How Do I Know I Need to Replace My Shoes?

It’s easy to get sentimental about your shoes. After all, you take them everywhere – on that amazing hike, to that memorable gig – and you’ve shared lots of treasured memories.

But, they’re shoes. They’re made from material that can easily look rundown after everyday wear and tear.

Sure, there are plenty of ways to prolong the life of your favourite footwear – but sometimes the best remedy for worn-out shoes is to replace them with something fresher.

When should I replace my shoes?

To understand when you’ll need to replace your shoes, look out for these tell-tale signs.

You’ve had them for more than two years

As a general rule of thumb, you should aim to replace your shoes after two years of continued use. Of course, this doesn’t apply to all shoes. A pair of sturdy leather boots may last a decade or more if cared for correctly – on the other hand, your well-loved running trainers might have seen enough action to need replacing after only six months.

There are deep creases in the midsole

Having the right support on your shoes is essential to preventing aches and pains in your feet. After prolonged use, the rubber and fabric in your shoes will begin to contort to the shape of your foot. Deep creases and cracks will begin to appear in the midsole as the shoe support begins to break down – this is a sure sign you should buy a new pair.

They sit at a slight angle

If your shoes no longer rest straight across the ground, the rubber sole has likely worn away or become misshapen. You can replace the rubber soles on your shoes when they become cracked or worn. Alternatively, you can take your shoes to a cobbler for further advice. However, depending on the level of damage, it is often more cost-effective to purchase a brand-new pair. A good test is to place your shoe on an even surface, such as a tabletop. If the sole peels up away from the table anywhere across the sole, it’s probably time you sought out a new pair.

The smell is unbearable

Shoes will smell after exercise or a particularly wet day. Most of the time, you can get rid of any unwelcome aromas in your shoes by airing them out. However, if the smell of sweaty feet just won’t shift, it may well have become embedded in the inner fabric. Avoid any embarrassment by replacing your pungent pair with something fresher.

The heels are broken

Broken and worn heels are a sign of a long-loved pair of shoes. As you walk, the weight of your body will steadily erode the rubber of the heels over time. As the heel wears away, it can affect how you walk and hold yourself. This is especially true of high heels or stilettos with a snapped heel support. If the heels have worn away to an obvious angle, you should think about seeking out a new pair.

There are threads loose

Depending on the materials used during the production process, threads in the lining and stitching of your shoes can work themselves loose over time. When the threads start to come away from the base of your shoes, it’s a sure sign that they haven’t got long left.

There are holes in your shoes

It may seem obvious, but it’s best to seek out a new pair of your favourite shoes if you spot any holes in them. Holes are a sure sign it’s time to go – especially if your feet are getting wet.

Your feet hurt

Generally, if your feet begin to hurt, the finger of blame should be pointed first at your shoe. The support in your shoes could’ve worn away, exposing your feet to the elements. Or you may have simply outgrown your shoes – and that pinching feeling is a sign you should get a bigger pair. Make sure you know how to measure your feet so you can get the right size.

They’re stained

Make no mistake, it’s very possible to remove common stains from your shoes. But when a stain just won’t come out, it’s best to buy a new pair. After all, you want to feel good in your shoes – not self-conscious that people can see unwanted marks on your footwear.

How to maintain and protect your shoes

There are plenty of ways to prolong the life of your shoes so they don’t need replacing as often. With a little regular maintenance, you can keep your shoes performing at their best and protecting your feet for years to come. Extend the lifespan of your perfect pumps or your trusty trainers by investing in shoe care products such as:

  • Polish – regularly scrubbing your shoes with polish will keep them looking smart and shiny while adding an extra layer of protection from the elements.
  • New laces – if your shoes feel a little loose or slip off your heel as you walk, you might just need to thread through a new pair of laces to tighten things up.
  • Memory foam insoles – support your tired feet with fitted memory foam insoles. These form the shape of your foot, offering extra protection and comfort.
  • Scuff cover – protect your shoes from scratches and scuffs with a layer of protection that will keep the material clean and fresh.


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