How To Know When Your Shoes Are Worn Out

Over wearing your favorite pair of shoes can cause major discomfort and even worse, injury.

Worn out shoes will have not as good arch support, ankle support, and can cause back pain.

New shoes are designed in a way to work together with your foot to help you walk in the most comfortable way possible. When shoes become worn out they do not work in this same fashion anymore.

The tread on the bottom of your shoe

Have you been noticing yourself slightly slipping or falling in your shoes?

The tread on the bottom of your shoes is a good indicator of how much life your shoes have left. The tread should be groovy and have pattern in it. 

If the bottoms of your shoes are completely flat and smooth you need to get a new pair.

Having no tread is just asking for an injury. And not a good one.

Separation of material

Shoes are held together by types of glues/adhesives and stitching.

Over time your shoes will start to come apart. One common place that shoes like to come apart is right where the toe part of the sole meets the upper portion of your shoes. 

This is also a hazard as you can trip over your flappy sole that has came apart.

Another place to look for separation is where the heel part of the sole meets the upper portion of the shoe.

Everywhere you have stitching on your shoes is possible to come undone. Do you have stitching coming apart? Hopefully you are good with a thread and needle, you might be able to work up some magic.

If your shoes are visibly coming apart then they are worn out and it is time for a new pair.

Inside of the shoes

Examine the insides of your shoes and check for things like materials breaking down.

Have you worn all the way through your insoles into the bottom of your shoes? It might be time for a new pair.

Holes anywhere on your shoes is a good sign you could use a fresh pair of kicks.

Just like the outside of your shoes, the insides also have stitching and glues that can come undone. The last thing you want is your foot blowing through the front of your shoe.


Just take a second and look at your shoes. Are they all deformed from wearing them for 5 years? Over time your foot puts a lot of wear and stretch on your kicks.

Whenever materials break down and get stretched they do not work as they should.

When your soles and insoles wear down it takes a very big toll on things like arch support and ankle support. 

After examining your shoes you may find that you walk on a weird part of your shoes. If you slightly walk on the sides of your shoes this will speed up the wearing down process. 

When you deform things like the sides of your shoes it takes away the shoes ability to provide you with ankle support.


Take a look at your shoes. Do they have holes? Are the bottoms slick with no tread? Do they fit like you think they should?

Using this guide with some basic common sense should be able to justify your decision to throw out that old pair of shoes.