How Long Do Racquetball Shoes Last: Know Your Shoes

by | May 29, 2022 | Shoes, Tips

The apparent time to replace your racquetball shoes is when they begin to lose their shape, have holes and cuts, lose bounce, and become less supportive. However, the actual time it takes for a pair of good racquetball shoes to wear down varies on several factors of its material.

Besides, players’ weight and frequency of use contribute to the durability of a shoe. For instance, lightweight shoes tend to wear out faster than their heavier counterparts.

However, knowing when to replace your racquetball shoes is as important as understanding how to choose a well-fitted pair of shoes. A worn-out shoe compromises your movement and might lead to injuries. This article looks at crucial factors that indicate a racquetball shoe needs replacement and why you should change your racquetball shoe. Let’s scroll down to learn more.

When You Should Change Your Racquetball Shoes

When you start feeling discomfort in previously comfortable shoes, it could be time to replace the shoes. A worn-out shoe compromises your gameplay. For instance, the typical tennis shoes are made flat with more treads on the outsole, keeping the features suitable for more jumping and running. On the other hand, racquetball shoes are heavy, with more cushion inside to increase shock absorption. But in both cases, there are some symptoms when changing the shoes, including losing control, grip, traction, and comfort.

However, if there are no significant signs of bad shoes, you should not wear the court shoes for 50-60 hours if you are a frequent player. Or you can count on a pair of shoes to wear for 4 to 6 months.

Apart from that, here are other factors to consider:

Check the Appearance of Shoes

Examine the different parts of a shoe carefully. Detached soles, rough seams, broken arch support, cracks and tears over the toes, and loose stitches are signs of worn-out shoes. Moreover, other signs to watch out for are fading, ruggedness, and slanting when placed on a flat surface.

Check the Outsole of the Shoes

The outsole is usually gum or rubber. A highly diminished outsole cannot offer traction to support mobility. If you see that the outsole is compressed into the midsole and has no tread marks, consider getting a new pair of shoes.

Hard courts consume rubber outsoles faster than indoor courts. Check for worn-out tread patterns or one side wearing down more than the other, causing the shoe to slant. This can increase the chances of injuries such as ankle rolls.

Check the Midsole of the Shoes

A compressed midsole is undoubtedly a sign that you need a new pair of shoes. Usually, the midsole is a thick section beneath the midfoot and the heel. This area cushions and stabilizes the foot, allowing it to absorb shock from the strong forces of walking and running impacts. Due to its foam structure, it compresses with time. 

Noticeable thinning, compression, and creases in the midsole mean your shoes offer little support, stability, and cushioning.

Check the Comfort

Indeed, new shoes feel very comfortable, and that’s how a shoe should feel. However, after some time, discomfort creeps in. It’s time to replace them. When the comfort level drops, some design elements are worn out. Do wait until niggles start creeping back – do something earlier.

Check for Holes, Cuts, Bruises

Cuts, holes, and bruises on your racketball shoes’ uppers or outsoles can alter a shoe’s functionality. Of course, you don’t want to appear in a racquetball match with your toe popping out of your shoes. Any sign of a cut or hole should prompt you to buy a new pair immediately.

Use of Hours

Experts agree that an average midsole lasts between 45 and 60 hours. After 60 hours, they start to lose their bounce. But this depends on the frequency of playing, the type of court, and your weight. For instance, if you play racquetball once a week, the shoe might last a year. Even so, if you frequently play like every other day, your shoes can last 6 months, and you should replace the shoes after this period.

Racquetball Shoes, balls

Why You Should Change Your Bad Racquetball Shoes

Playing racquetball in worn-out shoes is unacceptable because it negatively affects your movements on the court. You need to wear highly functional shoes for the following reasons:

Avoiding Injury

Worn-out racquetball shoes will ultimately cause injuries. For instance, worn-out tread patterns result in low traction. So, you won’t be able to brake or make turns when you need to. This is accompanied by dangerous sliding.

Similarly, uneven outsole wear causes the shoe to slant, which increases the chances of ankle rolling or twisting.

Holes and cuts on the shoe uppers can cause parts of your feet, e.g., toes, to pop out of the shoes. This increases the likelihood of soreness, blisters, and other injuries.

Improving Performance

New racquetball shoes offer better performance than older shoes. Such shoes have better traction, allowing you to brake and sprint when you want. Besides, the bouncy midsole dampens the shock generated by steps you make while running or walking on the court. This capability is usually reduced with an increase in mileage.

One study shows that after 50 miles, a shoe loses 25% of its shock absorption abilities, and after 250–500 miles, it loses about 50% of its ability to absorb shock. Also, if a shoe has motion control capabilities, you will be more in charge of your movements in new shoes than in old ones.

Increasing Confidence

New shoes look nice, and you will feel comfortable playing in them. Remember, you get an improved posture with the right shoes, which can complete your outfit. Besides, you can play with confidence when you know that you control your movements.

How Long Do Racquetball Shoes Last

Most racquetball shoes are designed to last between 6 and 12 months. However, how long a shoe lasts depends on how you use it. Your shoes can last more than a year with less frequent and reasonable use.

