Giving your running shoes a good wash is a worthwhile practice; running shoes aren’t high maintenance but they do require a little care to keep the muck and sweat from doing their worst.
Everyone has their own way of doing things, but we suggest handwashing so as to not damage the shoe.
Gather the supplies you will need:
- a soft brush (an old toothbrush works too)
- hose or utility sink
- mild soap or specialized running shoe soap
- for the insoles: mild soap and water, baking soda and water, or vinegar and baking soda.
Cleaning the shoe uppers:
- Remove the inner soles, specialty inserts (if you have them), and shoe laces. The laces can be placed in a mesh bag and run through the gentle cycle on a washing machine.
- Use your brush to remove dust and dirt from uppers.
- Scrub them with soap and water (use the brush for ground in dirt and debris)
- Rinse clean with the hose or in the utility sink.
Cleaning the insoles:
- There are a few options here, but choose one, grab your brush/toothbrush, and scrub:
- The same soap and water from the shoe upper scrub
- Baking soda and water
- Water and vinegar (two parts water and one part vinegar)
- Rinse and allow them to air dry.
Drying running shoes:
- Place shoes in an open area or outside.
- If a faster drying time is needed, use a fan.
- You can stuff newspaper or towels inside the shoe to speed up drying, but do not forget to change the towels/newspaper as it gets wet.
All of that and you still may be wondering – can’t I just put my shoes in the washing machine? You can, but the chemicals in both the detergent and the heat could break down or destroy your shoes. If that is your only option, we suggest cold water, the gentle cycle and no harsh detergent.
Whether you decide to hand wash or use the washing machine, never, ever stick your shoes in the dryer. It is too high of heat and can warp the shoes very easily. Air drying is always best.
(Pictures via https://www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/cleaning-running-shoes.html)