When to Replace Cross Training Shoes

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Cross trainers are designed to give you maximum comfort, stability, and protection while exercising or participating in a sporting activity like basketball. Investing in a good-quality pair of cross training shoes can help you perform at your peak and improve your game. 

But sadly, even cross trainers have a lifespan and need to be replaced every so often. When should you replace your cross trainers? And what are the most obvious signs to look out for that you should do so?

Let’s find out exactly when to replace your trainers and look at a few ways to increase the overall lifespan of our cross trainers. 

Cross Trainers Lifespan: When should they be replaced?

Experts recommend replacing your trainers after about 100 hours of workout or exercise time. If you, like me, do not have the mental capacity to work that out, you can rather base your replacement on a six-month time frame. 

While cross trainers are manufactured using only the best materials to ensure comfort and protection, exposure to light, heat, water, and general use can wear down these materials and render the shoe ineffectual, resulting in injury and a lack of support. Before you rush out to replace your cross trainers, there are a few things you can look out for that will indicate that you need a new pair. 

5 Signs that your Cross Trainers Need to be Replaced

There are a few easy things to look out for to determine if your cross training shoes need to be replaced. This is helpful if you cannot remember how long ago you purchased your current pair or if you do not have a set workout schedule. 

Sign #1: Twisting

It must be replaced if you twist your cross trainer and it easily bends or twists. This is a sign that the outer and middle soles are wearing down. These provide stability to your feet and can cause injury when worn down. 

Sign #2: Sole erosion 

When the sole of your trainer is tatty or wearing thin, the midsole most likely is too. As mentioned above, the midsole is an important part of the trainer that provides the most stability to your feet and protects you from injury.   

Sign #3: Holes

Take note of any holes in the cross trainer’s rubber soles, fabric, or outsole. Holes can reduce the trainer’s stability and the protection it provides to the wearer. Cross trainers with holes should be replaced as soon as possible. 

Sign #4: Heel Firmness

Cross trainers have firm heels to protect your foot from possible injury or strain. When the heel of your trainer loses that firmness, it should be replaced. The loss of firmness can be from the middle or outsole being worn down. 

Sign #5: Discomfort or Pain

Sudden discomfort or pain when wearing your cross trainers is another sign that they are worn down and should be replaced. Blisters, callouses, and any other pain should be noted, and your trainers replaced as soon as possible. 

Photo of young athlete man while getting ready for crossfit training with dumbbells

Is it Possible to Increase the overall Lifespan of Cross Trainers?

A decent, good-quality pair of cross trainers can set you back a few hundred dollars. Replacing them every six months or so is not always possible. But is there a way to increase the lifespan of your shoes and possibly get a few more months out of them? The answer is a resounding YES! 

Here are a few handy tips you can follow to increase the lifespan of your cross trainers.

Tip 1: Clean them properly and regularly

Many people make the dreaded mistake of throwing their trainers in the washing machine for a good clean. This may seem like a quick and effortless way to clean shoes, but it can cause significant damage from exposure to heat and water. Cross trainers are designed to support the feet and protect them from injury, and the constant heat and exposure to water in a washing machine can cause your trainers to wear down a lot quicker. 

Instead, clean your shoes after every use by wiping them down with a soft damp cloth and a gentle liquid soap. Cleaning them after every use will reduce the dirt and sweat from building up and keep the fabric in great condition. 

Tip 2: Only wear them when needed

We all wear our favorite pair of shoes often, and the same goes with cross trainers. Thanks to their structure and comfort, you too might be tempted to slip them on with a pair of jeans while going to the supermarket or a barbecue. Cross trainers should only be worn when exercising or participating in the athletic activity they were designed for. This, too, prevents your trainers from wearing down and losing their efficacy. 

Tip 3: Store your trainers properly

Never leave your cross trainers in your gym bag. This damp environment is perfect for mold production and can cause fungal infections when worn. Instead, invest in a shoe rack and keep your trainers in an open environment out of direct sunlight. 

Tip 4: Always undo the laces

Hands up if you are guilty of just slipping your trainers off without untying the laces? So many of us do this, and this is one of the quickest ways to damage your shoe’s internal structures and insoles. Always untie the laces when removing your shoes, and retie them when you need to put them on. 


Cross trainers, like many other things in life, have a lifespan. While experts recommend that cross trainers be replaced every six months, this is not always possible. By taking note of the signs we have listed above, you can keep a closer eye on the condition of your cross trainers and use our handy tips on how to increase the lifespan and possibly eke out as much life as you can from your current pair of trainers. Just like Mom used to say, take care of your belongings; they are not cheap. 

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