How to Clean Running Shoes to Keep You Going

Itching to know how to clean running shoes and make them last longer? Running shoes are intended to withstand intense outdoor activities and tough terrains. You rely on them to keep you going, and this means that they constantly get dirty. Although they aren’t high-maintenance shoes, they still require care and cleaning to make them last for long.

It is important to understand that although running shoes are durable, they are made of unique materials that require delicate treatment. Among these materials are the synthetic fibers, gluing processes, foams, and stitching—each of which requires elusive cleaning techniques to avoid damage and keep the integrity of the shoes.

The good news is you don’t need professional help to clean your running shoes. You can easily do it with materials and cleaning agents that are readily available in stores or in your home.

Cleaning Materials Needed

So, here are the materials that you need for cleaning your running shoes:

  • A used toothbrush or vegetable brush. Soft bristles will not damage the shoes.
  • A hose or utility sink
  • For insoles: mild soap or a mixture of water and baking soda. You can also use a water and vinegar solution; that is, one part of vinegar to two parts of water
  • For the upper part: mild soap
  • For shoes with breathable or waterproof parts, use a footwear cleaner because soap can cause damage.

How to Clean the Out-soles of Running Shoes

When you are cleaning the soles, you should invigorate the traction and make sure that you are not transporting foreign objects into them. Cleaning the out-soles is as easy as following these steps:

  1. Allow the outsoles to dry completely.
  2. Vigorously brush them with soft bristles.
  3. For stubborn dirt or mud, run water onto the outsoles, rinse, and scrub the corners and nooks to remove the dirt.

How to Clean Running Shoes’ Upper Part

Cleaning the uppers of a running shoe starts with removing the laces. You can place them inside a mesh sack and throw them into the washing machine and run them on a gentle cycle. Never place the shoes in the machine because it can damage them.

You also need to detach the liners or insoles but do not put them inside the washing machine. Use a brush with soft bristle to remove dirt and dust from the uppers. Do it by pouring water and mild soap solution onto it. After that, rinse it with running water thoroughly.

How to Clean the Insoles

The insole of running shoes is prone to odor-causing bacteria. It is the part that gets a lot of sweat, so regularly cleaning it is very important. You can use any of the three agents: mild soap, water and baking soda paste, or vinegar and water solution. Scrub the insoles, rinse them with clean water, and allow them to air dry.

How to Dry Running Shoes

Drying the running shoes is the easiest part of the cleaning process. However, make sure that you do it the proper way or else the shoes might get damaged. Never dry them inside a dryer or any machine with high temperature as it can garble their shape.

To dry the shoes correctly, you do the following:

  1. Put the shoes in a place where there is low humidity and mild temperature. Place it near or in front of an electric fan to dry it more quickly.
  2. As an alternative, you can also stuff the insides of the shoes with newspapers or paper towels. This is another technique to dry them quickly.

How to Make Running Shoes Smell Better

There are a few things that you can do to keep your running shoes smell better. Here are some tips:

  • Always wear socks. Without the socks, the sweat will get absorbed inside the shoes. Socks will accumulate the sweat and moisture that cause the unpleasant smell.
  • There are times that sweat passes through the socks and moisture accumulates in the shoes. Sprinkling foot powder will help absorb the moisture and reduce the possibility of developing odor-causing bacteria.
  • If you smell an unpleasant odor in your shoes, remove the insoles and clean them as prescribed above. You can basically clean them with water and detergent solution, wipe them with a water-soaked sponge, and allow them to air dry completely.

What Makes Running Shoes Last Longer

You might wonder how often you need to change your running shoes. The answer depends on how you treat them during and after use, and what type of runner you are. Some runners are heavy but run light, while others are lightweight but run heavy. You are lucky if you are one of the runners who run efficiently that your shoes last twice as the average runner’s shoes.

Another factor that makes the running shoes last longer is the material it is made of that matches one’s running style. Running shoes with simple or minimalist style can last for years for lightweight runners. If the same shoes are used by a heavy runner, it might last for only a few runs.

How to Make Running Shoes Last Longer

There are several tips to make your running shoes last longer. Among these tips include:

  • Own two pairs of running shoes and consider rotating them during the same season. This is because shoes also need to recover after long runs. With rotating two pairs of shoes, you can avoid overusing each pair and extend its lifespan. You can use one pair for short runs and quick workouts, while the other for longer runs or marathons.
  • Improve your running form. Keep your running style simple and rhythmical, and maintain a balanced line from your head to toe. Perfecting your form takes time and constantly being mindful of your running style. A well-balanced form will reduce the impact on your body and on your running shoes.
  • Do not store them in extreme environments such as too hot or too cold storage. Storing your shoes inside your car is not advisable as it might get too hot inside, especially during summer. Extreme environments can seriously damage the shoes.

Final Words

Running shoes can last for years as long as you treat them well. Properly and regularly cleaning them will not only expand their life but also make you feel more comfortable every time you use them.

Aside from learning how to clean running shoes, improving your running form and keeping them away from extreme environments will also make them last longer.

The Wired Runner