Do I need to buy new running shoes?

Hi there,

I’m running a marathon in 3 months and I’m wondering if I need to buy a new pair of running shoes.

I’ve had my pair of Adidas shoes for over 4 years, I bought them for a marathon I ran in 2012, 4 years ago and I’ve run one half marathon every year since. I’m estimating that I’ve run about 400 miles in them. And I’m currently training for a full marathon in March in 3 months.

They don’t seem particularly worn but I’ve just got it in my head now that perhaps they’ve kind of lost their springiness or cushioning. If I buy new ones I’m worried that my body won’t adjust to them quickly enough before the marathon in March and it might make my old back injury come back. I could just keep wearing them and I can’t imagine I would do myself too much damage in the marathon, although I kind of felt in my training run last week that I was more aware of my toenails. That could just be because they were getting longer though. I cut them and my last run 12 mile run last night felt fine.

Any thoughts? Is it a risk to buy new shoes this close to a big race? Or how much damage could I do to myself if I run in shoes that have run 400 miles and might have ‘lost their spring’?

Thanks in advance for any help.



  • Three months is not close and you could get something with a similar ride, but I wouldn't bother changing them unless there is something you are not happy with. No spring is not a risk in itself, because the gait stayle adapts to the spring and surface that the body feels itself on. Even advertising-exposed cousins across the pond reckon on 500 miles. One could get 1000 miles, depending on the shoe. It could happen that your feet have got a bit bigger over 4 years and the shoes are slightly too small. You shouldn't be having toenail problems.

  • That's great Steve. Thanks very much indeed. I'll probably hang on to them and will see how I get on in my next couple of training runs.


  • I'm going to offer a slightly different PoV to SCR.  If your budget can run to having multiple running shoes then go for it.  I've got 4 pairs of my current preferred training shoe in various forms of knackerdness- by rotating them round you give the cushioning more time to recover (and dry out and become less smelly) between runs. It also gives you an opportunity to break in new shoes before the big day.  

    In the next three months you're going to be putting quite a bit more mileage into your old shoes, with more chance of them degrading- if you can afford it, spend some time finding their eventual replacements now. 

  • Also very valid feedback. Thanks a lot FerrousFerret.

  • Agree with FF - if you're running a marathon in 3 months then you will be doing a high mileage over that period, and if your shoes aren't worn out now then they will be by then. You don't want to race in brand new shoes so I would replace now and get the new ones worn in, and keep the old ones for rainy / muddy runs.

  • Thanks Rodeoflip

  • MillsyMillsy ✭✭✭
    I'd agree with FF and rodeoflip. You are more than likely to wear these shoes out during the next few months training so replace them now and rotate the 2 pairs.

    I usually have 3 or 4 pairs on rotation.
  • I'm heavy on my feet and so don't get a lot of miles from mine....I tend to get niggles when they are passed their best..

    Good advice about getting a new one and wearing them in a little and keep two on the go.

    Good luck

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