My shoes break frequently and easily:

Broken heels:

enter image description here

Broken soles:

enter image description here

Is there any way to avoid these different types of wear and tear? Is there a way to increase durability of footwear?

I've tried insoles and different types of tapes - but they all seem to slightly delay issues rather than actually fixing anything.

Any ideas?

  • 1
    Apart from the footwear quality itself, it may have something to do with the way you walk. If you drag the soles and/or heels they will wear must faster than if your walking style is to "pick up your feet", so that there is minimal scraping on the ground. See How can a walking style be changed? It is possible to change your walking style - I know because I did so after I damaged one foot. Feb 4, 2022 at 19:23
  • Can you comment -- in the question -- if they are relatively cheap shoes or not?
    – Martin F
    Feb 5, 2022 at 0:30
  • 1
    shoes, like everything else, get worn when you use them, so wear and tear is inevitable. Many shoes can be re-soled, talk to your local cobbler, or to the manufacturer of your shoes.
    – njzk2
    Feb 5, 2022 at 16:24
  • It usually takes me about 6 months of general use in the city to wreck a pair of shoes like that. Hard surfaces destroy the soft rubber soles.
    – Separatrix
    Feb 7, 2022 at 8:36
  • @WeatherVane unless a walking style is causing physical issues like pain or excessive local fatigue, I'd be wary of trying to force something different. That's not to say never do it, but do it with care and thought
    – Chris H
    Feb 7, 2022 at 15:50

3 Answers 3


Good quality shoes

Good quality shoes will hold long. My trekking shoes with Vibram soles are in a very good state after about 5000 km. Much cheaper (but also lighter) Decathlon shoes can hold about 1000-1500km before they start to soak because of tear (nevertheless, the soles are still in acceptable condition.

Cheap shoes from bazaar are cheap because they're made of poor quality material. Poor quality rubber will tear and break very fast.

Shoes and weatherproof jacket are the only parts of hiking equipment you shouldn't save on. Everything else can be a cheap crap and still hold for years.

  • 1
    (A cheap pack may cause way more effort than it is worth, what with being uncomfortable or having straps fail on the trail.)
    – Jon Custer
    Feb 4, 2022 at 17:44
  • 1
    (I was let down by a cheap tent on the very first night). Feb 5, 2022 at 0:01
  • 5
    [insert Sam Vimes quote on boots here] Feb 5, 2022 at 0:33
  • 1
    and the extremely timely and relevant "Vimes Boot Index": theguardian.com/books/2022/jan/26/…
    – njzk2
    Feb 5, 2022 at 16:18
  • 1
    Note that the distance you get out of soles will depend a lot on the surface on which you are trekking. I've had Vibram soles last over 5000 km and I've also worn through them in less than 1000 km. I personally buy boots that can be resoled. I have one pair that is on their 6th pair of soles. I'm not sure my orthopaedist agrees it's a good idea to use boots for so long, but they sure are comfy and I know exactly what to expect out of them. Feb 6, 2022 at 8:11

How to avoid footwear wear and tear?

For what it is worth, you would do good as previously recommended to wear good quality shoes.

Something else I suspect plays a part in all this is the amount of time the particular pair of shoes have been on the shelf so to speak before someone has purchased the shoes in question. Look for the manufacturing date before buying them.

I can buy a pair shoes at one store for about the third the price of the same shoes at other stores. But what I have notice by personal experience, is that the shoes deteriorated rather quickly.

Personally it pays to obtain shoes where the turnover is more common. Shoes will normally have been manufactured more recently. Some stores I now avoid if I want good manufactured shoes.

With all said and done there is no one perfect answer to your question.

The average person can not alter the way they walk, without much training, but we can treat our shoes in order to avoid some wear and tear, but not all.

  • It is not true that we cannot alter the way we walk. We can learn to alter or improve our gait. Look how military training can convert the bearing and walking style of its recruits. From say, a despondent shuffle to a purposeful clean stride. Feb 6, 2022 at 9:21
  • Asking what, "Good quality shoes," are on Outdoors @ SE would be off-topic, wouldn't it?
    – Mou某
    Feb 8, 2022 at 15:48
  • @Mou某 Asking for brands or models certainly, yes. But one could ask more generally for the advantages of certain aspects for specific tasks (leather/synthetic, light/heavy, low ancle/boot, ... for trecking, mountaineering, long-distance hiking etc.) I'd not be surprised if a question in that direction already exists, though. Feb 10, 2022 at 9:39

In my experience walking on concrete, asphalt roads destroys the soles the most. That and combo of draggin them. I mostly do longer hikes and I have to use concrete, asphalt roads from time to time between locations. If you accidently drag the sole on such a hard surface, the profile wears much faster. In my opinion you shouldnt wait to get such tear as in first photos. Less profile means less traction and could be dangerous. Shoes with less profile also mean less walking confort, feet will probably hurt even more.

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