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Well here is how i determine it. Recently i replaced my shoes all because of foot pain. When i had that pain that i have NEVER had before i knew it was the shoes.
To avoid that issue with yourself, i look at the soles. Check to see the wear and tear on them. Do you notice the heels or the toes with coloring rubbed off? How are the insoles? Are they still "squishy" or do they feel really broke in?
If any of those things are apparent it's time for new shoes.
When i switched my shoes i noticed a dramatic difference in my shoes. I only had 150 miles on mine, yet it was very consistent wear so the insides broke down faster than the soles.
Hope this helps.
Often you cannot tell by looking at the shoes. The outsoles and uppers may appear just fine, but the midsole will lose much of its support and cushioning between about 300 and 500 miles (exact amount depending on the shoe, your running style, running conditions, etc.) This midsole damage is not always clearly visible, but you will likely notice the difference when running in new shoes vs. older ones of the same model. Keeping track of how many miles you have on the shoes is probably your most reliable option.
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I have always stuck with the rule of 500 miles or 6 months, whichever comes first.
This is based upon my training plan of 20 miles a week
20 miles/week = 80 miles a month
480 miles in 6 months
I do have 2 pair of running shoes, 1 for training and 1 for races. When my training pair wears out, I replace them with my race pair.
I then break in my new race pair for about a week doing my training runs.
This has worked for me, so far. You have to figure out what works best for you and the type of shoe and running style you have.
I hope this helps
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Thanks for the advice! It was very helpful... I looked at my training log since early 2008 and noticed I've ran over 600 miles in my current shoes. They still look good but I'm starting to get pains...sore knees and other places. It's time for a new pair.
I usually go more by time. If I've worn the same pair of running shoes for 6 months, it's time for a new pair. I also use knee soreness to gauge it. If my knees are sore after two consecutive runs, it's time to get a new pair.
You can also look at the soles to see how worn down they are but some shoes will wear faster than others so mileage might not be the best measure of a shoe's lifespan.