How long should shoes last? Well, there are thousands of aspects that come into play, which affect the life of shoes. It can get confusing seeing the number of things that you have to keep in mind while predicting the answer to this question. Even after that prediction, accidents can happen, which can greatly affect how long your shoes would be usable.
In case you’re wondering about the aspects that play a role in the longevity of the shoes, they include:
A few variables related to the wearer, such as
- His/her Weight
- His/her Gait
- His/her Foot shape and size
- His/her Activities
- And other things that come into play are:
- What is the shoe made of?
- What was the age of the shoe when it was bought?
- What surfaces are the shoes going to be used on (hiking, office, exercise et cetera)?
- Weather conditions, such as humidity and temperature.
- How much are the shoes cared for?
- There are also other minor factors.
As you can see, there are many perspectives that need to be considered when trying to predict shoe life. The general estimate while considering each and every factor, at an average, is 300-500 miles. However, it is isn’t common practice to record the mileage on one’s shoes and usually, almost everyone underestimates the number of miles they have walked in their shoes.
Even when tracking the main use of the shoes daily (such as walks between home, office and the metro stations), many don’t realize that they use their shoes while running minor errands (like walking to the grocers) and other things. Once those little things are added it seems like a sensible decision to replace them.
However, this does not mean that all shoes have to be replaced after 3-4 months. The material of the shoes is a very big factor in how long should a pair of shoes last. It is, however, a fact that most people prefer shoes, which are light and flexible. Heavier, less flexible shoes are obviously more durable but they don’t fall in the comfort zone for a lot of people.
Here’s where the ‘back in my day’ dialogue would usually kick in. Around 10 or 20 years ago, it is true that shoes were more durable, but it is just because they were heavy and not flexible at all. And like every other product, shoes got streamlined for consumers. When shoe companies researched about what the customers wanted, flexibility was the answer they got.
However, lighter flexible shoes don’t last very long. It results in a typical ‘win some, lose some’ situation.
Well, you may be asking, how does one know whether a shoe has been through regular wear and tear or came defected and does not meet the prerequisite quality standards?
1. One should know that it is not about how much time the shoe lasted, what should be kept in mind is that mileage is the key factor in shoe life.
2. Shoes face wear and tear even when you’re not using them. Sitting at the office desk flexing your feet, or accidentally scraping the shoe against something, like a chair. Toenails can affect the roof of the toe box, and if they are tight, there is constant pressure on the seams.
3. The next thing is using them for a purpose other than what they are for, this is like using running shoes to play sports, or taking long walks in your office oxfords. All this puts pressure on the shoe, which it wasn’t designed to endure, resulting in a decrease in their usable life.
4. You get what you pay for. The budget shoes on the internet or in a clearance sale are usually defective or kept in storage long enough for them to be somehow damaged. The same could be said for the pair of shoes, which have been locked in the closet for too long.
5. Everyone has a different walking style, for example, some people hit their heels pretty hard against the ground, which can mean this part of their shoe can come off any day anytime in a matter of months. Some people put pressure on their shoe with their toenail when walking or running, which can also have an effect on the life of the shoe.
The main thing, as mentioned before, is the choice and preference of themajority of the consumers. People prefer to buy comfortable shoes, which gives their feet flexibility, regardless of whether they’re wearing oxfords or runners. To get the flexibility and comfort there has to be a sacrifice made on the durability of the shoes.
After all that, it depends upon how much the owner of the shoes, cares for the shoes. Things, such as kicking off your shoes instead of untying and removing them carefully and shoving your foot into them while wearing them can do a lot more than anyone thinks.
So the longevity of shoe varies with respect to a lot of things, from the person who is wearing it, to the brand which made it. From the price you’ve paid for it to the purpose, it’s going to be used for. Now you know how long should shoes last and the many aspects that come into play in determining shoe life.