How Long Do Shoes Last? [When To Grab A New Pair]

Written By Sunny

Shoes are a part of our daily life, like outfits, without which it’s impossible to step outside. Even around the house, they are as necessary as outdoors.

You regularly grab your footwear for running, hiking, walking, working out, and so much more.


To do those activities hassle-free, you need to be aware of how long you can use your sneakers and when to change into a new pair.

I will elaborate on that piece of information through this write-up, so stay tuned.

How Long Do Shoes Actually last

How long your shoes will last mainly depends on how long you wear them daily. When wearing your pair 3 hours a week, change them every 6 months for 7 hours. Changing after 3 months is necessary. The materials like suede and leather play a vital role in the lifespan of shoes.

I am wearing my running shoes also as casual shoes.

Since I don’t go running that often, even with gym use, my sneakers are still going strong after 9 months.

So, the using purpose also impacts longevity. And how you take care of them also shows in their lifespan. For example, how long your dress shoes will last depends on how often you use them.

Life Expectancy Of Athletic shoes

Your athletic shoes go through the extreme pressure you put them through. To buy the best shoes, you need to know how long each type of shoe will last when used to the fullest.

Let’s see how long athletic shoes last:

Running shoes

After running for 300 to 550 miles, you need to change your running sneakers after 30 to 55 weeks. But if you run 50 miles per week, you will need a new pair within 6 to 7 weeks.

Replace your running shoes when

  • The sole turns smooth or rounded where it used to be flat.
  • The midsole becomes compressed or broken.
  • You notice holes in the upper or lining.
  • You feel pain in your ankle, joints and knee.

Walking shoes

Walking shoes don’t go through the harsh treatment of running shoes. That said, you can enjoy the cushioning and support of these sneakers for up to 500 miles.

Your weight is another factor that impacts your shoe’s lifespan.

Whenever you notice your shoe is not giving you the support or cushioning and your feet hurt while using them, it’s time to opt for another one.


A good pair of sneakers will last you 6 to 12 months. Other factors, including the material, the upper quality, and how often you use them, affect the timing.

Sneakers are trendy, and if you buy a fast- fashion sneakers, it’s obvious they will be worn out very quickly as they are made to cope with the trend.

But, a pair of Air Force 1 is gonna last at least a year or more.

Read more on how long do Birkenstocks last.

Skating Shoes

Skating shoes will last 2 to 4 months, depending on how long you practice every day and the type of surface you use for skating.

If you wear Vans for skating, they will last longer.

You will need a new pair when the sole flips every time you walk around, falling stitching and, most importantly, when the sole loses it’s grip.

Hiking Shoes

Hiking shoes or boots can easily last 1000 miles. Let’s be real; you can’t expect to last 500 miles out in the hills as long as 500 miles on the concrete.

Another common name in the hiking field is Wolverine which will last you a solid 3 years with proper maintenance.

Change your hiking boots when you see

  • The sole is worn out and not providing much grip.
  • The boots are leaking.
  • Cracked midsole that affects the cushioning and support.
  • Broken lace hoops and eyelets.

Tennis shoes

Tennis shoes last 45 to 60 hours. That means if you wear your pairs during sets for 1 hour the whole week, getting a new pair every year is ideal.

Still, the time can depend on how you play, the ground, the weather, and many other factors.

Change your tennis shoes when you see

  • The sole is wearing out completely.
  • Wrinkles on the midsole.
  • The grip is no longer strong.

Longevity Of Boots

Boots tend to last longer depending on the Vibram sole, upper and other building materials.

Normally leather boots last several years with proper maintenance. A good pair of Doc Martens will serve you for 5 to 20 years.

The longevity depends on the use; with proper care and sole replacement, you can enjoy them even longer. A normal leather-made boot lasts around 2 years. On the other hand, boots like Timberland last for years when you take care of them.

So, you can see boots last longer than your regular footwear.

Life-Time Of Working shoes

A traditional work shoe lasts around 2 to 4 years. You can guess how long your work boots will last based on how frequently you use them.

Your soles will be worn out sooner if you are always on your feet. In that case, you need to choose a pair where you can change the sole if needed.

That way, you can enjoy the quality shoe for a long time; even as a working pair, you will use them almost daily.

Lifespan Of Shoes In Storage?

Without using shoes, you can store them; this way, they will last longer.

