How to Clean Running Shoes
- If you’re a trail runner or a road runner who sometimes ventures off pavement, then dirt-caked outsoles can compromise traction.
- If your shoes’ uppers are perpetually grimy, particles of dirt and grit can work their way into the mesh and fabric, grinding away like sandpaper.
- If your shoes’ funky odor is beginning to offend even you, that can mess with your mojo.
- An old toothbrush or an old vegetable brush—soft bristles are the key.
- A hose or utility sink.
- For uppers: a mild soap or, if the shoes have Gore-Tex® or another waterproof/breathable membrane, use a specialized footwear cleaner because soap or detergent additives can gum things up.
- For insoles: a mild soap, a paste of baking soda and water, or a solution of one part vinegar to two parts water.
Cleaning Running Shoe Outsoles
- Let the outsoles dry completely.
- Give 'em a good, hard brushing (a brush with stiff bristles is OK to use).
- For stubbornly caked-on dirt: Grab a hose, then rinse and scrub until all the nooks and crannies come clean.
Cleaning Running Shoe Uppers
- Remove the laces. (They can be placed in a mesh bag and run through the washing machine on a gentle cycle.)
- Remove the insoles/liners.
- Use a brush to gently remove dust and dirt from the uppers.
- Scrub them with a mild soap and water solution (or Gore-Tex-friendly cleaner).
- Rinse your shoes thoroughly with clean water.
Never put shoes in a washing machine because it can damage them.
If you have shoes with a waterproof/breathable membrane, this is a good time to renew the fabric’s waterproofing.
Cleaning Running Shoe Insoles
- Choose your potion: Whether it’s the mild soap, the baking soda/water paste or the vinegar/water mix is a matter of personal preference.
- Scrub them, rinse them and allow them to air dry.
Drying Running Shoes
- Place shoes in a place that has a mild temperature and low humidity.
- For quicker drying, use a fan.
- You can also stuff newspaper or paper towels into the shoes to speed drying (change the paper whenever it becomes damp).
Never put shoes in a clothes dryer or near any heat source—high temperatures can distort their shape and weaken their adhesives.