How long should trainers last? 1000 miles? 500? 300? Maybe it depends on the terrain, your gait, or other factors? Or if you’re running or walking? This is a question I’ve been asking myself recently, as my Haglofs Gram Trail Running Shoes, bought back in March for my allowed lockdown exercise, are already showing signs of significant wear. I know I’ve worn them quite a bit, but it has made me wonder whether this is normal.
My Haglofs Gram Trail Running Shoes
Let me start by saying I really do like my Haglofs Gram trainers. Genuinely. I bought them from SportsShoes.com for £45 (now out of stock, it was six months ago…) at the start of lock down. I specifically chose these as I wanted something that was light and comfortable for my lunchtime walks from my own front door, and that would also be good for low level trail walks and exploring towns and cities. You know, so the boots could stay at home.
They’ve absolutely fulfilled that need, and they when it comes to comfort, they were an excellent buy. I stand by their inclusion in my April Currently Loving post (which you can read here), in which I said the following:
These are the Haglofs Gram Women’s Trail Running Shoes, which I bought from SportsShoes.com, they are designed as a multi-function shoe, reinforced where you need support and with a very grippy rubber outsole. You could run in these if that was your think, but they are ideal for walking. They are a “nice-day” shoe in that they are not waterproof (by any stretch), but that means they keep my feet nice and cool and comfortable in the sunshine. I might still want to look at a waterproof pair of hiking shoes at some point, as something in between these and my hiking boots, but these are ideal for the kind of walking I’m doing at the moment, and I’ve been very happy wearing them every day since they arrived – if I’m not wearing those slippers I’m in these!From my Currently Loving | April 2020
This isn’t a post in which I intend to slag off these trainers, or Haglofs, however as you will read, they are wearing out at a pace I was not expecting.
Designed for trail running, with a mesh upper and grippy outsole, I had imagined that these trainers would last me, well, ages. At least a year, maybe more. Haglofs are a decent brand and I respect their credentials, but it does seem like these trainers are showing signs of age before their time. I chose trail runners specifically because I wanted something light, flexible, grippy, supportive, quick to dry, and easy to wear. And these have certainly ticked all those boxes.
How Long Should Trainers Last?
My question is, how long should a pair of trainers like this last?
A quick Google suggests that 300-500 miles and six months of daily wear is a good bet. Even though that sounds like a very small amount of time to me, it does seem to be the common answer on the internet.
I wore them almost daily to begin with, then alternated them with my KEEN Terradora sandals (read my recent review here) when the weather has been very hot, and waterproof shoes when the weather has been stormy over the last couple of months. I would therefore estimate in the last five months I’ve worn on 75 days, and let’s call it 4-miles a day (some more, some less), which is 300 miles. Give or take. The miles certainly add up fast!
Probably three-quarters of these miles will have been on tarmac, with the remaining miles across fields and along low-level footpaths, mostly on dry days but getting caught out in the occasional rain shower and muddy puddle. I always wear them with socks, wash them off when they’re dirty, and put them on/take them off properly. I should also say they are the right size (not too small), and they’ve not rubbed or been caught in anything. I’m not running in these, just walking, so not putting them through the stress of someone heading off on daily runs.
I’ve hit that advised replace-me-now 300-mile-mark, and I would say the signs of wear are indeed very obvious. I’ll be honest. I had no idea that they would wear out so fast.
While the cushioning seems fine underfoot, some of the lugs on the bottom of the trainers that keep you upright in muddy or uneven conditions have flattened, particularly where the ball of the foot strikes the ground.
On the right shoe, there is now a hole around my big toe. It’s about the size of my finger, and growing. At the moment it goes through the mesh upper layer, but the second layer of fabric is just about intact. The material at the ankle has also worn away, leaving the plastic structure exposed.
The left shoe is fairing better, but it is wearing in the same places. The material around the top of the opening is worn away, and the fabric on the inside of the trainer is about to wear through. There will be a hole on the big toe side within a few miles, it’s frayed and ready to go, but so far is holding on.
The trainers are still comfortable, but that hole on the left shoe is going to become a problem very soon as it’ll be bigger than my toes in no time.
I am very curious about this. Is this normal? Should a pair of trainers designed for trail running, only used for walking and on low level trails at that, really show signs of wearing out after 300 miles? Is the desire for squishy breathable comfort leading manufacturers to make footwear that doesn’t last very long? Or am I disappointed over nothing and this is the way it has always been?
I’ll carry on wearing my Haglofs Gram trainers until they fall off my feet, because I honestly do like wearing them. I don’t mind the scruffy look, that doesn’t bother me at all, and am more than happy to walk in these as much as I have been, but I am just a bit disappointed they’re wearing out so soon.
I wonder how long it’ll be before I have to part with some more cash and buy something new? Maybe this is a sign I should go back to something a bit more sturdy like a “proper” walking shoe, as I know that should last a bit longer. But then I would be compromising the lightweight and bouncy nature of these trainers that has been their biggest benefit. It’s hard to know.