Costing upward of $150, high-quality running sneakers can put quite a dent in your wallet — and depending on how much you run, you may have to replace them two times a year. You definitely don't want to compromise on support or functionality, so try these strategies for prolonging the life of your shoes.
You may be in love with those superstylish hot-pink running sneaks, but really, you're not a road runner, you're a trail blazer. If you run on uneven, wet trails, you'll quickly wear through sneakers made for the road. Purchase shoes specifically designed for the surface you usually run on, and they'll last a lot longer. If you tend to mix up your terrain (thumbs-up to you!), then purchase a few pairs based on your running-surface needs.
So What If They Match Your Outfit?
Even if your running shoes are cute enough for post-workout errands, reserve them just for your runs. The more you wear them, the faster the soles will wear out and the sooner the support will start to go downhill. It's recommended that you replace sneakers every 300 to 500 miles, which works out to every five to eight months if you're clocking 15 miles a week. If your weekly mileage is more, then you need to replace them even sooner (cue the cash register sound). Get the most for your money by changing into a pair of everyday shoes for a quick jaunt to the health food store.
Take an Extra Two Minutes to Do This
Rushing to fit your workout in means saving time whenever you can. But slipping your sneakers on or off without untying the laces can stretch out your sneaks, affecting the snug fit, causing you to need a new pair earlier than expected. After a run, do a lovely Standing Forward Bend or Seated Straddle while slowly loosening each sneak.
How About a Little Air?
Whether your kicks are wet from sweat or rain, don't store them in a dark closet or stashed in your gym bag — leave them out in the open so they have a chance to air out. Musty, moldy shoes will need to be replaced even sooner than the recommended time. Don't place them on a radiator or in the dryer, either — extreme heat will damage the leather and other fabrics on the shoe.
If you rack up serious mileage each week, alternating between two pairs allows them to fully dry out between runs. They can be two totally different brands or two of the exact same pair you know and love. You can alternate each day you run or reserve one pair for dirtier road runs and one pair for cleaner treadmill runs. Also, for long runs, it's recommended that you give your shoes 24 hours before wearing them again — this allows the foam to return to its normal shape and stability.