athletic shoes / image source: Pixabay

If the shoe fits, wear it out: what to look for in athletic shoes

When we think about workout gear, we like to make sure that it’s durable, supportive, and appropriate for the activity. But what about your shoes? For many of us, we have a designated pair of shoes that lives at the gym and only comes out for workouts. But how do you know when it’s time to say goodbye to those shoes? Do your shoes need to be falling apart before you replace them?

When judging if it’s time to consider buying new athletic shoes, you need to consider how often you use them, where you use them, and what they are used for. Here are some tips to help you decide if you need a new pair…and what to look for when you’re facing a rack of identical kicks.


Average lifespan: 6 months
When should I get a new pair?

You can estimate your shoe lifespan by the distance you run and where you run. A shoe that’s being used outside in the elements will have a different lifespan from one that lives on the treadmill. If you find your shoes have less response on surface contact, there are visible signs of wear on the sole, and the upper part covering your foot is showing signs of breaking down, it’s time to invest.

What should I look for in a new pair?

Running shoes are designed for cushioning and to disperse forces upon landing. Look for shoes with a good cushion and a heel rise that is slightly higher than the toes to facilitate forward motion.


Average lifespan: 1 year
When should I get a new pair?

Your weightlifting shoes have to be able to properly support your form. The upper part of the shoe will be the first to demonstrate wear, losing rigidity and offering less support.

What should I look for in a new pair?

Weightlifting shoes have a raised heel which allows you to squat into a deeper position through increased ankle range of motion. Weightlifting shoes are also more stable than your typical barefoot or minimalist shoe. This ensures you have a strong and consistent base to land on, push through, and push out into.

General Gym Activities

Average lifespan: 6 months
When should I get a new pair?

From jumps to lunges to squats to your treadmill warmup, your gym shoes do a lot of work. Lateral movements and weight-bearing steps also decrease the stability of your gym shoes. Usually the front or the side of the shoe are the first to show signs of wear. If you are seeing holes, it’s time to replace them.

What should I look for in a new pair?

A shoe with a basic cushion is all you need. An ankle cut shoe will support your foot as you go through your routine. This allows for maximum flexibility without compromising stability.

Take care of your shoes to make them last and remember that function should always come before fashion when purchasing athletic shoes.

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