Nothing lasts forever. But this isn’t always a bad thing. When it comes to shoes, letting go of an old pair means you get to upgrade. When is it time to say goodbye to your current kicks and slip into a new pair?

In general it is always a great idea to refresh your footwear at the beginning of a new school year, the start of a weather season, or when entering into a new work environment. But often the shoes themselves will let you know that the time has come to refresh what’s on your feet and invest in a new set of kicks.

Excellent foot health, great posture, speed and agility on track and trail, and productivity at work and school all have one thing in common – they start with a great fitting pair of shoes. Is it time to update your size? Over time, you might experience shifts in your shoe size of a half size or more. Whether you’re a kid adjusting to the latest growth spurt, or an adult with a new lifestyle or routine, your shoe size might have changed. Check in to make sure you’re still the size you think you are. A great pair of shoes should always feel comfortable and gently supportive, with room to flex your toes.

Next, there are some easy ways to check if normal wear and tear has taken a bite out of your shoes. Do your shoes lean? Set them on a table and look at them from behind to see if they are standing up straight. If not, this may be a sign that the midsole has worn down. Is there any creasing along the sides or at the toe? Will the shoe twist too easily in your hand? If so, stability is no longer optimum.

Now let’s talk about tread. Have a look at the underside of each shoe. If the sole looks like a bald tire in places, you may not be getting the grip you need. Whether you’re out for a run or working in a slippery environment, traction is very important. Immediately replace any shoes that have worn out their ability to keep you from slipping and sliding.

Have your shoes gotten a smack-down from a heavy object? Your toe cap protected your toes like a bullet-proof vest. Awesome. But whenever your shoes receive a significant impact, inspect them to assess if they are still good-to-go for the next one. See if you notice any cracks, tears, or separations – if so, it may be time to get a new pair.

Finally, listen to your body. Do you notice any new aches or pains in your feet, shins, or lower back? These symptoms could indicate that your shoes’ cushioning is no longer operating at full strength.

Of course, changing fashion plays a role in your shoe buying schedule. Whether you’re starting a new chapter in your life or just switching up your threads, a new pair of shoes can really help you express who you are. To slow down wear and tear and give yourself options, many people buy a couple pairs and then rotate them. That way, you’ll know your foot needs will always be covered.

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