I've done my fair share of running. This past May I finished my first half-marathon. During the training, my father, also an avid runner, told me that my year-old sneaks weren't cutting it anymore. He said that with running sneakers that old, I run the risk (no pun intended) of injuring myself. Believing what my dad said but also not wanting to shell out an unnecessary amount of money, I began to research.

So, when should you get new running sneakers?

grass, pasture
Maddy McGunagle

The best time to switch out your running sneakers is between 300 and 500 miles of usage. Now, that sounds like a lot but the miles really add up. Say you run 10 miles a week- at the minimum you would change your shoes in 30 weeks, which is only seven and a half months. 

The time it takes for a running sneaker to wear out depends on the person. The way one's foot lands on the ground is entirely different than that of another person's. A hard landing means that shoes will wear out more quickly than the given 300-500 mile range. Furthermore, shoe life is dependent not only on mileage but also body weight and foot type. People with flatter arches generally have to change running shoes more frequently than those with neutral or higher arches.

Where you run also can impact shoe life. Runners who train exclusively on the road or pavement will wear out their shoes faster than runners who only run on trails.

What can happen if I go too long in worn-out sneakers?

tea, beer, coffee
Lina Mowat

Running in old sneakers runs the risk (again, mind the pun) of repetitive injuries. These injuries can mainly be in the feet, legs, or pelvis. Worn shoes can cause runner's knee, shin splints, and problems with the IT band, the ligament that connects the pelvis to the shin. There is also the potential for plantar fasciitis, a sharp pain in the heel or arch, which can be caused by old shoes. 

Warning signs of worn-out running sneakers

Aly Sebold

Warning signs of worn shoes include a visible white midsole of the outer sole, the midsole collapses easily, the heel counter moves, there are any tears in the shoe, or one or both shoes don't stand up straight when placed on a flat surface. 

You should know when to replace running sneaks by grabbing the heel counter and pushing down hard with your thumb. If the material collapses with your thumb, there is no longer shock absorption which means the shoe can no longer be used for running.

I'm planning on ending the summer with a ten mile road race and a half marathon two weeks later. I finally took my dad's advice and bought new running sneakers two weeks after the first half marathon. Hopefully those new New Balances will look great crossing those finish lines.