when is it time to switch your gear

When is it Time to Switch Up Your Gear?

By Fara Rosenzweig

As an active person, you probably put a lot of miles on all of your gear, from braces to athletic shoes. Like anything that you use a lot, these items need to be replaced sporadically. This ensures that they work properly and provide you with the right amount of support.

Not all your gear will need to be replaced at the same time. Use the following guidelines to ensure you're always replacing your equipment before it gets too worn out.


It's important for all athletes to replace shoes at the right time. A worn out shoe means there is less support, especially in the sole and on the sides. The American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine says to replace your shoes after:

  • 300 to 500 miles of running
  • 45 to 60 hours of any other activity such as football

If you're not keeping track of your mileage or hours, look for signs of wear such as unevenness when on a flat surface or severe creasing in the fabric.

Ankle Brace

To replace your ankle brace really depends on how active you are. If you play two to three seasons of sports a year—football in the winter and long-distance running in the summer—you should replace it once a year. If you're only occasionally active, you can use your brace for up to two years.

As with athletic shoes, look for signs of wear and tear to decide if you need to replace it sooner or can keep it longer.

Knee Brace

Knee braces need to be replaced nearly as often as ankle braces. If you wear it every day, watch for signs of wear and tear, and replace as needed—likely once a year, at least. If worn only for sporadic sporting events, you can likely keep it for up to two years.

All of these items provide support and to be effective, they need to be working properly; when shoes or braces are worn out, they can't serve their purpose. Check to make sure the equipment is in good shape, and replace more often if you are active on a regular basis.