It can be tough to figure out when to retire your fitness gear, simply because we get so attached to our things, and also, active wear gets EXPENSIVE! But these things don’t last forever, and sometimes, we have to say goodbye.
So, when is it time?
When your shoes look like this:
Shoes have a life of about 400 miles. Maybe you can get away with six months if you’re not putting tons of miles on them, but that’s about it. Yes, it seems like a short period of time, especially when you consider the price, but when the rubber, gel, or other cushioning starts to break down, your shoes no longer benefit you. In fact, old shoes can lead to aches, pains, and even injury, so don’t let them linger in your collection too long.
When your sports bra pads do this:
I don’t even know what you would call this condition, but it’s definitely time to retire your fitness gear when it happens. Sports bras are another item with a shelf life of about six months: the saying is that they should never celebrate a birthday with you. Again, solid, supportive bras can be pricey, so it stings when they wear out, but new bras are much more comfortable for working out.
When you can’t get the stink out.
After a certain point, no amount of cleaning hacks can neutralize the odor in workout gear. Stripping, special detergents, vinegar, and other techniques do their job for a while, but when you can smell your fitness gear even after a good wash, you should consider kissing it goodbye.
When your spandex gives up the fight.
Ever go for a run or workout session and spend the entire time pulling your tights back into place? Just me? Spandex quits in its own time, and when it does, there’s no refreshing it. It’s a pain in the butt to keep adjusting your clothes when it happens, so just let those pieces of fitness gear go, literally.
When things get hole-y.
Even your favorite socks have to go sometimes. There isn’t necessarily an expiration date on socks, but over time, they will get saggy, baggy, and, yes, hole-y. It’s always disappointing to say goodbye to your socks, but once your toe starts sticking through, or your shoes start eating them during runs, it’s time to retire them from duty.
Other signs you’re ready to retire your fitness gear?
- Chafing in places that never chafed before
- Blisters from slipping socks and shoes
- Compression no longer doing it’s job
- Electronics that keep glitching or no longer hold a charge
When do you decide to retire your fitness gear?
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OMG, the spandex one made me LOL. I hold on to sports bras longer than I should. I demote my running bras to yoga/cycling bras which don’t need to work as hard. 😉
Lisa @ Mile by Mile says
I’m really bad about retiring my gear- especially sports bras! I do replace my shoes regularly since I can really feel when those get worn out.
Zenaida Arroyo says
6 months for a sports bra? Wow, I’ve had mine for YEARS. For my clothes I swear by SportSuds. It is truly the best to keep my clothes smelling nice and clean.
Renée @runlaugheatpie says
omgosh all of these!!! reminds me that I really need to retire a few items… my compression tanks have *nothing* left in them yet it’s such a habit to just put one on!!
Deborah Brooks says
Ha cute! I don’t think most people replace their sports bras often enough! Sometimes I see ladies out there running and well, it just looks painful to watch!
The worst thing about old fitness clothing isn’t that it stinks after washing. It’s that it makes me stink when I sweat in it!
I track my shoe mileage in my Garmin app so I know when it’s time to retire them.
Electronics glitching yes! That I’ve had to do.
Most of my running tights, thankfully, hold up for years. Although one of my fav pairs ripped & I was so sad.
I guess I’m blessed with socks, too, I’ve never worn a hole in the toe box. Everyday socks tend to wear out at the herl, though!
I’m good about all of these EXCEPT the bra. I throw those pads away so there’s no indication of how old my bra is. That said, the last time I purged bras I tossed some that were around during the O’Bama administration. Maybe that should be a runfession….
Darlene S Cardillo says
thanks for the reminders. I’m very good about the shoes. I wear them out often.
The other stuff not so much because basically I have too much!!!!
Erica @ Erica Finds says
The smell is usually the thing that gets me! I’ve had some elastic give up the ghost and stretchy spandex. Those shoes! Yikes! I rotate mine a lot so I don’t have any that look like that!
Kimberly Hatting says
I have a pair of capris that are too cute to toss, but they are ill-fitted. The youngest daughter bought them, and didn’t like their fit, so I inherited them. I think the waist is not “tight” enough (and not because they’re worn out), and they always feel like they’re on the verge of falling. I wear them on the bike, problem solved LOL
We spend so much money on our fitness gear that it’s hard to let it go! But can I say how much I loathe those bra pads? Why can’t they just sew them in place?
Beckett @ Birchwood Pie says
I must runfess that my favorite sports bra has started chaffing me, so I’m slowly weaning myself away from it. My sports bras have birthdays, but generally don’t start kindergarten. A few years ago I got some replacement pads on Amazon and that’s helped a lot to get extra life out of them.
Beckett @ Birchwood Pie recently posted…Weekly Eats: Pie Edition
Michelle D. says
I have definitely been guilty of holding on to an item too long – especially if there’s a sentimental reason.
Liz Dexter says
Great photos and good points!! I need to retire my walking trainers, after discovering they have no tread at all now!