How To Clean Your Running Shoes The Proper Way


Running is a very engaging exercise and activity. You can get a lot of benefits if you include running in your repertoire of activities to promote health and fitness. Whether you see running as a professional or as a hobby, you will need some gear to become an efficient runner.


The most essential and probably the most important are the running shoes. However running shoes can get dirty when used over time and sometimes having dirty and smelly shoes can affect a runner’s motivation to run. Here are some tips on how to clean your running shoes.

The Benefits Of Getting Good Running Shoes

Shoes are important for runners. However, not everyone is willing to invest to get good shoes. Getting a good shoe is not enough as well. It should be just not any kind of shoe. It should be the right and good quality running shoes.

Using the right and good quality running shoes can give you a lot of benefits. Here are some benefits if you invest on running shoes!

#1 Helps Prevent Injuries

Good quality running shoes can keep you away from getting running injuries. It is not uncommon to develop foot injuries such as plantar fasciitis or muscles strains when you run. Often, if you have bad quality shoes, like the ones without proper cushion, will incur damage to the soles of your feet as you put weight on them.

#2 Helps Prevent Blisters

If you use the wrong kind of shoes, especially if you pair it with the wrong kind of socks, you will be at risk for developing blisters. If you have blisters, then it will be difficult for you to stick your running regimen as blisters could be painful.

Choose the right shoe and pair it with the appropriate socks to prevent unnecessary friction on your feet. Friction is the cause of the blisters.

#3 Enhances Performance And Gains

Well aside from the mental motivation that you can get by using new and good quality shoes, you will also perform better by using them. Modern running shoes are scientifically designed to improve the performance.

Designers have included cushioning, form, weight and even your feet structure in recent shoe designs. These factors help determine shoe makers on how to make good and high-quality shoes that will make users performance better.


Before going further on how to clean your shoes for running, here is a quick guide and the things you need to consider before buying your new running shoes.

#1 Determine How Far You Want To Run

One thing that is often overlooked when choosing the right running shoes is the distance a runner covers in a run. You can be someone who runs for fun, or you can be a competitive runner.

This mean that in whatever group you categorize yourself you will often cover a certain distance in your training or actual competition. Knowing the distance that you will run can help you choose your shoes because the distance will give you an idea of the cushioning or protection you might need.

#2 Assess Your Running Technique

The next thing you should identify when you are in a market for a running shoe is to identify your running technique or style. To identify what kind of runner you are you will need to know which foot lands first when your run. Is it the heel? Or is it your forefoot?

This is important because if you are someone who runs using the forefoot, similar to athletes and sprinters, then it will be useless for you to buy a shoe with cushions focused on the heel.

If you know which part of your foot you spend most of the time when running then it is easier for you to decide on what shoes to choose. Also, you should also assess the arching of your shoes when you run.

Some people pronate and supinate their feet when they run. Check if you are someone who shifts the feet either outside or inside when running. If you can identify this by yourself, then it will be great for you.

Shoes which can help stabilize your foot will be very helpful for you. If you can’t assess your gait by yourself, then you can check this article that explains further your running gait or your running style.

#3 Shoe Space

Though it is tempting to buy snuggly fitting shoes, getting them can be quite counter effective. Most running experts often advise that you should get a shoe with a space that similar to your thumbnail size.

The reason for this is that your feet expand as you run. Having enough space to accommodate this expansion will be very useful. Space is necessary so that nothing will impede your toes as you run. Not everyone knows this resulting to many people wearing smaller sized shoes.

#4 Other Things You Need To Consider

Now that the physical parts are covered, it’s time for the other things you need to consider when buying your shoes. When purchasing your running shoes, you should focus more on its function and not on aesthetics.

Spend more time on the functional aspects such as measurement, cushioning, stability, or quality rather than on how you look wearing the shoes. You are going to train not to a fashion show.

If it’s possible, wear your usual gear when you go shopping for shoes. Wear the socks you use for running or bring your orthotics so that you can match them well with your shoe choice.

Don’t be ashamed to try on the shoes you are looking. If the salesman attempts to recommend a pair, try them out as well. You will get a better feel of the shoes you want to buy if you try them out.

​For more information on how to shop for shoes click this link.


Cleaning your shoes is not rocket science. You will only need a few items like a toothbrush, a damp cloth and some cleaning agents like soap.

To restore the original look of your muddy shoes, you will need to loosen the dirt that has settled over time on the shoes. You can make use of an unused toothbrush to brush the mud away. Make a gentle brushing motion so as not to damage the shoes.

If there are some areas which are difficult to scrub off, you can use a dampened piece of cloth to wipe them off. You can use either plain water or water with a soft cleaning agent to dampen your cloth. Repeat this process until you are satisfied with the cleanliness of your shoes

Wash insoles separately. Insoles, being the part that is in constant contact with the foot, will be odorous. Sweat and dirt may have accumulated here. It is a good practice to remove them and wash or brush the insoles separately.

Better yet, if the odor remains and the dirt will not wash away, buy replacement insoles. You are not only assured that it is clean, but you get some brand new protection and cushioning for your feet.

If there is an excess of grime and mud in your shoes, try brushing them lightly. The old unused toothbrush will help you. Dip the head of the brush into plain water or water added with cleaning solution.

Then brush our shoes gently focusing on areas where there is too much dirt. Once you are done brushing, rinse the shoes using a cloth soaked in water. This will help rinse the soap as well.

After doing all the process, it is time to dry your shoes. It is always advisable to air dry your shoes rather that expose it to sunlight or other things that emit heat. Heat and sunlight will affect the shape of your shoes if you allow it to dry using these methods.

Don’t forget to stuff newspapers inside your shoes before drying them. A newspaper will help absorb moisture, and it will contribute to maintaining your shoes’ form. If you have been following closely what is written in this article, you will notice that there was no mention of washing shoes in the washing machine.

Washing machines might be effective in cleaning your shoes, but it will not be a good idea. Washing shoes using the washing machine weakens the shoes and distorts the shoes’ form. It is also not suitable for your machine, especially with all the banging that will happen as you wash your shoes.

If you do need to wash them through the washing machine, then add some cloth or a few towels inside to reduce the banging. Also, just use soft detergent to wash away the dirt. Never dry your shoes using the washing machines dryer.

If you are interested here is a short video in cleaning your running shoes.

Running shoes are clearly important if you are a runner. Getting the right shoes and keeping them clean with proper techniques will help your shoes last long.

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