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How Often Should You Replace Work Shoes – A Detailed Guide

Comfortable work shoes are very important if you are on your feet all day long. They protect your foot from the hazards of the environment. Work shoes are meant to provide you with a pain-free working experience. So, it’s always advised to invest in a good pair of working shoes. And here your question will be answered in detail how often to replace work shoes?

It is important to change your shoes once they have been worn for a certain mileage. Damaged or worn-out work shoes result in severe painful foot conditions. This will directly affect your work efficiency.  

How long should a pair of work shoes last

how often should you replace work shoes

This is a million-dollar question, and the answer is pretty simple, listen to your shoe. The condition of the midsole, outsole, and insole tells how long can the shoe be used further. Are you experiencing foot pain at the end of your day? If yes, then it’s probably because your shoes are not supporting your foot anymore.

The life span of the shoe, most importantly, depends upon how much you wear them. If you are on your feet all day and wear your shoes daily, then you need to replace your shoes in 6 to 8 months.

Another factor that decides the life of a shoe is the environment where the shoe is worn. If you work on rough terrain all day long, then your shoes are prone to damage. You may need to replace them every 4 to 5 months.

If you don’t wear your shoes very often and walk on a smooth surface, your work shoes may last for even 12 months. Mileage is another very important factor to consider. Usually, after walking 400-500 miles, you need to replace your shoes.

But all in all, many factors affect a shoe’s health, and in the end, it all depends upon your personal use. You have to check from time to time the condition of your shoes. Many people use DIYs to increase their work shoe’s life span, but this is not fruitful in the long run.

Yes, there are some protective measures that you can take for your shoes. But these will help your shoes age better instead of delayed aging.

You can also read: Do Suede Shoes Get Ruined in the Rain | Complete Guide

How often should you replace everyday work shoes?

No definite time period can help you decide when you should replace your work shoes. Here are 8 signs that indicate the time for work shoe replacement.

So, if you have even one of them, then you should consider buying a new pair.

1.     Uncomfortable

What is the purpose of the shoe if it does not provide you comfort? With time the responsiveness and the cushioning of the shoe are decreased. If you feel pain in your foot, especially in the heel and the arch, then it is time, my friend, that you change your shoes.

2.     Damaged Outsole

The main part of the shoes that protect your foot is the outsole. Most of the work shoes have rubber outsoles having lugs for traction. Outsoles come directly in contact with the rocky terrain. This is why they are most prone to damage.

Cracks and holes on the outsole signify that it is damaged. Also, check the outsole pattern, which provides you with a firm grip. If it is faded, then it means that you now need to replace your shoes.

Damaged outsole means that you would be feeling as if you are walking barefoot on the ground. There will be no protection to your foot from the uneven terrain.

3.     No Cushioning by the Insole

With time the cushioning effect of the insole is lost. The main indicator of worn-out insoles is plantar fasciitis or pain in the arch in a simpler term. Also, if you experience a short height after wearing shoes as compared to before, then it’s probably because your insoles have lost the bounciness.

A worn-out insole does not always mean that you have to replace your work shoes. Many work shoes have removable insoles, so you can add your custom orthotics. Now you must be wondering how often to change insoles in work boots? Well, the answer is pretty simple, as soon as you feel a lack of bounciness and arch support in the shoes, you should change them.

4.     Wrinkled Midsole

The midsole is the portion between your insole and the outsole. It cushions your feet and acts as a shock absorber. It is one of the most important components that make walking and running painlessly. The midsole prevents any pressure on the knees, lower back, or ankle and distributes the pressure evenly.

Worn out midsole has a wrinkled appearance. You will also notice less to no bounciness while you walk. Also, the midsole gives a lift to your foot and supports the arch, which will not be seen if it is damaged.

5.     Holes on the Upper

One of the most significant and embarrassing signs of worn-out work boots is the appearance of holes. The Upper of the work shoes is usually made of leather or mesh fabric. Due to overuse, the upper starts to get damaged and develop holes in it.

6.     Outsole And/or the Upper Starts Separating

I have seen people applying super glue when the outsole and the upper start getting separated from each other.  While this may work for a short time, this is not a long-term solution.

Also, applying super glue is not a reliable hack. It may happen that the shoe gets broken in the middle of your hectic day and affect your productivity. So, if your shoe has developed such conditions, then immediately replace them.

7.     The Flexibility Test

Shoes that have finished their life span have no flexibility. This will limit your range of motion, and also your foot will be prone to severe injuries. A flexible shoe means that there would be less strain on the ball of the foot, the ankle, and the knees.

To check flexibility, hold your shoes with the lace side up. On the other hand, try bringing the toe cap near the heel. If the two ends of the shoe easily meet, this means that your shoes have no flexibility and you have to change them.

8.     No Water Proofing

If your shoes are allowing access to water, then it is because they have aged now. New shoes are waterproof and also prevent the build-up of moisture due to breathability. With time, the shoes become less breathable, and the waterproof coating fades.

Final Thoughts

Like everything that you possess, your shoes also have a certain age. There are many factors that determine the age of your shoes and indicate the time for a replacement. The maximum age of a workshop is 12 months that too if it is not used excessively.

Replacing work shoes with time is essential for your foot’s health. It is crucial to invest in a comfortable pair of shoes and re-check their condition on a regular basis if you want to avoid painful foot conditions such as plantar fasciitis, heel spur, etc.

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