When do you replace your shoes?

Wondering when/ why people replace their shoes?

Ive had the same set of shimano xc90s for about 4 years now. theyre pretty beat up, but still seem to 100% function. Of course, im into biking so naturally im always looking at new gear. So wondering if most people ride shoes until they completely fall apart/break or if you just replace them on a certain schedule just to do it, or if theres any benefit to replacing shoes that still function.

also looking for suggestions on mountain shoes. looking at the xc7s mostly as an “upgrade” now that this years come with 2 boas, after last years single boa xc7 got bad reviews. anyone have any experience with scott mtnb shoes?

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Road bike shoes last for ages - especially if you have carbon soles and don’t walk around in your cleats…I do find the upper stretches over a few years and doesn’t hold the foot as well. Both my main pairs (Giro) are 3-5 years old and I don’t anticipate replacing them any time soon. If you mtb I would imagine they need replacing more often as you are off/on carrying the bike a bit more.


A team mate of mine is a long time friend of Dave Simmons (Simmons Racing) who makes cycling and skating shoes/boots. He is a former pro inline skater and gets custom shoes from Dave which are basically a mold of his foot made in carbon. I don’t know how he does it but you can see every little imperfection of my buddy’s foot in the carbon.

If you want an efficient power transfer from foot to shoe to pedal, the shoe that moves around the least will be the best. The heel cup needs to keep the heel in place for max sprint power.

I’m just parroting what my buddy said and don’t have data. I’ve been riding around 10k miles/year for years and what I’ve experienced is the uppers will stretch enough in a year or two to necessitate new shoes for me. The carbon is perfectly fine but, the uppers are the issue. Lastly, a custom set of orthotics is worth the money…cheers.

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When they fall off your feet! :stuck_out_tongue:

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i think it’s reasonable to upgrade every 2 seasons. They definitely seem to lose some oomph if you’re using carbon soles and with shoes being a contact point and taking a lot of stress, you don’t want to wear them if there getting deformed. Just my thought!

Good luck!


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MMM way to often lol. I sorta have a problem buying new shoes. With that said I like the feel of a new shoe vs a worn in shoe. So I might go a year with a shoe I wear all the time. I actually ended up buying a set for just the trainer then two sets I take to races incase something happens to a set.


I have an 8 year old pair of giro empire shoes that are still going strong. Do I want new shoes? Of course! Do I need new shoes? Nope! This is all going to depend upon you, your shoes, and how much you abuse them. I just replaced the heel pads in my giro empires so I’ll probably have enough 8 years in them.


If theyve got replaceable heals/toes they almost last forever. My shimanos without are in commuting use now are almost needing replaced after something like 9 years and a lot of miles.

I’ve got 12 years old Shimano M182 with carbon sole, two velcro straps and a ratchet strap. The inside is still in good shape.

I used to only ride a few 100’s km per year and only increased distance and time on the bike since last year so the shoes haven’t been used that much.

I don’t plan on changing as long as I’m comfortable, the straps and the materials hold. I have large feet and have difficulty finding shoes that fit perfectly. Those shoes are a perfect fit with thin socks. If I wear thicker socks, the shoes get cramped and uncomfortable.

A carbon sole and straps (velcro, ratched, etc) are very important to me. The carbon sole makes it hard to walk but it’s much better when on the bike. The laces are bothersome. They take longer to put on and are harder to tighten perfectly. I’ve got another pair with a rubber sole and laces and I never wear them.

The only time I wished I did not have carbon soles is when I had a flat and forgot my saddle bag with the tools and spare tube at home. I could not see me walking 10 km home with those shoes and barefoot would have been painful and cold. I had a phone and was able to get a friend to pick me up.

I’ve only upgraded when I had to. It’s nice going with a known entity that you know feels good and don’t have to worry about fit or different cleat placement landmarks.

First pair, had carbon soles and the heel cups wore away after 12 years and were dangerous at that point. Couldn’t replace the heels. Next pair were the same (got them for free) but the Velcro straps fell apart after re glueing multiple times. Only lasted two years (they were used but same brand as the first).

I think with shoes specifically it ain’t broke don’t fix it. Switching brands can be so annoying and take forever to get dialed in.

After a 14 years long career (last 6 months indoor) it was time for retirement.


Probably too often. Looking for new equpuipment is an expencive hobby.

I have off-road spd pedals on all my bikes. Annoyingly, they rely on a tight fit between the sole lugs and the pedal - when the sole wears, the cleat sits lose in the pedals, and dis-engaging becomes difficult. I haven’t yet found a solution to this, so have a couple of otherwise perfectly fine shoes that I just can’t use anymore.

Suggestion to the sole-wear problem welcome…

A high quality pair of road shoes can in theory last for a very long time. I actually have 3 pairs in rotation, 2 of which are identical models and 1 pair is a higher spec, stiffer and more breathable. There comes a point where they just get stale and smelly from all the accumulated sweat cycles. For me that’s usually after 3 or 4 years and often by then there are some newer models to consider. They don’t actually seem to wear out much at all. I ride flat MTB shoes (FiveTens) and those seem to last me a few seasons too, although they do a lot less mileage than my road shoes.

depends on the mileage.

training 700-800 hours a year (my 20s) – new shoes every other year, or every year if there was some shop sponsor discount

training 600-700 hours a year (30s, 50-53) – new shoes every three years, maybe every two.

training 500 hours a year of less (since 53) – every three to four years.

I have kind of funky feet (wide metatarsals, long flat arch, narrow midfoot), so even with insoles no stock shoe really fit me well (I always wanted to saw some Carnacs and Sidis in half, and stick the Carnac toe box on the Sidi midfoot and heel), and I went to custom shoes in '95 when I found out about some US makers. Given the cost of custom shoes, I’ve always tried to wear mine as long as I can. When they’re shot for the road, I caulk them up and use them on the trainer.


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I have these and they’re pretty good. Boas decent at tightening down a fair bit without pinch points.

My very first spd shoes were MO88 which I think are the entry level shoe from the same generation as your XC90s. If fit between those was similar then be prepared for the new XC7s to feel REALLY wide by comparison. I’m still the same size and my foot doesn’t slide around or anything but it is a completely different fit.

I think they only have a partial carbon sole so they’re stiff but still walkable - that’s why I bought them. Big fan of my RX8 gravel shoes but they’re a bit too stiff for extended walking and the rubber is hard enough to be sub-optimal on hard wet surfaces (fit is somewhere between the old MO88 and the XC7). The XC7s flex just enough to walk in all day and the Michelin rubber is nice and sticky for wet rocks and urban use - they’re my bikepacking and commuting shoes.

I’ve got a 7 y.o. pair of Shimano road shoes that are still in great conditions. I only recently replaced them because I wanted one pair of shoes for everything (i.e., I switched to SPD pedals for all my bikes).