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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.)

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22 Replies

I think it is really an individual metric and only you will know how a specific model feels for you over time. I have had shoes that only lasted 200 maybe 250 miles before I started having problems with them. For me I feel it in my knees and every time I ran in those shoes after about 200 miles my knee would hurt. I thought it couldn't possibly be the shoes with so few miles on them but when I replaced them all was well. The 2nd pair of the same brand/model did the same thing so I don't buy them any longer. They are just too expensive to only get 200 miles on a pair.

I was going to say 200-300.  unfortunately, I 'train' mostly on sidewalks and streets, which, imo, does a job on the cushioning as well as tread.

I found I had have at least two pairs, one for training, one for the 'real trails', else my training shoes were always in need of being switched out before getting into the wilderness/hills (as I want the max support/cushioning I paid for!)

REI Member Since 1979

Late to the conversation, but I always stick to the 500 mile rule, unless I determine the shoes have taken too much.  If I waited for tread wear, I'd probably hurt myself!  Definitely cushioning is my sore spot.  If I feel anything significant or a glimpse of pain that's it.  I separate shoes based on the length of run too.  An older pair may be no trouble for a three mile run, but if I'm out for 10 or more, I want the most cushion possible.  I rotate pairs too so that the cushion has time to "plump" between runs.  That could sound like a big investment, but I'm always searching sales racks and trying new things since every time I find "the one", they stop making it.  The replacement usually is not the same...  Also, as new pairs get worked in, I have a good comparison for what the cushion Should feel like since you never notice the decline.

While I do track mileage on my shoes via Strava, like others here, I really don't think there's a solid rule of thumb on miles. I have had shoes from the same brand vary widely in the mileage I could get out of them. For me, it has typically been anywhere between 300 and 600+ miles. I find that, if I listen to my feet and my knees, I go off that to determine when to retire shoes. I also like to rotate through a couple different pairs of varying styles. Yep, I am shoe nerd (as much as I can afford to be anyways). 

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

I hardly ever get more than 250 miles out of a pair of shoes. I run in Adidas, Brooks, Mizuno, Nike, Saucony and Salomon currently.  All neutral-cushioned shoes. I am on roads 99% of the time.

I always figured I'm harder on shoes than most runners because I would wear off the outsole in the heel after 300 miles. 500? I would fear I'd wear off half the midsole.

Distance running dad. Talks too much about Montana. Bad fly fishing lover.


I've been 'lurking' on this post for a while, mainly because I have a keen interest in footwear and (maybe!) because I have a hidden dream of being a runner one day. I noticed that my trail runners were wearing out a bit earlier than I'd hoped they would, particularly on the inside of the heel. After reading through this thread I was a bit surprised at how much distance y'all are getting out of your shoes! However, I also read through the tips to extend the life of your shoes in this Expert Advice article, When to Replace Your Running Shoes, and read this:

  • Remove your shoes properly: Using the other foot to rake down on the back of the heel to pry off a shoe is bad form. Unlace each one instead and slip it off with your hands. Your shoes will thank you by serving you longer.

Apparently this is 'bad form' and now I know better. Am I the only one who does this? I've been taking my shoes off like this forever! I'm looking forward to changing that habit and getting significantly more life out of my shoes!

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

I wouldn’t shame anyone for doing that, unless they were a friend I was teasing. 🙂

But my thinking is it’s a matter of taking care of your gear. I tell my kids all the time, the old adage “Take care of your equipment, and it will take care of you.” I think it applies to running shoes. The more abuse they get, the quicker they need replacement. Because they’re my kids, they don’t listen and they take off their shoes like you, ha!

I also marvel at people who can get 500 miles from running shoes. I’m lucky to get 250-300, and by then, I definitely feel the midsoles aren’t providing the cushioning or support I want. 

Distance running dad. Talks too much about Montana. Bad fly fishing lover.

Just out of curiosity Dad-Runner, what kind of sneaks are you favoring these days?

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

I rotate: Mizuno Wave Inspire (6-12mi runs), Adidas Ultra Boost (12mi and longer), Saucony Endorphin Speed (for tempo runs) and for the occasional trail, Salomon Sense Ride.


Distance running dad. Talks too much about Montana. Bad fly fishing lover.


i am at 1843 miles on my Merrell Road Gloves

i did 2778 on my prior pair

there is not really any cushioning to compress so it is just how long the upper and soles can last

I am going to have to get a different shoe when I replace because they have discontinued the road gloves