If you take your fitness and running seriously then you probably spend a serious amount on your running shoes. It’s all too easy to neglect looking after running shoes, so don’t worry you’re not the first person to do so.
But it’s not difficult to give your shoes a little TLC. Not only will you extend the life of your shoes, they will be a lot more comfortable, and you’re going to save a few bucks in the long run. So, do you really need any more convincing?
Here are a few steps to follow to look after your shoes and extend their life expectancy:
Store Your Shoes Properly
After a long run the last thing you are probably thinking about is storing your shoes somewhere safe. You’re exhausted and are probably thinking you will do it later. Later often means other shoes get thrown on top of them, people walk on them, they aren’t being aired out property, etc.
You need a well-ventilated place to keep your shoes that’s safe from other items being placed on top of them. Not matter how tired you are, place your shoes away safely after a run. Think about how many other items you own that are this expensive and important to you, how do you treat those items?
Dealing with Bad Odors
Possibly the number one complaint about shoes is that they smell pretty bad. Spraying deodorizer inside after every use is only going to mask the smell for so long. There are a few other things you can do, I recommend:
- Store your shoes somewhere well ventilated
- Remove the insole and air these separately
- Consider wearing thin socks if you currently run with bare feet, socks soak up a lot of sweat that will otherwise soak into your shoes
- Use antibacterial deodorizing sprays
Caring for your shoes in this way and keeping smells at bay are going to increase the life of your shoes. Not to mention having fresh smelling shoes is going to make everyone happy!
Cleaning off Mud and Dirt
You should always clean off mud and dirt after every run. Leaving mud to harden is going to cause damage to the fabric of your shoes and diminish how they perform. Good quality running shoes have a lot of breathable fabric to keep your feet cool, dirt build-up clogs up this material leading to hotter, sweatier feet.
Throwing your shoes in the washing machine is not the best idea. Use an old toothbrush or similar soft bristle brush to gently brush off all the surface dirt. Use some warm water and a little grease removing soap too if you’re dealing with some stubborn mud. Carefully air your shoes after and don’t wear again until they are completely dry.
Drying Your Shoes Safely
It’s worth covering how to safely dry running shoes in ways that will not cause them damage or to age prematurely. The golden rule here is to never use artificial heat. Placing your shoes on a radiator, or blow drying them (yes, some people do this) will cause the seams to loosen and the fabric stretch or lose its elasticity.
To dry soggy shoes after a run in wet conditions follow this simple three step process:
- Remove the insole and laces
- Pull the tongue forward and open up the shoe as wide as possible
- Place your shoes in a dry place with a gentle breeze
If it’s going to take a long time due to cold conditions and extremely soggy shoes then soak up some of the moisture with kitchen roll or an absorbent cloth of some kind. Don’t wipe, ring out, press, or handle your shoes in any way to try and force the moisture out. Allow your shoes to dry naturally and they will be just fine.
If you follow all the guidance above and take the best possible care of your shoes they will take good care of you and your feet. You can expect to get several hundred miles out of a good pair of running shoes. You also minimize the risk of injury by keeping your shoes in good condition, as well as improving your best performance on the road. So if you’re one of the many people guilty of neglecting your shoes, it’s never too late to start.