The average person's walking stride covers about 2 1/2 feet, according to the Walking Site, so each mile requires about 2,000 steps, meaning 10,000 steps equals about 5 miles. Stride length depends on the physical stature and condition of the individual, so 5 miles per 10,000 steps is an approximation.
The definition of a mile has changed many times throughout history. The word "mile" comes from the Latin word "milia," meaning "thousand." The Roman mile was called the "milia passuum," literally a "thousand paces," with each pace being two steps. The modern mile of 5,280 feet was first established as a standard by the English in 1593.