How To Clean Running Shoes

To clean running shoes, remove the laces and insoles, then wash them with mild soap and water. Scrub with a soft brush and let them air dry.

Cleaning running shoes regularly not only improves their appearance but also prolongs their lifespan. By following a few simple steps, you can effectively remove dirt and grime from your favorite pair of running shoes. We will guide you through the process of cleaning your running shoes to keep them looking fresh and performing at their best.

So, lace up your shoes and get ready to learn how to give them the TLC they deserve. Let’s dive in!

How To Clean Running Shoes


Importance Of Cleaning Running Shoes

Keeping your running shoes clean is essential for several reasons. Clean shoes can extend the lifespan of your shoes, maintain hygiene and prevent odor, and keep them looking good. Neglecting to clean your running shoes can lead to a build-up of dirt, sweat, and bacteria, which may result in quicker shoe wear and an unpleasant odor.

Extend The Lifespan Of Your Shoes

Regularly cleaning your running shoes can help extend their lifespan by removing dirt, dust, and debris that can cause premature wear and tear. By keeping your shoes clean, you can prevent the accumulation of grime that can degrade the materials and weaken the structure of the shoe. This maintenance can help you get the most out of your investment in a quality pair of running shoes.

Maintain Hygiene And Prevent Odor

Cleaning your running shoes helps maintain hygiene and prevent odor caused by the accumulation of sweat, bacteria, and dirt. By regularly removing debris and bacteria, you can minimize the chances of fungal infections and other foot-related issues. Additionally, keeping your shoes clean can help prevent unpleasant odors from developing, ensuring that your shoes remain fresh and comfortable to wear.

How To Clean Running Shoes


Preparation For Cleaning

Before diving into cleaning your running shoes, taking the necessary steps to prepare them is key to ensuring a thorough cleaning process.

Remove Laces And Insoles

Start by removing the shoelaces and insoles from your running shoes. This will allow you to clean all parts effectively.

Brush Off Excess Dirt

Use a soft-bristled brush to gently remove any excess dirt or debris from the surface of your running shoes.

Hand Washing Method

When it comes to cleaning running shoes, the Hand Washing Method is a gentle yet effective way to keep your shoes looking fresh. Below, we detail the steps involved in hand washing your running shoes to ensure they stay in great condition for longer.

Use Mild Soap Or Detergent

Choose a mild soap or laundry detergent for hand washing, avoiding harsh chemicals that can damage the materials of your shoes.

Scrub Gently With A Soft Brush

Gently scrub any soiled areas on your shoes with a soft brush to loosen dirt and grime without causing damage.

Machine Washing Method

The machine washing method is a convenient way to clean your running shoes effectively. Here are some steps to follow for machine washing your running shoes:

Check Care Label And Shoe Material

Before tossing your running shoes into the washing machine, check the care label and shoe material for any specific cleaning instructions. Some running shoes may not be suitable for machine washing and might require special care.

Place Shoes In A Mesh Bag

To protect your running shoes during the washing cycle, it’s recommended to place them in a mesh bag or a pillowcase. This will prevent the shoes from getting tangled and also help maintain the shape of the shoes.

Drying And Storage

To clean running shoes effectively, it is crucial to properly dry and store them. This ensures that the shoes remain in good condition and smell fresh for future use.

Air Dry Shoes

After cleaning your running shoes, it’s crucial to allow them to dry properly before storing them. Air drying is the best method to ensure that your shoes retain their shape and functionality. Find a well-ventilated area, preferably outdoors, to dry your shoes naturally. Important: Make sure your shoes are in a clean place, away from any dirt or debris that could attach to them while drying.

Avoid Direct Heat Sources

While it may be tempting to speed up the drying process by using direct heat sources such as radiators or hairdryers, it’s best to avoid these methods. Direct heat can cause damage to the shoes by warping the materials or causing them to shrink. Instead, allow your shoes to dry naturally at room temperature to prevent any potential damage. Patience is key in preserving the quality and lifespan of your running shoes. Tip: If you’re in a hurry and need to dry your shoes quickly, try stuffing them with crumpled newspaper or paper towels. This will help absorb moisture and speed up the drying process.


Once your running shoes are fully dried, it’s important to store them properly to maintain their shape and condition. Here are a few tips for storing your shoes:
  1. Keep them in a cool, dry place: Avoid storing your shoes in areas with high humidity or extreme temperatures, as this can affect the materials and integrity of the shoes.
  2. Use shoe trees or inserts: Inserting shoe trees or rolled-up newspaper into your shoes helps them maintain their shape and prevents them from creasing.
  3. Keep them away from direct sunlight: Prolonged exposure to sunlight can fade the colors and weaken the materials of your shoes. Store them in a shaded area or use opaque shoe boxes.
  4. Store them upright or flat: Depending on the available space, you can store your shoes vertically or horizontally. Keep them in a way that minimizes pressure on the sole and keeps the shape intact.
How To Clean Running Shoes


Frequently Asked Questions For How To Clean Running Shoes

Can I Wash My Running Shoes In The Washing Machine?

Yes, you can wash your running shoes in the washing machine. However, make sure to remove the insoles and place them in a separate laundry bag to avoid damage.

How Often Should I Clean My Running Shoes?

It is recommended to clean your running shoes every 4-6 weeks, depending on how frequently you use them. Regular cleaning helps maintain their performance and durability.

What Is The Best Way To Dry My Running Shoes?

After cleaning, let your running shoes air dry naturally at room temperature. Avoid using a dryer or direct sunlight, as high heat can deform or shrink the shoes.


To sum up, keeping your running shoes clean is essential for their longevity and your comfort. By regularly cleaning and maintaining your shoes, you can ensure that they continue to provide the support and performance you need for your runs.

Follow the tips in this post to maintain clean and fresh running shoes for an optimal running experience.

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