Replacing your everyday footwear often is important in order to keep optimal foot health, but most people are guilty of wearing their shoes past their expiration date. Most of the time, it's because once you find a comfortable pair of shoes, it's hard to part with them. The issue is that there's a large lack of awareness of the problems worn-out footwear can bring.
The good news is that nowadays there are plenty of brands, like Vessi, that are popular for their durable shoes that can withstand everything thrown at them. Vessis specifically are waterproof, making them extremely durable. They even have sneakers like the Everyday Move that cater to your everyday needs.
In this article, we'll touch on what things you should take into account when deciding how often should you replace everyday shoes. We'll also share some tips and tricks to make your footwear last as long as possible.
How Long Should Shoes Last?
Like most things, shoes have an expiration date. Unlike with food, it isn't when they become mouldy or are full of holes - it's way before that.
Worn-out shoes won't provide enough support and cushioning so generally, you should replace them every eight to 12 months. This is when they start showing obvious signs of being worn out.
Also, when it comes to active footwear, the most important thing to keep in mind is the general rule of thumb of the 500-mile limit. Most athletic shoes, such as running shoes, walking shoes, dress shoes, tennis shoes or all-purpose sneakers need to be replaced when worn for 500 miles.
If you walk about three to four hours a week every day, you should replace your shoes every six months. If you are heavier and walk more often than that, you should get a new pair every three months. Keep in mind this would apply if you're wearing the same shoes day in and day out.
It's also worth keeping in mind that if you're a runner, you will put more wear and tear on your shoes than someone walking. This means you should replace your running shoes every three months to be on the safe side.
What Type of Footwear Should Be Changed More Often?
Not all shoes need to be changed at the same time. Some daily shoes will need to be changed more often than others. For starters, it's important to replace your walking or running shoes often or if they start feeling a bit uncomfortable to wear.
Here is a breakdown of when experts suggest you should upgrade your shoes based on what you wear them for.
a) Running/Walking Shoes
Running and walking shoes are specifically designed to absorb shock during exercise. If they lack the cushioning or materials to do this you could be opening yourself to injury. That's why generally, podiatrists recommend changing most running shoes once you have used them for 700 km.
Another thing to pay attention to is how your running shoes feel after they get to the maximum recommended use. If they're still comfortable you could use them for a bit longer with no issues. However, if you are a serious everyday runner it's worth investing in a replacement pair before it interferes with your training.
b) Work Shoes
Work shoes are essential to ensure safety on the worksite. Whether you work around heavy machinery or in a restaurant proper footwear is crucial.
Avoid unnecessary pain or soreness by replacing your work footwear as soon as you start feeling your feet get sore or tired after a day at work. Generally, however, you should replace everyday work shoes every 8-12 months, which allows you to be up to date with the fit and safety components.
c) Casual Shoes
Casual shoes are everyday footwear you wear during errands or sometimes even to work. When you should replace these shoes will depend mainly on their quality, how often you wear them, and how you care for them.
If you wear your casual shoes 3-4 times a week, you should consider replacing them once a year. However, if you drive a lot and hardly walk anywhere your shoes might last longer. Of course, you should also always be sure to check the inside and outside of the shoes for visible wear and tear.
When it comes to dressier shoes (that still fall under the casual category) there are additional things to keep into account. For example, worn-out high heels are a health hazard. If you really don't want to give up your favourite pair, you can always get them re-heeled to extend their shelf life.
When Should you Replace Shoes?
Apart from observing the 500-mile rule we mentioned before, there are other things you can look out to know when you will need to replace your footwear.
Here are some of them:
1. Heel Breakdown/Outsole Wear
Inspect the bottom of your shoes. If the shoe is significantly worn out or you're seeing unusual wear patterns, it may be time to replace them. When the heel of your shoe starts breaking down it generally happens that one shoe's heel is more worn out than the other. This makes the shoe lean more on one side than the other and is a great indication that it's time to replace them.
In addition, you can spot outsole wear by placing your shoe on a flat surface. From eye level, check if it tips, rocks or sits at an angle. Another thing to keep an eye out for is the sole tread pattern. If it starts breaking on one side the outsole is finished and it's time to replace your shoe.
2. Interior Wear
When it comes to the inside of your shoes wearing out that's also an important factor to consider. The more you wear them the more you're feet will rub against the lining material causing unwanted friction to happen. If you start seeing tears or holes in the lining then that's a good indication it's time to replace them.
3. Midsole Compression
A clear indication that your everyday shoes are at the end of their road is if they feel less comfortable. This could mean that they no longer offer the same support as before. This is due to the midsole, the cushioning part of the shoe, wearing down because of compression.
Your shoe's midsole may also start creasing from excessive wear, or the material might start getting distorted or leaning in one direction. All these are clear indicators that although your shoes have done their job well, they may not be offering the right kind of support anymore.
4. Workouts Become More Painful
If your workouts or walks lead to plantar fasciitis (heel and arch pain) it may be because your shoes are not offering adequate support anymore. When it comes to athletic footwear, foot pain should never be something you take lightly. Deciding to get new shoes for your workouts when your older ones are out of commision is as important as logging your gym routine.
5. Foot Pain
If you have foot pain when wearing your shoe but the actual shoes look to still be in great condition, you might have to replace them anyhow. Keep in mind, however, that this is only relevant if you're feet hurt when you wear them but didn't before you bought them.
6. Loss Of Comfort
When you notice that your shoe cushioning doesn't feel as supportive as it once did, this might mean that your shoes are worn out and need replacing.
To choose the right replacement make sure you both keep arch and heel support in mind. Look for curves that hug your feet to give you a perfect fit regardless of shoe size or your foot's width.
How to Make Shoes Last Longer
While there isn't a secret to make sure your shoes last longer there are a few things you can follow to help them stay looking good.
Alternate - Don't wear the same pair every day. Try to rotate between different pairs of shoes.
Air them out - After three to four hours, give your shoes time to air out properly in between uses. When it comes to workout shoes specifically, for example, a gym bag is not the best place to allow your footwear to breathe.
Consider what they're made for - Use your athletic shoes only for working out. They shouldn't be used for things they weren't designed for since that can damage them faster.
Don't machine dry them - Allow your shoes to air dry after a wash instead of using the dryer. Leave them in a shaded area to avoid too much direct sun exposure. This is important as heat contributes to a faster breakdown of the glue.
Insoles - Replace your insole every once in a while to ensure your feet remain comfortable even if the shoes might be wearing down. While this will help extend their shelf life, changing the insole is not a substitute for replacing your shoes.
Laces - Untie your shoelaces every time you remove your shoes and avoid toeing them as this can stretch them and break down the heel.