How to Clean Running Shoes: Step-by-Step Guide

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If you are a runner, then chances are that your running shoes have become dirty. Let’s face it, running shoes take a beating and they need to be cleaned from time to time. This is why we have created this step-by-step guide on how to clean your road running.

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How Often Should I Clean my Running Shoes?

One of the most common questions that we receive is “how often should I clean my running shoes?”. The answer to this question depends on a few factors, including what type of climate you live in and how many miles per week you run. Here are some general guidelines for cleaning your road running shoes:

  • If you living in a cold climate, it is recommended to clean your running shoes every 50-75 miles
  • If you living in a hot and humid climate, you should probably wash them every 30-50 miles. In general, if the weather is hot and humid then you will want to keep your road running shoes as fresh as possible.

When Should I Clean my Running Shoes?

We recommend that you clean your running shoes as soon as they become dirty or smelly. This way you can save time and money as well as extend the life of your road running shoes.

Materials Needed to Clean your Running Shoes

  • Mild soap or detergent
  • A soft brush (old toothbrush) to remove dirt from small areas. Consider using a soft-bristled paintbrush for large areas.
  • Towel for drying shoes after washing them out with water and allowing the shoes to dry overnight.

Cleaning Shoe Outsoles

To clean your road running shoe outsoles, simply use a wet towel or soft brush to remove any dirt. After this step has been completed you will want to dry the outsole of your shoe with an old towel or some paper towels.

Cleaning Shoe Uppers

To clean the exterior of your running shoes, start by using warm water and a soft brush or towel. You can use some mild soap if desired but make sure to rinse off with clear water afterward to avoid suds from building up on the surface of your road running shoe uppers. After this step, you may want to use a dry towel or paper towels to remove the excess moisture from your road running shoe uppers.

Cleaning Laces

To clean your running shoe laces, simply soak them in a sink or bowl filled with warm water and mild soap. Let the shoelaces soak for about five minutes before removing them from the soapy solution. After this step has been completed you will want to layout these road-running shoelaces on an old towel until they are completely dry.

Cleaning Interior Material

To clean the interior material of your road running shoes, you will need to remove the insole from your shoe. This is done by loosening or removing any laces and then slipping out the insoles with ease. After this step has been completed you will want to use a soft brush or old toothbrush to get rid of any dirt on the interior material. You can then clean out any small crevices with a wet towel and mild soap.

Cleaning your Running Shoes with Baking Soda

After you have completed the above cleaning process, consider baking soda as a natural way to remove any lingering odors from your road running shoes. To do this, simply sprinkle some baking powder on an old towel or rag and then place it inside of each shoe overnight. This will ensure that your running shoes are fresh and clean the next time you head out for a run.

Cleaning Running Shoe Insoles

To clean your running shoe insoles, simply start by removing them from the shoes. After this step has been completed you will want to wash these insole inserts with mild soap and warm water before allowing them to air-dry overnight.

We recommend that runners replace their shoe inners every six months or after 400-500 miles have been put on them. In general, if an insole is dirty then it’s time to clean it out with a damp rag or towel.

Drying Running Shoes

After you have completed all of your cleanings, it is important to allow your running shoes time to dry overnight. You can use a towel or old rag to soak up any excess moisture from the outsoles and then leave them out in an open space until they are completely dry.

If you live in a cold climate, it is recommended that you store your running shoes in a shoe sack or box for extra protection against the elements. If you live in an area that is warm year-round, consider leaving them outside to dry overnight so that they can breathe while drying out completely.

What to Avoid When Cleaning Running Shoes

  • Avoid using bleach, harsh chemicals, or solvents when cleaning your road running shoes. These types of heavy-duty cleaners can damage the material and reduce the life span of your road running shoe uppers. Some of the above-mentioned cleaners can also reduce traction on your outsoles, which is obviously not something that runners want to risk.
  • Avoid using hot water when cleaning road running shoes as it can make materials like mesh and synthetic leather shrink or warp. This will cause these areas to become loose over time making them less resistant against wear-and-tear.
  • Avoid using abrasive cleaners on road running shoes because they can strip away the color and finish of your shoes over time. This will also reduce traction which is obviously not ideal for runners who like to run in all types of weather conditions or surfaces year-round.
  • Avoid using silicone spray to clean road running shoes as it can damage the material. This will cause your road running shoe uppers and outsoles to become less resistant which makes them more prone to wear-and-tear or water damage over time.
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FAQ

Q: How often should I clean my road running shoes?

A: In general, runners will want to clean their road running shoes every three months or after 400-500 miles have been put on them. This is a great way of keeping your new footwear fresh and bright for years to come.

Q: Should I dry my running shoes out in the sun?

A: Avoid drying your road running shoes in direct sunlight because it can damage materials like the mesh on uppers. Sunlight exposure will also cause colors to fade over time, which is something that runners don’t want to risk when purchasing new pairs of kicks.

Q: Can I use baking soda to remove stains on my running shoes?

A: Yes, you can use baking powder to help with removing tough stains that might be stuck in your road running shoes. Simply sprinkle some of the powder into each shoe and then leave them out overnight so that it has time to soak up any odors or grime. After this has been completed, simply take them out and allow them to air-dry overnight before allowing the baking soda residue to fall off of your road running shoe outsoles with a water hose.

Q: What do I need in order to clean my road running shoes?

A: You will need mild soap, warm water, a towel or old rag, a shoe sack or box for storage purposes, and newspaper to place underneath your road running shoes while you are cleaning them.

Q: How do I clean out dirt from mesh or synthetic leather-lined road running shoes?

A: A wet towel is a great way to remove any excess debris on these types of road running shoes. We also recommend using a brush or old toothbrush to get rid of dirt in small crevices on these materials.

Q: How often should I replace my shoe insoles?

A: Shoe insoles for road running shoes typically need to be replaced every six months or after 400-500 miles have been put on them. If an insole is dirty then it’s time to clean them with a damp rag or towel before allowing them to air-dry overnight.

Q: How do I dry my road running shoes?

A: It’s important that runners allow their road running shoe uppers and outsoles plenty of time to breathe once they have cleaned them. You can use a towel or old rag to soak up any excess moisture from the outsoles and then leave your shoes out in an open space overnight until they are completely dry.

Q: What should I avoid when cleaning road running shoes?

A: Avoid using bleach, harsh chemicals, solvents, hot water, or silicone spray when cleaning your road running shoes. These types of heavy-duty cleaners can damage the material and reduce the life span or traction on your outsoles over time, which is obviously not something that runners want to risk while training in their footwear.

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