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Why Rotate Your Running Shoes?

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Running shoes rotation

Rotating running shoes is a practice that is often recommended for runners.  There are several reasons why this is beneficial, including reducing the risk of injury, making shoes last longer, matching a particular type of shoe to the type of workout and optimizing performance in each run.

Reduce Risk of Injury

One of the primary reasons to rotate running shoes is to reduce the risk of injury, studies have found up to 39%.  Rotating your shoes ensures that they provide the cushioning and stability they should.  The cushion in the soles need time to decompress.  By swapping shoes, you also prevent a single pair of shoes from losing their cushioning and stability properties.  These properties are important to reducing the load on the joints, muscles, and ligaments.

Make Your Shoes Last Longer

To be more accurate, another reason to rotate running shoes is to delay their end-of-life.  Running shoes last between 300 to 500 miles.  This depends on several factors such as how heavy you land, the surfaces you run on, the frequency of your runs, and whether or not you rotate your shoes.  Rotating your shoes can help extend the time before reaching 300 to 500 miles.  When the cushion in the soles do not decompress anymore, the wear on the soles is excessive, or the soles are askew, it is time to throw them out.

Matching the Optimal Shoe to the Workout

Finally, rotating running shoes can optimize your performance in each run by customizing the shoe used for the run.  For example, you might use lighter weight shoes for speed workouts and heavier, more supportive cushioning shoes for long runs.  For trail runs, you may opt for a trail running shoe which is more rugged and has more stability and traction on rugged terrain.  Including a variety of well-fitting, comfortable shoes will help you create a beneficial running shoe rotation.


In conclusion, rotating running shoes is a practice that can provide many benefits for runners.  It can reduce the risk of injury, make shoes last longer, and optimize performance in each run.  If you are a regular runner, consider creating a running shoe rotation to take advantage of these benefits.

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