How long should a running shoe last

Poor quality Adidas from Sweatshop

1 to 20 of 23 messages
22/03/2013 at 17:35

I purchased some lovely looking red Adidas Supernova Glide 4s at the end of July so I could start running and training for the Reading HM. Now I am no Haile Gebrselassie and in total have done 278 miles in them. i am aware that the cushion is only really good for 500 miles but I was hoping that the shoe would not fall apart before that.


Now 278 miles to me does not seem a lot so I took them back to Sweatshop who said:

1. An average of 10/15 miles per week is quite a lot - really am I secretly training at the same levels of a pro, maybe Mo best watch out.

2. These tears are quite common - then that would suggest to me that shoe makers are ripping us off by making sub standard shoes. Or if it is common then why not move the bit next to the rip over a bit.

3. That because I had mud on them I must have treated them without caution - mmmm again am I the only person who goes out after it has rained or should I be wearing plastic bags over the shoes when it rains.

After much discussion and debate I was gait analysed and appear to have gone from a neutral to an overpronation on my left leg which would cause this kind of damage and I now need mild support shoes. To be fair I was offered a discount but the selection was so poor I left without getting a new pair.

Two things have come out of this which I just want to confirm or deny.

1. Are running shoes really that fragile ?

2. Is Sweatshop still the best place to get shoes and advice ?

I still need a new set of trainers but at the moment I cannot see any reason to buy Adidas or from Sweatshop again, am I wrong ?


22/03/2013 at 18:23

Are you serious? 

Your big toe has rubbed a tiny little hole in the fabric of the upper and you think your shoe is falling apart.

You should see what I do to a brand new shoe to alleviate blisters in the heel cups. I take a pair of side cutters and cut a damn great hole in them.

Shoes aren't that fragile just your expectations of them.

Nothing to do with the shoes, they just wear.

Only thing falling apart is me, laughing.

Get a grip.

For what its worth the cushioning issue is a myth. The shoes last for way longer than that. Yours on inspection have another 2000 miles in them. Just change the inner sole now and again.

Edited: 22/03/2013 at 18:26
22/03/2013 at 18:24

I don't see anything unusual in the wear you've experienced.  I've had this with loads of shoes.  I think it's just a function of the way you run, What is the right shoe like?

22/03/2013 at 18:34

The right shoe is fine.

RicF, ok fair point and am happy to accept if that is the general consensus but I am stuggling to think of anything else I would pay £100+ for and only expect it to last 6 months or less. These are my first running shoes and at this rate I would need a new pair every 4/5 months. Note that the same design shoe is now £56 as it's last years model so there seems a lot of profit taking before quality building to me.

22/03/2013 at 18:39
When I used to go out a lot in fell shoes in the lakes I went through shoes every 2.5-3.5 months. I think that was abt your mileage or less. My shoes ended up with great big holes in, collapsed mid-soles and no tread left. I think your shoes look just abt broken in now. Enjoy getting out in them for another few months. They'll last at least that.
22/03/2013 at 18:47
My last shoes the holes were in danger of getting too big so I stuck duct tape inside to hold it together then used superglue to seal the hole. Despite wearing protective gloves the heat generated nearly burnt my fingers. I dashed to the sink and cooled it under the tap, squeezing the bits together. It ended up sealing the hole really cleanly. Got another year but they were my knocking abt shoes not running ones.

Would not recommend it but I think the wrong glue cld be used to melt/seal/glue the hole perhaps.

Or just ignore the cosmetic defect of a hole and carry on using a perfectly gd shoe.
22/03/2013 at 18:49

You've had them nine months not six sorry.



22/03/2013 at 18:50

Most of my shoes end up looking like that, maybe sooner than yours. Something about the way I run seems to make my big toes dig holes in the uppers. Last pair of shoes I fixed up with some duct tape.

You've also learned a useful lesson - last year's model can usually be had at significant discount.

Re insoles: I wear off-the-shelf Orthaheel insoles and my last pair of shoes managed 800 miles before the tell-tale aches and pains set in.

