Runner’s Notes: The Life Cycle of Running Shoes – Sports –

They say you should replace your running shoes every 500 miles. I don’t know if I’ve ever followed, but I probably buy new shoes every four months or whenever the holes in the mesh above my big toe get too big and unsightly. (See the gray pair in the photo).

I buy shoes two at a time for two reasons: 1.) I often run consecutive days and having a pair to spin makes them last longer and / or gives a pair time to dry out if it rains, and 2.) Buying two pairs equals free shipping (I usually buy shoes online because I know exactly what model, brand and size I want / need).

As I made room on my mud mat for my brand new running shoes, I thought about how ridiculous it is to have so many pairs of running shoes (and, remember, it there is another set of all of these photos because I order in pairs), but then I thought about the life cycle of my running shoes and how I used them a lot before they finally got thrown away.

The most recent pairs do most of my mileage with me. Unless it’s raining and my new shoes are still nice, then I hate that my new shoes are soggy, so I wear my old running shoes, which are now my running shoes in bad weather. On a lower rung or on par with my bad weather running shoes are retired running shoes that still have enough spring and cushion to serve as walking shoes. My oldest and dirtiest running shoes are for trail training only.

And, yes, I have new, legitimate trail running shoes, but … on really tough days, I wear my old old running shoes.

Suffice it to say that by the time my kicks finally hit the trash they’ve led a long life and yet it’s never easy to say goodbye because we’ve run / walked so many kilometers together.

I’ve been running for about 20 years now and if you think I buy six pairs of shoes a year, that’s about 120 pairs of Saucony. At an average of $ 60 a pair (I’m thrifty and buy last year’s models), I’ve spent around $ 7,200 on running shoes in my running life, which isn’t not much if you think about what sport has delivered tome.

It is money well spent on products well used and a life well lived.

Heather Cass is a freelance writer from the Erie region, a runner and an active member of the Erie Runners Club for over 20 years. She is immersed in the local fitness culture and answers your questions about zipdang22 at

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