How Many Steps Does It Take to Wear Out a Pair of Sneakers?

Yesterday, I noticed that my sneakers looked particularly worn out. Moreover, I noticed a significant hole in the left one. I discovered this hole while passing through a puddle. The insides are fairly worn as well, as are the bottoms. I took note of this mostly because it felt like I’d just purchased these shoes.

I don’t buy new shoes often, and I usually allow them to wear down. But this seemed unusually fast. It turns out that, time-wise, it was pretty fast, but wear-wise, these shoes have been through a lot, thanks to my daily walking.

I checked my Evernote timeline and found the receipt for my shoes, purchased on September 24, 2013, just under 6 months ago. I then checked my FitBit data and discovered that, in that six month period, I have walked nearly 1.84 million steps into these shoes. That’s about 900 miles worth of walking, day in and day out. If you consider that, on days where I can’t get my usually walking in, I only manage about 4,000 steps in regular activity, then you can see that these shoes would normally last me well over a year. But I tend to put between 15,000 – 20,000 steps a day in and so the wear and tear happens much faster.

My receipt from September indicates that I paid $64 for this pair of shoes. From that number, and the number of steps I’ve taken since, you can calculate some interesting rates. For instance, on a per-step basis, I paid 1/3000th of a cent per step. Looking at it another way, you can say that it costs me 7-cents to walk one mile in these shoes.

I am, of course, on the market for new shows. I’m looking for sneakers that are great for walking and are very comfortable as well. And if I can make them last to 2 million steps, then all the better. Any suggestions? Drop them in the comments.


  1. I have been a devoted Sketchers fan for most of my adult life. I’ve actually purchased the same shoe twice because they continued to make it and the original lasted me 5 years. They seem to fit the way I need them to and whether I’m looking for something for a workout or casual day around the office, they deliver it every time.

  2. I’m a big fan of New Balance sneakers and walking shoes. It’s the only brand I never have to “break in.” They fit well and perform well right out of the box. I’m currently using a pair of what they call “country walkers” (I’ve had them for a couple years) that are awesome. No blisters, no shinsplints, incredibly comfortable and supportive, and they’re waterproof besides. Highly recommended.

    1. Erin, I’ve almost always used New Balance, but I’ll have to check out the country walkers as they sound like what I’m looking for. Thanks for the recommendation.


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