Shoe Lifespan Statistics

Posted on 12 September, 2023 by Sheena

On this page, we've covered the lifespan of different types of shoes (running, walking, hiking, golf, cycling, American football, skate, work, tennis, casual, dress), unused shoes and shoe insoles.

Running shoes lifespan

  • After 500 km of running, the pressure on the bottom of the foot intensifies by 100%, rendering less effective running shoe cushioning.
  • After 750 km of running, the structure integrity of the foam of a running shoe starts to deteriorate.
  • The heel cushioning amount of running shoes decreases by 16% to 33% after a 480 km run.
  • On average, running shoes can last from 500 to 750 km or approximately 300 to 500 miles, as they lose 50% of their compression capability at this usage.
  • The lifespan of running shoes varies on many factors, including the runner’s weight. A rough estimate of the maximum running shoe mileage before replacing the shoes is calculated by dividing 75,000 by the runner’s body weight in pounds. 

Walking shoes lifespan

  • While walking is a lower-impact exercise than running, after the 500-mile mark, the support and cushioning of walking shoes will not be sufficient.
  • Walkers who log 30 minutes per day should replace their walking shoes every 6 months.
  • Those who walk an hour per day should get a new pair of walking shoes every 3 months.

Hiking shoes/boots lifespan

  • Trail shoes that are used for maintained routes can last from 480 to 800 km, or 6 months to a year with regular use.
  • The average usable life of trail hikers is 1 to 2 years during normal use or around 800 to 1,200 km.
  • Mountain hiking boots endure for 1,200 to 1,900 km or 2 to 4 years under normal usage conditions.
  • The lifespan of backpacking boots ranges from 1,600 to 2,400 km or 3 to 5 years with standard usage.
  • Approach shoes can be used for 640 to 1,120 km or around 1 to 2 years if subjected to typical conditions of use.
  • With regular usage during the wintry season, winter hiking boots hold up for 2 to 4 years or around 1,280 to 1,920 km.
  • The regular use of vegan hiking boots yields a 1 to 3-year lifespan or 800 to 1,600 km.

Golf shoes lifespan

Number of rounds of golf per week

Average lifespan of golf shoes


24 months


12 months


8 months


6 months


4-5 months


4 months


3-4 months

Cycling shoes lifespan

  • Cycling shoes with premium quality can last between 5 to 7 years of regular use.
  • High-quality cycling shoes with regularly replaced cleats can endure around 50,000 miles.
  • The lifespan of cycling shoes that are only worn during road races is about 15 years.
  • Mountain bike shoes have a shorter lifespan ranging between 3 to 4 years.
  • On average, cycling cleats can log up to 7,000 miles which is equivalent to roughly 4 to 6 months with regular use.
  • Cycling cleats can be changed more than 10 times before getting a new pair of cycling shoes.

American football shoes lifespan

  • The lifespan of regularly used American football cleats that are played in normal conditions can reach anywhere between 5 to 10 months.
  • American football cleats that are subjected to 1-2 games per week can hold out to a year.
  • American football cleats that are used thrice or 4 times a week can endure 1 to 2 American football seasons.

Skate shoes lifespan

  • The life expectancy of skate shoes ranges between 2 to 6 months.
  • Those who skate 3 times a week should change their skate shoes every 2 months.
  • Skaters who have 1 to 2 sessions per week should purchase a new pair of skate shoes after 4 or 6 months.
  • Patching the holes or tears on skate shoes with a shoe goo using suede from old shoes can extend their life by about 30 hours.

Work shoes lifespan

  • Composite toe boots with steel shanks can last up to 7 years.
  • Leather toe boots with steel shanks, as well as composite toe waterproof boots, can endure 3 to 5 years of regular use.
  • Steel toe boots, both geared with steel shanks and waterproofing elements, have a life expectancy of about 1 to 2 years.
  • Traditional work boots that are equipped with steel shanks, which are mostly used on concrete, can hold out from 2 to 4 years.

Lifespan of tennis shoes, casual shoes, and dress shoes

  • The midsoles of tennis shoes typically last up to 50 to 60 hours before they lose their support and elasticity.
  • Tennis shoes have a lifespan ranging from 6 to 12 months, depending on the frequency of use and other factors.
  • It is ideal to replace trainers or casual shoes that you use frequently every 6 to 12 months.
  • High-quality leather dress shoes with premium materials and sturdy rubber outsole can last between 3 to 5 years. This can be significantly prolonged with proper care and upkeep, as well as subjecting them to occasional use only.
  • Dress shoes with leather soles that are frequently used will not last over a year.

Lifespan of unused shoes

There are various reasons why shoes, even unworn ones, disintegrate. This includes hydrolysis which crumbles the materials (Polyurethane) of the shoes when they come in contact with water molecules.

  • For reference, a basic PU-soled safety shoe can last 3 years under normal conditions and only 1 ½ years in tropical conditions.
  • On the other hand, a safety shoe with a PU sole and better protection against hydrolysis has a lifespan of 8 years in a normal state and only 4 years in humid environments. 
  • Generally, shoes that are exposed to hot conditions will start to slowly deteriorate after 6 to 12 months.
  • Leather shoes should be kept at a temperature that ranges from 50 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit and a relative humidity of 30% to 60%.
  • Storing unworn shoes properly can keep them in a sound state for 5 to 6 years.

When should you replace your insoles?

The lifespan of insoles depends on their quality and the users’ level of activity and frequency of use.

  • Premium quality full-length insoles which cost around $40 to $80 can be used from 6 to 12 months.
  • Lower-grade insoles which are usually worth $15 to $50 wear out quicker and are only supportive for a week to a month.
  • Insoles that are softer need to be replaced after 1 to 6 months.
  • Using the inserts under normal daily conditions and activities can result in a lifespan of 1 year.
  • Subjecting the insoles to demanding sports such as hiking and running can make them last anywhere between 4 to 6 months.


Sheena is a wordsmith turned sneaker addict. Her sneaker fixation intensified as her passion for writing grew. A hands-on mom of two sweet yet spunky kids (plus three dogs and two cats), she finds solitude in leafing through shoe catalogues to find the next "it" sneaker. Scrutinising hugely popular and underrated kicks is her favourite pastime.