When to Replace Cycling Shoes? 3 Signs to Watch Out for

When to Replace Cycling Shoes: My old Force cycling shoes vs. new Fizik shoes

Every cyclist asked this question at least once. The answer may seem obvious, and it kind of is, but if your budget is tight, you may be tempted to wear your cycling shoes as long as possible.

There is nothing wrong with that. I wore my first cycling shoes for more than four years – but honestly, they looked terrible.

But, you shouldn’t forget that your safety and comfort are no less important.

So, when should you replace your cycling shoes?

In this article, you find out.

You also learn valuable tips on maintaining your cycling shoes to last longer and much more.

When to Replace Cycling Shoes?

Below, I list the three main reasons to buy new cycling shoes.

1. They Start to Fall Apart

The first reason to replace cycling shoes is when they start to fall apart. Here are a few examples of when you should consider buying a new pair:

  • The sole separates itself from the upper.
  • The closure mechanism stops working and can’t be replaced.
  • The heel pads are worn out and nonreplaceable.
  • The upper is damaged.
  • The shoes or its parts like the heel cup are deformed.

A worn-out insole is not an issue because you can buy one of these cycling insoles to improve your comfort.

The same applies to laces, ratchets, or dials that are relatively easy to replace. Unfortunately, replacing Velcro straps is difficult because they are sewn to the upper.

Mountain bike shoes are the most prone to damage because of the rough terrain mountain bikers ride in. Rock strikes, mud, water, and other elements – cause damage and shorten the shoes’ lifespan.

The second most ‘prone to damage shoes’ are gravel bike shoes. This is also because of the terrain and walking segments gravel bikers encounter.

Road cycling shoes tend to last the longest because roadies often ride on smooth tarmac and don’t damage their shoes by walking in terrain.

2. When You Find a Really Good Deal

You can find good deals and discounts during Black Friday – Cyber Monday, and other shopping holidays.

Here is an example of a good discount on the popular model of Shimano SH-RC7 road bike shoes.

Discounted Shimano SH-RC7 road bike shoes at jensonusa.com
Discounted Shimano SH-RC7 road bike shoes at jensonusa.com

The general rule is that the most popular sizes and colors sell out the quickest. The non-standard sizes and less popular colors are harder to sell. Therefore, merchants discount them.

Keep in mind to always double-check the historical price of a product. Sometimes, the deal may seem advantageous, but it is not.

3. You Ask Yourself This Questions too Often

If you ask yourself “When to replace cycling shoes” too often, it is probably time to replace your current shoes.

They may be either in a desolate state, or you simply want to buy new shoes that you like.

Destroyed Force road cycling shoes
My first pair of cycling shoes after multiple years of use (they “survived” multiple crashes)

For example, my first cycling shoes were perfectly functional, but they looked terrible. I was ashamed of wearing them, so I bought a new pair.

The important thing is if you can afford to spend money on new shoes or not. If you can’t, don’t worry and save a little bit longer.

Replacing Cycling Shoes FAQ


Replace your current cycling shoes when they:

  1. Start to fall apart (broken closure system, damaged upper, broken sole, etc.).
  2. You find a great deal on new cycling shoes and you have money to spend.
  3. You ask yourself the question “When I should replace my cycling shoes?” too often.

I hope you find this article with tips on replacing and maintaining cycling shoes helpful.

What criteria do you use to decide when to replace cycling shoes? And how do you maintain your shoes to last longer? Let me know in the comments below.

If you plan to replace your current cycling shoes but would like to learn more about the options on the market, check out my cycling shoes guide.

Take advantage of the following roundups if you know what shoes to buy.

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