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5 Signs its Time to Replace Your Running Shoes

Welcome to Rebel Sport's ultimate guide on when to replace your running shoes. Your shoes aren't just accessories—they're your trusted buddies on every run. In this blog, we'll explore when it's time to say goodbye to your old shoes and find your next perfect pair. Whether you're a pro or new to running, we've got you covered. Let's dive in and make sure every step is comfy and safe. 

Why you should look after your running shoes

Your running shoes are more than just pieces of footwear—they're essential equipment for any runner. Here's why it's crucial to look after them:

Prolonged lifespan

Like any piece of gear, running shoes endure wear and tear with each use. However, proper care and maintenance can significantly extend their lifespan. By regularly cleaning your shoes, storing them properly, and rotating them with other pairs, you can prevent premature deterioration and ensure they last longer. This not only saves you money in the long run but also ensures you get the most out of your investment in quality footwear.


Comfort is paramount when it comes to running. Well-maintained shoes provide optimal cushioning, support, and fit, reducing the risk of discomfort or blisters during your runs. Additionally, keeping your shoes clean and dry helps prevent the accumulation of sweat, dirt, and bacteria, which can cause unpleasant odours and discomfort. By taking care of your shoes, you're ensuring a more enjoyable and pain-free running experience every time you lace up.


Your running shoes play a crucial role in your performance as a runner. The right pair can enhance your stride, provide stability, and even help correct biomechanical issues. However, worn-out or improperly maintained shoes can hinder your performance by offering less support and cushioning. By looking after your shoes, you're optimising their performance capabilities, enabling you to run faster, farther, and more efficiently.

Injury prevention

Neglecting your running shoes can have serious consequences for your physical health. Worn-out or ill-fitting shoes can lead to a host of issues, including blisters, plantar fasciitis, shin splints, and stress fractures. By maintaining your shoes in good condition and replacing them when necessary, you're reducing the risk of these common running injuries. Investing in the health and safety of your feet now can save you from months of frustration and pain caused by sidelined workouts due to preventable injuries.

5 signs it's time to replace your running shoes 

Is it time to say goodbye to your running shoes? Let's find out. In this section, we'll explore five clear signs that mean your shoes need replacing. From worn-out treads to persistent discomfort, we'll help you know when it's time for a new pair

1. Worn out tread 

One of the most visible signs that it's time to replace your running shoes is when the tread becomes worn out. The tread, which refers to the patterned rubber on the outsole of the shoe, plays a crucial role in providing traction and stability while running. Over time, with each step taken on various surfaces, the tread gradually wears down.

As the tread wears out, its ability to grip the ground diminishes, increasing the risk of slips and falls, especially on wet or uneven terrain. Additionally, worn-out tread can affect your running biomechanics, potentially altering your gait and putting unnecessary stress on your muscles and joints.

To assess whether your shoes' tread is worn out, examine the outsole for signs of significant smoothing or bald spots. If you notice that the once-prominent tread pattern has become shallow or nearly non-existent in certain areas, it's a clear indication that your shoes have reached the end of their lifespan.

Running in shoes with worn-out tread not only compromises your safety and stability but also diminishes the overall performance of your footwear.

2. Decreased cushioning 

Another sign that it's time to bid farewell to your current running shoes is when you notice a decrease in cushioning. Cushioning materials, such as EVA foam or air pockets embedded in the midsole, are responsible for absorbing impact and providing support to your feet during each stride.

With continued use, these cushioning materials begin to compress and lose their resilience. As a result, the shoes become less effective at attenuating shock and protecting your feet from the repetitive impact of running. You may start to feel increased pressure or discomfort in areas of high impact, such as the heels and forefoot.

One way to determine if your shoes have experienced a decrease in cushioning is to pay attention to how they feel during your runs. If you notice that your feet feel more fatigued than usual after running, or if you experience increased discomfort or soreness in your joints and muscles, it could be a sign that the cushioning has deteriorated.

Another visual indicator of decreased cushioning is the presence of visible compression lines or wrinkles in the midsole foam. These lines form as the cushioning material loses its ability to bounce back to its original shape after each footstrike.