And re Sweatshop: my local branch (Reading) has always been good.

cougie    pirate
22/03/2013 at 19:19
Think of them as vented now. I'm sure you'll get a few more miles out of them.
seren nos    pirate
22/03/2013 at 19:46

I have no problem with the uppers on mine as I buy them two sized bigger......

but i run heavy on the soles so only get 400 miles if i am lucky..........i know when its time to change as I get more niggles than normal......

i then wear the trainers as everyday shoes for walking and living........

22/03/2013 at 19:47
Brian Slack wrote (see)

The right shoe is fine.

RicF, ok fair point and am happy to accept if that is the general consensus but I am stuggling to think of anything else I would pay £100+ for and only expect it to last 6 months or less. These are my first running shoes and at this rate I would need a new pair every 4/5 months. Note that the same design shoe is now £56 as it's last years model so there seems a lot of profit taking before quality building to me.

I was being a bit harsh there Brian. Sorry.

Running shoes are predominately functional. They continue to work effectively way beyond cosmetic considerations. its a shame they get so dirty and that (especially with breathable mesh uppers) that holes appear.

I tend to wear the uppers out long before the soles and since I use an off the shelf (cushioned) inner sole I get inordinate use from a pair of shoes.

As for price. Us old hands wait until the shoes are last years model and get them massively discounted from online retailers. Helps to know your exact shoe size though.

I wouldn't worry that your shoes might fall apart. Unlikely. Almost indestructible.

Saw an ultra distance runner with shoes he'd run about 5000 miles in. Looked like a pair of open sandals. More hole than shoe. They still worked.

22/03/2013 at 20:07

RicF no offence taken - seems that most people are happy with the lifespan and now I know what to expect I can set my expectations acordingly my problem is I like all the expensive stuff.

22/03/2013 at 20:09
Brian Slack wrote (see)

 I am stuggling to think of anything else I would pay £100+ for and only expect it to last 6 months or less.

A hookers services?


cougie    pirate
22/03/2013 at 20:13
Are they pink ?
22/03/2013 at 20:58
cougie wrote (see)
Are they pink ?

No red although pink for the next pair i think, they were the olympic team shoes but looks like they lasted about as long as our olympic legacy 

22/03/2013 at 21:13

He's 'ard enough to wear pink. Respect

28/03/2013 at 09:56

Manufacturers are really motivated by getting the weight down, an extra 10g would make all the difference to longetivity by extending the toe guard back a bit but may see sales drop where people jump to a lighter brand.  Inov8 are a nightmare for this!

I used to wear my shoes in exactly teh same spot before I changed my form, I reckon it's caused by lifting your big toe on push off.

Loads of miles left in them though, although they do look a bit scrappy. I'd take them back anyway if i got them from an Adidas outlet or other big store; you usually get a good responce.

28/03/2013 at 10:16

I did try but apparently running 10/15 miles a week is quite a lot according to Sweatshop and they also don't recomend running in adverse weather conditions (yes that did wind me up)

Edited: 28/03/2013 at 10:17
28/03/2013 at 11:11

I think quite clearly the Sweatshop staff are bull shitting you.  10/15 miles per week as a lot is laughable and you can't run in the rain?  Why not?  Are Sweatshop what they were?  I would go else where and get your gait rechecked.

Sports direct now own a 25% share and I've noticed the range of shoes has been cut, when I asked if they could order me in a shoe that wasn't in their range I was told no, even though they stocked that make.  Sports Direct are very much a JJB Sports type outfit and that's the quality of staff you're likely to see in the future.

In terms of wear and millage it varies from make to make and runner to runner.  An efficient light runner can get 1000+ miles from a shoe.  I get about 300 from nike and 500+ from Asics but I prefer the Nike's.

I've holed the uppers in a couple of pairs of shoes (both Asics) and both times it was because big toe nail needed cutting.

In terms of w&t even though the cushioning has gone at 300 the soles and uppers always look pretty good so I put them through the washing machine and car boot them at £10 a pair.  I buy online when reduced except when it's a model I haven't used before I rarely buy the latest model .

Bottom line is you've had the shoes for months and they're getting up towards 300miles.  You have learnt something about sweatshop though.

But to answer your two questions.


Probably not

28/03/2013 at 11:38

Silly question: would you get more life out of your shoe uppers by clipping your toe nails more often?

(I'm just about to put my 990th mile into a pair of Nike Zoom Elite 5...)

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