Maybe on the Black Friday Sale, you got a pair of Air Jordan, and you wanna start wearing them later. These shoes will be just fine for up to 7 to 10 years. If you wear them from time to time, that will keep them in form.

But for a running shoe, this time is not more than 6 to 12 months. Even if you don’t wear your shoes, it’s evident that they will deteriorate.

When It’s Time For A New Pair?

Most of the time, we don’t understand to which extent we need to wear a shoe to get the maximum benefits.

For that, you need a better understanding of facts that will indicate you to change your old sneakers and buy a new pair.

Signs that insures you need a new pair of shoes:

Visible Wear And Tear

You can’t really wear a shoe with a tear on the upper. Sometimes the defect on the toe box area is not that visible.

However, visible wear and scratches on your sneakers mean they have served their purpose, and it’s time for a new pair. This can happen with a new shoe too.

With a damaged toe box, your toes will slip through, resulting in blisters, bunions and instability while moving around.

So, change into a new pair when it’s torn.

Flat Outsole

Another sign you should change your favorite pair is those lifeless soles. They have served their purpose now; you need to let them go.


Due to the fraction from your walking, running or just from your normal activities, soles get ruined.

And when that happens, changing into a new pair is the best idea. But can shoes be recycled? Give this article a read to know more about your shoes’ recycling.

Frequent Pain

There are several incidents where your new shoes were a blessing for your foot but eventually became the cause of pain. That means its lifespan is almost over, and the pain is the sign.

If you are feeling pain in your ankle, leg, feet, and back that you have never felt before, it means the cushioning is no more effective.

This is when you invest in a new runner.

Visible Creasing

For running shoes, creasing is a huge problem. It not only looks hideous but also the problem runs deeper.


Normally, running shoes bend along the pivot area to cope with the natural motion of your feet. But quicker movements in such creased shoes will cause friction burns and blisters.

Overly-creased sneakers or runners lose their structural integrity, which is an indication to change into a new one.

Decreased Performance

When I couldn’t run as comfortably as before, that’s when I understood I had to hit the market soon.

We don’t notice this immediately, but the moment you feel your activities are decreasing, switch to a new one.

How To Make Your Shoes Last Longer

Over time, your shoes will crease, lose their structural integrity and even start to cause pain while you wear them. However, you can prevent or slow down these by taking proper care.

How to make sure your shoes will last longer:

  • Make sure to choose the sole of your shoe to compliment your running landscape. For example, trail running shoes’ soles are stiffer and sturdier than tennis shoes. So, choose accordingly.
  • Always have an alternative pair of running shoes if you run every day. This way, your shoes will last longer.
  • Invest in shoes with built-in surface protection, for instance, water resistance. When moisture seeps through the fabric and sole materials, your shoes gradually lose their functionality.
  • Cleaning by hand is the best care you can give your favorite pair of shoes. Washing in a machine is extremely damaging. Scrubbing aggressively shortens the lifespan of your shoes.

Try damp cloth instead and enjoy your footwear for a longer time.


How Often Should Shoes Be Replaced?

Shoes should be replaced after every 8 to 12 months, according to podiatrists. When you have good quality footwear, change them when you see visual wear and tear.

Do Shoes Deteriorate In The Box?

Yes, shoes deteriorate in a cardboard box if kept unsupervised. Over time, moisture builds up inside the box, damaging your footwear. That’s why it’s important to maintain the proper temperature when you store shoes.

How Long Leather Shoes Last In Storage?

Leather shoes can last up to 20 years if cleaned and conditioned to protect the material. When you store them in a box, taking care of them every 6 to 12 months keeps them on to the point.

Parting Thoughts

Shoes are meant to be changed sooner or later for an updated version, to try out a new brand or just because they are worn out.

Except for full-grain leather shoes, most pairs will serve you for up to a year.

Then it’s time to switch to a new modified one.

This is all the information to ensure you know how long your shoes are going to last and when you need to opt for another.

For more info, comment below.

About The Author
Sunny is all about action and activities. He finds it difficult to contain himself. Be it motorcycling, playing football, or exploring the great outdoors, he loves to keep his legs busy.Sunny quickly realized the importance of footwear to keep himself going healthily. This was when he decided to share all his knowledge and expertise regarding different footwear and their significance.Now, he’s on a mission with this humble platform by his side. With time he plans on doing bigger and better things.Apart from his writing and other hobbies, he loves spending time with his cat Sophie. He loves to cook for his friends and family too.

Leave a Comment