I had a pair of casual sneakers I wore for three years. In the second year I started playing soccer and running in those sneakers.
The only reason I stopped wearing them was because the hole near my pinky was getting bigger and the ventilation it received was not fair on my other toes.
I then started running regularly and used a pair of entry-level running shoes for a year.
During that period, I ran three marathons and a couple of half marathons.
My aspirations of running my first Comrades Marathon were nearly crushed one year when I suddenly felt a sharp needle-like pain on the arch of my foot during a 60km run.
I had run in those shoes so much that the inner soles had my imprints. As my toes and heels dug deeper into the sole, the arch on my foot started touching the sole, causing me pain.
I had used them for a year, for both training and racing. I was told that the general rule of thumb about the lifespan of running shoes is six months or 600-800km. That equates to two running shoes a year and about R3 000 from my pocket.