The average pair of running specific shoes costs about $120 USD. It is recommended that you replace your shoes every 300 miles or 500 kilometres. This means that it costs the average runner 40 cents to run a mile, or 24 cents to run a kilometer. ($120/300mi or $120/500km)
At the risk of plagiarizing an existing 3rd grade math textbook, let’s look at some case scenarios.
Susie runs about 5 days per week with each run averaging nearly 6 miles.
Total Weekly Volume: 30 miles
Replacement Cycle: 300 miles/30 miles per week= 10 weeks
Cost of shoes per week (assuming $120 per pair): $120/10= $12
Annual Cost of Shoes: 52 weeks per year x $12 = $624/year
Ron subscribes to a high volume training program and usually runs 6-7 days/week with an average daily running volume of 12 miles. He likes to Double Dip!
Total weekly Volume:~80 miles per week
Replacement Cycle: 300 miles/80 miles per week= 3.75 or ~4 weeks
Cost of shoes per week: $120/4= $30
Annual Cost of Shoes: 52 weeks x $30= $1560
Things to consider….
Now, if you were to rotate shoes on a regular basis some analysts say you could actually get more than the suggested 300 mi/500 km ‘warranty’ by allowing the cushioning in your shoes to take a day off to ‘rebound’ to full strength.
If you immediately starting thinking about how awesome it would be to rotate or swap your legs to allow for greater recovery, sadly, you are not alone. Adhering to regular self-myofascial release is as good as it gets for now.
Cost of Apparel
This cost per run does not factor in the cost of apparel, or time which would be very complicated for the very reason that Roe might run in his 25-year old fraternity sweatshirt, and Susie might wear an $80 dollar technical jacket that she replaces annually.
This Fuel for Thought was inspired after a 2-hour long run with the New Balance Silicon Valley training group when I realized that my 16 mile run cost me $6.40.
How much does it cost to drive a mile…in a Hummer? Is it less than 40 cents per mile?
About the Author: Chantelle Wilder is the Senior Editor and Co-Founder of Runners Feed. She also competes for the New Balance Silicon Valley Club in the Bay Area of California. When she isn’t running, or editing she can be found enjoying the fruitful wines of nearby Napa Valley while challenging her husband to a game of Bananagrams®.