How To Know When It's Time for New Tennis Shoes

| Fitness

Are your tennis shoes looking a little ragged? Maybe it's time for a new pair! Exercising in a "dead" pair of tennis shoes means that your feet and legs aren't getting the support they need, which could cause health issues later on.

woman tying her gym shoes before a run

The general rule of thumb when it comes to tennis shoes is that you should replace them every 300 to 500 miles, depending on what type of exercise you are doing in them and on what types of surfaces. For example, running will wear out a pair of tennis shoes faster than walking, and so will pavement as opposed to gravel or a trail. Forty-five to 60 hours of playing basketball or tennis or doing aerobic dance will also wear out your shoes.

Another good sign you need a new pair of tennis shoes is changes in their appearance. Keep an eye out for worn-down sole tread patterns, uneven heels, wrinkles in the side or bottom of the shoe (from the breakdown of support and cushioning), and broken down "uppers" around the ankle.

>> Read more: Lose the Shoes: Try Barefoot Training!

walking shoes

Making the most of your tennis shoes is important, so that you can extend their longevity and get the biggest bang for your buck. Some helpful tips include:

  • Save your tennis shoes for when you are actually exercising instead of wearing them all day. The more wear and tear they endure, the faster they break down and the faster you have to replace them. The extra foot moisture and bacteria will especially break them down faster.
  • When washing your tennis shoes, make sure to hand wash them with cold water and with a gentle soap so that you don't wear out the glue. Let them air dry; heat will also break down the glue.
  • If you prefer custom insoles, replace them just as often as you replace the shoes themselves. A new pair of insoles is not the same as a new pair of shoes!
  • Recycle your old shoes instead of keeping them around the garage for lawn work with the other five pairs of old tennis shoes. Look for a shoe bin at your community recycling center or athletic shoe store. Tennis shoes can be recycled into playground and track surfaces!

Is it time for you to replace your tennis shoes? Check out which pair is best for you here.