  In the end, pay attention to the feel and replace them before causing any injury.

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OK, so maybe I'm an OCD geek when it comes to sneaker wear, but you guys made me wonder whether maybe I could get more out of my Escalentes. I had been getting about 400 miles. The tread wear at that point wasn't too bad - just a little bald spot in the middle of the ball area.

Here's what I noticed, however: when compared with the new pair that I had waiting in the wings, the cushioning was noticeably reduced. I am 157#, a forefoot striker, and I also wear prescription orthos for my extremely high arches. 

At 407 miles I thought I noticed new foot pain. Psychosomatic? Possibly, but I decided not to chance it; I started wearing the new ones. The old pair will be retired and donated or used as house slippers.

I love running and hate to be sidelined by injuries.

Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.