If you are a seasoned runner, or even a newcomer to the running world, you have probably heard that running shoes should be replaced every 300-500 miles. Many factors play into the longevity and lifespan of a running shoe, including your weight, height, running gait and impact forces based on downhill versus uphill running. Your shoe’s longevity is also based on the amount of times you wear the shoe outside of running, in your daily life or simply at home.
Things get even more complicated when it comes to trail running shoes, as factors such as terrain, creek crossings and the elements come into the picture. In contrast to road running shoes, trail running shoes are also more complicated as having in-tact tread is vital to your well-being and worn out lugs are a big no-no.
Below, we take a look at 5 signs that indicate when it’s time to replace your trail running shoes.
5 Signs it’s Time to Replace your Trail Running Shoes
1. The Tread is Dead
If the outsole of your shoe looks like a worn tire and you feel yourself falling and slipping more than usual on the trail, the tread of your shoe is probably dead.
The best way to expand the lifespan of your trail running footwear is to wear them only on the terrain they are designed for. Essentially, avoid wearing your trail running shoes on the road or pavement as these surfaces will grind down the rubber lugs. If you do notice that your tread is gone but the midsole of your shoe still has life, you can still wear them for non-technical trails and on dry-runs.
2. The Uppers are Worn Out
If you notice sizable holes or tears in your shoes upper, your feet feel as though they slide around the shoe more than usual and you are noticing more dirt and grit inside your shoe after a run – the uppers are probably worn out. This can also lead to nasty blisters and can affect your running and health in the long run.
As running on trails involves harsher terrain, your shoes uppers will take quite the beating than your normal road running shoes. This is because trail running involves more dirt and dust and with that, comes more toe stubs. If you have noticed significant holes or tears in the uppers of your shoes, it’s probably time to throw in the towel and go shopping for a new pair.
3. The Heels are Broken
If you notice the fabric on the inside of your heel cups are worn through and you experience hot spots or blisters close to your achilles tendon or back of your heels, your trail running heels are probably busted.
Running up steep and treacherous terrain is especially hard on fabric that lines the heel cups of any shoe. In order to ensure longevity, be sure to lace your shoes tightly – even to the highest eyelets, especially when hitting steep terrain. Also make sure to fully untie your trail running shoes before you take them off and put them back on.
4. The Midsoles are Busted
If you notice excessive compression on the side of the midsoles of your shoes and feel sore feet and knees or new aches and pains, your midsole may be over. Most trail running shoes are made with a strong foam to aid in shock absorption but over time, the foam can become compressed which makes it less effective. However, if you are a runner who prefers minimalist shoes and a higher degree of proprioception than this probably wouldn’t be an important factor when deciding it’s time to purchase new trail running shoes. If you do prefer a well-cushioned run, then this is something to look out for when deciding on whether or not it’s time to purchase those new shoes.
5. The Whole Shoe is Breaking
This goes without saying but if your shoe is splitting apart at the seams, between the outsole and midsole or between the upper and midsole then your shoe is just about falling apart. You will also notice that you have less control when running or braking downhill and feel a sense of flapping underfoot.
If you notice this at all, it’s absolutely time to retire your shoes to avoid disaster mid-run.
The Best Nike Trail Shoes
Time to get new trail running shoes? Well, just do it, with Nike trail shoes! Nike is the biggest sports brand in the world with products and athletes across every sport imaginable, but from the start, Nike has always been about running.
Their trail running gear is both stylish and technical, ensuring high quality and high performance throughout their range – and offers longevity.