How Long Do Shoes Last? When to Replace Your Shoes

Shoes are a necessary part of our everyday lives. They come in various styles and with many different uses from comfortable sneakers made for everyday use, to leopard print flats for a night on the town— the list goes on and on. When shoes are worn everyday, they get more sun exposure than those worn on special occasions or only a few days of the week.

Let’s face it, most people are creatures of habit, and there’s one pair of shoes that always seem to find our feet. That’s natural. The problem with this is that our favorite pair of shoes are worn so often that they tear up quickly or need replacing.

There’s only so much you can do by taking them to a cobbler, which is why people often wonder when is the best time to replace our shoes?

How long does the average shoe last?

On average, shoes can last from two to seven years depending on the quality and the way they are cared for. Many people wonder how long their sneakers or flats will last. If you are actively using these shoes, you’ll have to invest in a new pair faster than a pair that’s worn for fashion. Athletes who repeatedly wear sneakers to practice, exercise, or perform often reach a point where they need to consistently be replaced.

Other types of shoes can last for a while with proper maintenance. With well-crafted shoes you may need to only replace the insole and get them polished or have the heels replaced. Due to their high-quality construction, replacing your shoes will not be as frequent.

How You Can Make Your Next Pair of Shoes last 20 years?

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It all depends on the quality of the shoe. Cheap shoes will break down very quickly, especially if they are worn often. There are some shoes, however, that can last over 40 years. There’s something to be said about quality footwear brands.

When properly taken care of, good shoes can seem timeless, even if it means higher costs upfront. There are plenty of people who have shoes that have lasted for years. It’s all in the way you care for them, how they were made, and how often they are worn.

How often should you replace your shoes?

If you can refrain from wearing your favorite pair of sneakers or navy blue flats every day, you will add longevity to them. If you’re wondering how often should you replace your shoes, it’s important to think about a few things:


Again, the quality of a shoe is a huge factor when considering how often you should replace everyday shoes. Craftsmanship makes a difference, as well as style and type.


How are the shoes used and how often are they worn? Shoes that are worn everyday tend to break down more than shoes that are only worn from time to time. Sneakers and work shoes tend to get the most wear and tear. Having more than one pair of each will help keep the shoes in rotation, but not daily.


Shoes must be well-stitched to avoid coming apart. It’s also important to know what quality materials theshoes are made of and how they are constructed. Shoes with glued-on soles and cheap materials are guaranteed to tear quickly.


There are many stories of people who have put their shoes in boxes, only to find them rotted over time. Chances are those shoes weren’t well made and the moisture in the air contributed to their demise.

When should you throw away shoes?

If your shoes are affecting the way you walk or run, it’s time to get rid of them. Running shoes are recommended to be replaced after every 300 to 500 miles. What most people don’t know is that wearing old shoes that are worn out causes damage to the feet and back.

If you have shoes where the heel is run down, you should get them repaired. That’s because they are promoting bad posture since you’re being forced to stand at an abnormal angle. If you’ve decided to throw away shoes, a good idea would be to recycle them to support sustainable practices.

Recycling Shoes at Rothy’s

At Rothy’s, its our mission to make fashion circular. All our sustainable bags and shoes are created from recycled, marine-bound plastic but we didn’t stop there. The Rothy’s Recycling Program is great for the planet and your wallet.

Bring your ready-to-recycle Rothy’s to any of our store locations and recieve a $30 credit towards your next purchase. Together, we can close the loop.

3 Signs You Need a New Pair of Shoes

When you reach a point where your shoes show signs of wear and tear, you may want to consider replacing them if they cannot be repaired. Even with shoes that can be mended by a cobbler, there becomes a point where it would be cheaper to buy another pair.

three signs you need to replace your shoes

There are a few other indicators. If the sole of the shoe is worn to the point where you can see additional parts of the shoe, or when you place the shoes on a flat surface, they are uneven. Additionally, if the shoes have holes in them, especially around the toes, or the middle of the shoe starts having a lot of creasing, that means the shoes are losing their inner cushioning and won’t last much longer.

Some shoes wear out from too much sun exposure. It makes the material of the shoe dry and brittle, which starts tearing apart over time.

5 Ways to Make Your Shoes Last Longer

Every pair of shoes has different suggestions on how to care for them. Here are some suggestions on how to best take care of your shoes.

  1. Keep your shoes away from moisture

Moisture causes bacteria which results in shoes breaking down. That’s why you usually see silica bags in shoes. If you don’t have these bags, you can use newspaper to keep moisture out and protect your soles. Just remember to change the newspaper on a consistent basis.

  1. Use shoe trees

Some people think shoe trees are just a luxury item to have for people with big closets. This can’t be further from the truth. One of the reasons shoe trees are so effective is that they help keep the integrity of the shoe (natural texture and shape) intact. Shoe trees made with cedar can also help keep moisture away.

  1. Stay away from plastic shoeboxes

The sole of the shoe needs circulation. Plastic bags designed with breathable fabric are a much better choice.

  1. Keep your soles clean

Make sure you keep dirt and debris off the soles after wearing. Tap the shoes together and use a brush to get the dirt off.

  1. Clean white sneakers and soles

You can use a magic eraser or a solution of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda with a toothbrush for white or any colored sneaker.

How to take care of your Rothy’s shoes

Rothy’s shoes are made for wearing on a continuous basis. While all shoes run the risk of doing some damage or wear and tear, there are a few things you can do:

how to wash rothy's vegan shoes

Rothy’s Mission

Rothy’s takes pride in creating shoes that support sustainability through better materials, better manufacturing, and better products. The goal is to have our shoes serve a greater purpose by using recycled materials to support environmental sustainability. This keeps our footprint light and the people who wear our shoes as part of our quest for change.

Shoes will be around forever. It’s our way of life. They provide protection and comfort for our feet in various styles and designs. What’s most important is how to care for those shoes and our feet. Knowing when to replace your shoes, and how long a pair of shoes should last based on usage can save money over time. When you know how to care for your shoes, it makes things a lot easier. While some people have their go-to shoes of choice, this may propel you to put more selections into rotation.

Rothy’s shoes are completely vegan, made of single-use plastic bottles, algae-based foam, ocean-bound marine plastic, natural rubber, natural minerals, bio-based TPU, castor beans, hemp fiber, and Merino wool. Delivered in recycled packaging, we’re here to make a difference, one pair of shoes at a time.

Do you care about the environment and wear shoes that make a statement? For more information on our well-made vegan shoes, take a look at our collection today.