How to Clean Running Shoes

28 Oct, 2021 | MNB TEAM


purple lorna jane running shoes freshly cleaned

Support your shoes like they support you!

You’ve invested in a quality pair of running shoes and you expect them to be by your side for the next couple of years at a minimum. Whether you’re hitting the trails or taking to the pavement, there’s no denying that running is hard on your shoes. Concrete, dirt and debris are harsh on a shoe’s fabric, wearing away at it over time.

Give your shoes the best chance at a long and fulfilling life by keeping them clean. How do you clean sports shoes at home?

We’ll show you just how easy it is.

What you’ll need to clean your shoes

Time and time again we hear the question- can I put my running shoes in the washing machine? We don’t recommend leaving the entire job up to your machine, however it will come in handy for part of the process. Don’t fret, cleaning running shoes is simpler than you think, and you only need a few key items that are likely already in your laundry cupboard.

You’ll need:

How to clean running shoes

  1. Start by removing the shoelaces and insoles of your shoes.
  2. Place your shoelaces in your wash bag and put them on a cold, delicate cycle in your washing machine.
  3. Using paper towels, wipe away any surface dirt or grime while your shoes are still dry.
  4. Next, mix around 15-30ml of your mild detergent in the bucket of warm water.
  5. Dip the scrubbing brush or toothbrush in the warm soapy water and begin to clean the outsoles. Rinse with a clean, wet sponge and repeat as necessary.
  6. Once the outsoles are clean, you can move on to the upper part of your shoes. If your shoes are fabric, mesh or canvas, you can repeat the above steps to clean. If the upper shoe material is leather, suede or nubuck, we recommend using cleaning products that are specifically formulated to clean that type of fabric.
  7. Next, clean the insoles with soapy water. To avoid damaging the foam and shape, don’t submerge your shoes in the water, just use the sponge to clean off the dirt.
  8. Once your shoes are cleaned, scrunch up some paper towel and place it inside the shoe. This will help to soak up any excess moisture. Place your shoes outside to air dry, avoiding direct sunlight.

Extra tip: Once your shoes are dry, give them a few coats with an eco-friendly waterproofing spray to protect them from future stains.

What not to do

How do you wash running shoes without ruining them? Avoid the following and increase the lifespan of your trainers.

  1. Don’t use bleach or cleaning products containing harsh chemicals. Treat your running shoes like you would the rest of your workout gear and only use a gentle detergent.
  2. Refrain from throwing your shoes straight in the washing machine. The fabric, foam and adhesives can become damaged if your shoes are soaked in water.
  3. Don’t toss your shoes in the dryer either! Heat can cause your shoes to lose their shape and deteriorate. Air drying is best, out of direct sunlight and avoiding radiators or heaters.

There you have it, piece of cake! Cleaning running shoes is simple. Follow the steps and give yours a new lease on life.

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