If you look around the net you can get so many different answers to this question that it can be hard to decide when you should be swapping out those nicely formed shoes for a new set with fresh cushioning.
I think the reason why you can get a different answer from pretty much any website you look at or expert or experienced runner you ask is because there are so many factors involved. These would be things like the surface you normally run on (treadmill versus asphalt versus concrete versus dirt trail) and how you run, how your foot strikes the ground and your overall size, etc.
There does seem to be general consensus out there for something in the range of 300-400 miles for a runner. Now depending on how you look at that 100 miles difference can be huge or maybe not so long – if you starting training for a marathon that could be 6 weeks or if you are near the end of a training program it could be as little as 2-3 weeks.
Probably the only real answer will be – how do your feet / knees / legs / hips feel? That is usually what I have gone by but I wanted an answer with more numbers.
I have gone through a lot of shoes in the past but never truly tracked how many miles I put on each set – I always just went by how my feet were starting to feel during runs and in the first few hours after. But with the latest sets of my treadmill and outdoor shoes I figured I would keep track and when I felt the shoes were done I would have a better idea on what I could expect for mileage. My hope this will help me determine if I am getting close to needing new shoes when a race is coming up – specifically in this case I am thinking about the Goofy and a Half Challenge in January – I did the 2013 race and figured out after that the shoes I used were done and I don’t want that to happen again – I would rather run on broken in but relatively fresh shoes in a race.
With this all in mind I have a set of shoes sitting on the side that I picked up last weekend on a road trip to Fargo that I intended to start phasing in with the hope of having them broken in for the WFPS Half marathon on October 19th. I had done a short run with them to make sure they fit and everything but I have been trying to drag every mile I can out of my current pair so I haven’t done much with the new ones yet.
I can tell today though that I have done my last run on my current set – about 5-6 miles in I started to get some pain in the arch of my left foot – I was able to work through it but combined with how my feet feel right now a couple hours after the run, I would say those shoes are done.
So the pair I am retiring are a set of Pegasus 29+ that I started using back in May and according to the spreadsheet I use to track my runs (mileage, pace, indoors or outdoors and shoes worn) the shoes passed 321 miles on the run this morning. Considering my average weight for the majority of the miles was in the 220-230 pound range I am going to say those shoes have done their duty!
I also have a second set of these exact shoes that are my current treadmill set that are at around 253 miles – I would think I will be expecting to change these ones out in November with my current training schedule. I will watch how my feet feel after running in them and see how good my prediction is.
For my new set I have a pair of Pegasus 30+ that are 3 different blues – I had to pick these up in the US because for some reason Nike seems to think that living in Canada I need orange or yellow running shoes. I disagree…I like blue dammit! Just look at the website design for crying out loud!
I also picked up a second set on the road trip as the treadmill set will be shutting down soon too.
A pick of the shoes is below…Nike – can Canada please start getting these kinds of colour choices too?
Not really complaining – I love the Pegasus shoes – I have had probably over a dozen pair at this point – I have tried lots of other brands and styles but I keep coming back to the Pegasus. I have had a few sets of the gortex versions and many different pairs over the years. My first half marathon back in 2002 was trained for and run with Pegasus shoes. As has almost every race I have done since. These things just work for me.
I would like to note that this is not specifically an endorsement for Nike – just an indication to anyone reading what I use and how the shoes are working for me – Everybody and every body is different so always pay attention to what your body is telling you and find what works best for you (and your body).