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  • Writer's pictureLuke Nelson

When to replace your Supershoes?

How long do carbon-plated shoes last? In this blog, we discuss when it’s time to send your supershoes to shoe heaven.

It was originally thought that supershoes had a very short lifespan at 100-200km, but my personal experience & that of other runners is that they last much longer than that. There is a paucity of literature on the lifespan of supershoes, but a clever experiment by Dustin Joubert showed that the performance of a 400 km-old Alphafly was comparable to a brand-new one!

Here are our tips on when to retire your supershoes:

🔑Age: even if not using the shoe, the foam will deteriorate with time. However, in our experience, we’ve seen supershoes still perform well for upwards of 18 months with minimal usage in that time

🔑Visible outsole & midsole wear: because the outsole is quite thin, for some runners this can deteriorate quickly & start chewing through the midsole, sometimes exposing the carbon plate. If considerable wear here, then time to go!

💥Carbon plate snapped? Interestingly even if the carbon plate snaps, the shoe can perform just as well as a recent study demonstrated! (Healey 2022)

🔑Compare to a newer model at regular intervals: the loss of responsiveness in the shoe happens gradually over time & can be hard to feel. Comparing the old shoe to a replacement one can allow you to determine if the old shoe is still performing! If not worn before then, purchase a replacement shoe at 500km & compare every 50km to see if the older shoe has still got it!


FYI, these old original Vaporflys got to 771km before they were sent to shoe heaven 😇


Runners, what’s your experience on the lifetime of your supershoes? Let us know below!



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References

Healey LA, Hoogkamer W. Longitudinal bending stiffness does not affect running economy in Nike Vaporfly Shoes. J Sport Health Sci. 2022 May;11(3):285-292.

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