Keep in mind that different shoe parts wear out at different rates. For instance, the midsole begins to wear out after 300 to 500 miles of running or walking. This is the equivalent of about 45 to 60 hours of racquetball play. So, after 60 hours of use, replace your shoes. 

How Often Should You Change Racquetball Shoes

The answer to this question depends on many factors. However, experts recommend that you replace your racquetball shoes after 300 to 500 miles, 6 to 12 months, or 45 to 60 hours, whichever comes first. You’ll need a tracker to check the mileage.

But if you are an aggressive player, you’ll find yourself replacing your racquetball shoes more quickly than moderate players. Similarly, if you are heavier, you exert pressure on the shoes, which wears them out much faster. 

What Factors Determine Racquetball Shoes Lifespan

Whether or not you use your racquetball shoes, they’ll go bad. Of course, your shoes will wear out much faster when you use them. This section looks at factors that affect the longevity of your shoes. 

Regularity of Use

How often you use your shoes is key to determining how long they will last. For example, your racquetball shoes will likely last longer if you play only an hour a week. But if your training or playing sessions last more than 10 hours a week, your shoes will wear out in less than six months.

Taking Care

Like any other racquetball equipment, your shoes need good care; otherwise, they will go bad much faster. It’s one of the most crucial tools that determines your playability and performance. Moisture causes bacteria and mold growth, which breaks down the shoe material. 

Similarly, dust causes a shoe to look old as the color fades, while exposing it to the sun causes it to stiffen. This can cause crumbling.

So, ensure that you clean your shoes thoroughly after use. Do not dry them in direct sunlight. To keep the moisture away, use desiccants like silica pouches or gels. Also, how you store your shoes is very important. Do not stack the shoes on top of each other. Instead, place them on a rack that allows unrestricted airflow. 

Style of Playing

If you are an aggressive player, your shoes will wear out much faster than moderate players. This is because aggressive players like to dominate the game, making several moves faster than their opponents on the court. If you are one of them, this puts a strain on your shoe, causing it to wear out much faster. 

Material of Shoe

The best racquetball shoes have pretty durable gum soles. Nevertheless, the uppers are made from several materials such as leather, suede, mesh, or synthetic materials. Mesh uppers are less durable than leather uppers. So, if you want a shoe that lasts longer, choose a leather upper, but you will be sacrificing breathability and lightweightness.

Quality of shoe

The quality of a shoe depends on the material and technology it was designed. Any shoe developed from high-quality materials will last longer than a shoe made from inferior materials. Plus, the excellence of insoles, midsoles, outsoles, cushioning, and uppers confers a shoe.

How to Increase the Lifespan of Racquetball Shoes

The best shoes for playing racquetball can be expensive, meaning replacing them is often costly. To avoid such costs, you must take good care of your shoes to increase their lifespan. Here is how you can boost your shoes’ lifespan:

  • Regular Cleaning: Clean your shoes regularly by hand and use an appropriate method based on the shoe’s material. For instance, for fabric uppers, use a washcloth, water, and mild soap. You can also spot clean to remove stains. You will find care instructions on the tongue; follow those to avoid inaccurate washing.
  • Use Absorber: Stuff some newspaper in your shoes when they are at rest. This hack absorbs moisture, which can cause dry rot when left unattended. Also, it prevents foul odor and maintains shoe shape.
  • Store Safe: Do not stack shoes on top of each other as it might cause injuries. Similarly, keep them away from direct sunlight as it will cause fading. Neatly line your shoes in a dry, dark place. Also, you can pack them in a hotel-style shower cap, especially when carrying them around. This prevents staining or being pieced together by your rackets.
  • Wash Manually: Machine washing is not always harmful, but try to avoid it as it can damage the canvas, general shoe construction, and gum. Besides, use the dryers less. 

How to Track Distance

When you track your shoe’s mileage, you will know the right time to replace them. This way, you avoid discomfort or injuries that come with worn-out shoes.

Here are two techniques to determine time:

  • Doing Manually: Manual time mileage tracking means that you record the number of hours you wear your shoes per day. In this case, you may need a timer to be somewhat accurate with the timing. First, know your running and walking speed using the timer, then track and record your playing hours. The downside of this method is that it is inaccurate and time-consuming.
  • Using Smartphones and Apps: You can use apps to keep track of how many miles you have put on your racquetball shoes. This way is easier and almost as accurate. The apps work for smartphones (both Android and iPhone) and smartwatches. Different apps work slightly differently. For instance, some allow you to track several shoes, while others can only allow a single shoe at a time.


How Many Miles Do Racquetball Shoes Last?

An average racquetball shoe can last between 350 and 500 miles. You can calculate it using a smartphone or smartwatch app to get the precise time your shoe will last. Alternatively, you can record the estimated miles you run on a track.

Final Thoughts

Make a habit of replacing your racquetball shoes for safety and playability. When they begin to lose the bounce or traction you are used to, it’s time to shop for a new pair. Likewise, if you feel more discomfort in your feet and ankle soreness after a game, think about getting a new pair.

At the time, you may not have noticed these signs. Experts recommend replacing your shoes after about 45 to 60 hours. However, it’s worth noting that many factors determine the longevity of your shoes. Therefore, properly use your shoes to give them a better lifespan.