When you observe signs of decreased cushioning in your running shoes, it's a clear signal that they have reached the end of their lifespan and are no longer providing adequate support and protection for your feet. By replacing your worn-out shoes with a new pair featuring fresh, resilient cushioning, you'll restore comfort and support to your runs, helping you stay injury-free and enabling you to perform at your best.

3. Visible damage or deformation

When your running shoes start showing visible signs of damage or deformation, it's a strong indicator that they need to be replaced. Regular wear and tear, along with the rigours of running, can lead to various forms of damage to your shoes' upper and midsole components.

Common forms of visible damage include rips, tears, or fraying in the fabric or synthetic materials comprising the upper portion of the shoe. These can occur from repeated flexing and stretching during runs, as well as from external factors like sharp objects or abrasive surfaces encountered while running.

Deformation of the midsole, which is typically made of cushioning materials like EVA foam, can also occur over time. This may manifest as a loss of shape or structural integrity, resulting in uneven or collapsed areas underfoot. You might notice bulging or indentations in the midsole, indicating that the cushioning has deteriorated and is no longer providing adequate support.

Even minor instances of visible damage or deformation can compromise the overall performance and structural integrity of your shoes. They can lead to discomfort, instability, and even increase the risk of injury by altering your gait mechanics or causing uneven pressure distribution on your feet.

To determine if your shoes exhibit visible damage or deformation, inspect them regularly after each run. Look for any tears, rips, or fraying along the seams or edges of the shoe, as well as any changes in the shape or texture of the midsole. If you notice any significant signs of wear and tear, it's a clear indication that your shoes have reached the end of their usable lifespan and should be replaced promptly.

4. Persistent aches and pains

Experiencing persistent aches or pains, particularly during or after running, is a significant sign that your running shoes may need replacing. While some degree of muscle soreness is normal, ongoing discomfort or pain that doesn't subside with rest and recovery may indicate that your shoes are no longer providing adequate support or cushioning.

Running in worn-out or unsupportive shoes can lead to a range of aches and pains, including:

  • Foot pain: Worn-out cushioning or lack of support can cause discomfort in various areas of the foot, such as the arches, heels, or balls of the feet.
  • Shin splints: Improper shock absorption from worn-out shoes can contribute to the development of shin splints, which are characterised by pain along the shinbone (tibia).
  • Knee discomfort: Inadequate cushioning and support can increase stress on the knees, leading to pain in the front, sides, or back of the knee joint.
  • Back pain: Poor footwear support can alter your gait mechanics, leading to improper alignment of the spine and resulting in lower back pain.

If you consistently experience any of these symptoms during or after running, it's essential to address the underlying cause, which may be related to your shoes. Take note of when the pain occurs and whether it improves with rest. If the discomfort persists despite taking breaks from running, it's likely time to evaluate the condition of your shoes.

5. Unpleasant odour or hygiene issues 

If your running shoes start to smell bad or have hygiene issues, it's a sign they need replacing. Over time, sweat and bacteria build up, causing a persistent odour that won't go away with cleaning. You might also notice mould or mildew inside your shoes.

To fix this, try cleaning your shoes with mild soap and water and letting them dry completely. Take out the insoles to air them out separately. Using odour-control products like activated charcoal can help too. But if the smell doesn't go away, it's probably time for new shoes.

By replacing your old shoes and keeping them clean, you'll avoid discomfort and keep your feet feeling fresh during your runs.

Replace those old running shoes with Rebel Sport 

Knowing when to swap out your running shoes is vital for keeping your runs comfortable and safe. By spotting the signs like worn-out tread, less cushioning, visible damage, persistent aches, or bad smells, you can ensure your footwear supports you well.

Don't wait for pain or problems. Check your shoes regularly and get new ones when needed. With proper care and timely changes, you'll enjoy smoother, more comfortable runs while lowering the risk of injury.

Ready to upgrade your running shoes? Explore Rebel Sport's range for your perfect pair today.