How Many Steps in a Mile, Solved

By , Your very own step calculator!

There Are Two Ways to Figure Out How Many Steps Are in a Mile

Hi there. If you’re checking out this page, you’re probably looking for a way to figure out how many miles you need to walk to get in your 10,000 steps or 15,000 steps in a day. Sure, you could use one of those “how many steps in a mile calculators” you find online, but who knows how accurate those are? Wouldn’t you rather figure out how many steps you walk in a mile with a proven, mathematical formula, based on research?

We thought so. Plus you'll get the health benefits that come along with walking more!

There are really two ways to figure this out. Note that these options are good for working out how many steps in a mile walking, but the formula is a little different if you’re trying to calculate your running pace.

The Quick Option: Use the Mile Formula

This isn’t the most accurate way to figure out how many steps in a mile, but it will give you a good, general benchmark. For those of you who don't want to do the math, we made the chart below for all heights between five and six feet.

Find your height in the first column, and your average number of steps per mile in the last column!
Height Height (Inches) Stride Length (Inches) Stride Length (Feet) Avg. Steps Per Mile
5' 60 24.78 2.07 2,557
5'1" 61 25.19 2.10 2,515
5'2" 62 25.61 2.13 2,474
5'3" 63 26.02 2.17 2,435
5'4" 64 26.43 2.20 2,397
5'5" 65 26.85 2.24 2,360
5'6" 66 27.26 2.27 2,324
5'7" 67 27.67 2.31 2,290
5'8" 68 28.08 2.34 2,256
5'9" 69 28.50 2.37 2,223
5'10" 70 28.91 2.41 2,192
5'11" 71 29.32 2.44 2,161
6' 72 29.74 2.48 2,131

But for you to understand how we came up with the numbers in the chart above, you should go through the math to see how it works. We'll use my height--six feet even--as an example.

1. Measure Your Height in Inches

I’m six feet tall. There are 12 inches in a foot, so I’m 72 inches tall.

2. Calculate Your Average Stride Length, the Other Way

Multiply your height in inches by 0.413. This fraction is a number that figures out average stride length when multiplied with your height in inches. Now take that number and divide it by 12 to convert your stride length back to feet. (For me, it looks like this: 72 inches x 0.413 = 29.736 inches per stride. 29.736 inches/12 = 2.478 feet per stride. Or I could even make the math easier by rounding up to 2.5 feet per stride. :))

3. Determine How Many Steps It Takes You to Walk a Mile

Divide the 5,280 in a mile by your average stride length in feet. (Again, for me: 5,280 feet /2.478 feet = 2,131 steps per mile.)

Keep in mind that your stride length can change based on your speed, whether you’re walking up or down hill, and the terrain you’re walking through (your stride on pavement will be much longer than your stride while walking through a mud puddle), but both of these formulas give you a way to approximate the number of steps you take in a mile.

The Accurate Option: Determine how many steps you take in a mile with a little math.

1. Measure Your Steps

Lay out a tape measure on the ground and measure how many feet it takes you to walk 10 steps. Don’t be too self-conscious and try to make your steps even; walk at your regular pace so you can get the most accurate step count for how you normally walk the distance of whatever 10 steps means for you.

2. Calculate Your Average Stride Length

Divide the total distance it took for you to walk those 10 steps by 10. (So the formula is:  distance/10 = average stride length in feet.)

3. Determine How Many Steps It Takes for You to Walk a Mile

There are 5,280 feet in a mile, so you would divide 5,280 by your average stride length in feet, which you got from the previous step. (The total formula is: 5,280/average stride length in feet = the number of steps you take per mile.)

It’s that easy! Not bad, huh?

How Many Steps in a 5K? Let’s Check the Numbers.

To figure out how many steps are in a 5K, we use the same formula, but instead of using the 5,280 feet in one mile, we use the 16,368 feet in 3.1 miles, which is the mile equivalent of a 5K. If you factor in the correct number of feet, your formula to determine how many steps you take in a 5K would be—and again, I’m using myself as an example—16,368/2.478=6,605 steps in a 5K.

How Many Steps in a 10K? It’s Easy to Figure Out!

To calculate how many steps are in a 10K, we use the same formula, but instead of using the 16,368 feet in a 5K, we double that number and use 32,736, which is the number of feet in the mile equivalent of a 10K. So the formula is (using my height): 32,736/2.478=13,211 steps in a 10K. Or if you already had the 5K number, you could just double it.

If You Walk 10,000 Steps in a Day, How Many Calories Do You Burn?

This is a bit of a loaded question. We know that walking more can improve your healh. But there are a whole number of factors to consider when trying to figure out how many calories you can burn by walking 10,000 steps per day: how quickly you walk those steps, what the terrain is, if you walk your steps at your average stride pace, or if you run a portion of them.

It’s pretty hard to figure out exactly how many calories are burned, but the American Council on Exercise has a good benchmark to use: For every week you walk 10,000 steps per day, you can expect to burn around 3,500 calories. If you’re trying to figure out how many calories you burned walking four miles, or if you want to know how many calories you burned walking one hour, you’ll have to do the math.

Do keep in mind that this is just a benchmark number; to get a better idea of how many calories you’re really burning, you might want to consider buying a fitness tracker that gives you an idea of how many calories you burn while walking. Here are our favorites, and all of them sync with your SparkPeople account.

How Far Do You Have to Walk to Lose Weight? It Depends...

Sometimes our members ask us this question, and we don’t have an exact answer. We have written about this before, especially for people who are just beginning walking to get in shape, but the exercise you get from walking only is just one part of the package. After years of helping our members lose weight, we know that tracking what you eat is just as important as tracking how much exercise you get. That’s why we created an awesome tool for you to use that can track both your nutrition and your fitness: the SparkPeople mobile app. It’s free, it’s easy to use and our members love it. If you haven’t given it a try yet, what’s stopping you?

If you have any other questions for us, please go ahead and leave them in the comments below!

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