From leg-lengthening high heels to comfortable, supportive running shoes, no one likes parting with a pair of shoes. However, if you continue wearing footwear that has outlived its usefulness, you could end up with foot pain, knee pain, plantar fasciitis, or Achilles tendinitis. Of course, there’s no real expiration date on shoes, making it difficult to decide when it’s time to discard them. From women’s footwear favourites to men’s footwear choices, the following tips will help you figure out when it’s time to replace an old pair of shoes.

Athletic Shoes

Athletic shoes like cross trainers and running shoes wear out faster than other types of shoes because they are worn for fast stops, starts, and changes in direction. They also take more pressure than other styles of men’s or women’s footwear do. The pressure on shoes is huge when you run and jump, increasing the wear and tear on these shoes. Keep these tips in mind to decide when your athletic shoes need replaced:

  • Tip #1 – Pay Attention to Mileage – Most running shoes last between 300-500 kilometres, although this can vary depending on your gait and your body weight. Pay attention to the mileage you put on your shoes and replace them after 300-500 km’s of wear.
  • Tip #2 – Check Out the Midsole – If you’re not sure how many km’s you’ve put on your shoes, check the midsole to see if it’s time to discard your athletic shoes. If the midsole is wrinkled, it means your shoes is worn out and losing its cushioning.
  • Tip #3 – Look at the Tread Pattern – It’s also important to look at the tread pattern on the bottom of your athletic shoes. If the tread pattern is worn down significantly, you need a new pair.

Walking and Casual Shoes

Walking and casual shoes aren’t under as much pressure as athletic shoes are. However, if you wear them 3-4 times a week, they’ll probably only last a year or so. Here are a few signs it’s time to replace those walking or casual shoes:

  • The heels are significantly scuffed
  • Flat areas on the outer sole
  • A worn, angled heel
  • Pieces of the shoe poking through on the inside


High Heels

High heels are a popular women’s footwear choice, but they usually wear out faster than flats because the soles are thinner and the heels are narrower. Since the toe area bears most of your weight, it’s the first place to begin showing wear. Check out the thickness of the sole and replace the soles or discard the shoes if they’re worn down by half. It’s also important to look at the heel. If you see nails poking through, invest in new heel lifts.


Sandals don’t last as long as enclosed shoes because there’s so much stress on the upper part of these shoes. If your sandals have broken or stretched straps, they need to be replaced. Look at the heel and sole of your sandals too. If they are lopsided it’s time to invest in a new pair.

Leather Dress Shoes

Leather dress shoes aren’t just a popular type of men’s footwear – women wear them too. Quality leather shoes can last for many years if they’re well taken care of, and repairing these shoes is an excellent option if the shoes are expensive. Once the leather sole begins feeling soft, it’s time to have the soles replaced or you’ll need a new pair of shoes. If the leather uppers harden and crack, they can’t be repaired and it’s time to replace the shoes.

Even if you take great care of your shoes, eventually it will be time to discard them for a new pair. Keep these tips in mind to make sure you replace shoes before they become a hazard to your feet.