How To Clean Running Shoes The Easy Way

Lets be honest, there isn’t much better than running shoes that are clean and look brand new. We have already covered how to clean muddy running shoes but in this article we will be taking that a step forward and discussing many different ways to make your shoes look brand new.

In this article we will be taking your through an in depth step by step process as well as why cleaning your shoes is a good idea. By the end of it you should know how to clean running shoes in a quick and easy way.

For the loyal readers amongst you, you might be aware of our other article on how to clean muddy running shoes. If you are don’t worry this one will be different.

So why would I want to know how to clean running shoes?

Taking care of kit is an important part of being a runner. Lets be honest, running shoes are not cheap so it is within your best interest to take care of them.

Running shoes that are cleaned regularly will last longer and keep you running fast and injury free. It doesn’t take a lot of time and it certainly doesn’t have to be a big deal but it is something that you should be doing consistently.

I think that having running shoes that look clean is important but on the whole having shoes with a longer lifespan is definitely worth the few minutes you clean them for after each run.

One way to never clean your shoes

Word Never Combined of Scrabble Tiles

Although having clean running shoes is nice having shoes that provide your foot with the correct support is significantly more important. For this reason you need to clean your shoes in a way that does not damage them.

A hose is also completely useless when it comes to cleaning running shoes so just stick to this method and you will have clean shoes by the end of it.

Washing them in a machine will destroy the shape of the shoe and won’t even clean the dry mud and all those stubborn mud stains.

Putting your shoes in the dishwasher is a sure fire way to ruin them. We will get onto how to properly clean them soon but before we do please never even think about putting your shoes in the washing machine. Doing so will destroy the bounce in the foam and destroy the shape of it. Putting them in on a gentle cycle will not help so don’t even think about it.

How to clean running shoes in just 5 steps

Now that I have gotten that rant out of the way we can get down to business. Cleaning your running shoes is very simple and is best done outside in your garden, balcony or local park. Depending on how muddy your shoes are is what will dictate how much of a mess this process will make on the ground around you.

This whole process is likely to take less that 5 minutes and will allow you to get rid of all that excess mud weather it is powdery dirt or that gooey mud that you get on wet shoes.

Step 1: prepare your kit and area

Make sure you are on a semi hard surface that is mud free where you can concentrate on just give it a good scrub until you get clean shoes. You will need the following:

  • A small bowl of hot water
  • A few drops of detergent
  • A dry paper towel or two

Any of the following items would work as a brush

  • soft brush
  • old toothbrush
  • soft cloth
  • wet sponge

Just a quick note on the detergent make sure that it a mild detergent like water down fairy liquid or hand soap otherwise it could harm the exterior of your shoe.

Step 2: Start Scrubbing

Close-Up Photo of a Person Using a Body Scrub

I know that this sounds very easy and it is but there is still a right and wrong way to do this. Pick a part of the shoes that you want to start from and then work around slowly and methodically. Rinse your brush regularly in the soapy water.

Make sure to clean the mesh well cause that is where the mud won’t just flake away naturally. If left un kept the mud will stay on the mesh for ages leaving your shoes looking full of grime despite your best efforts later down the line.

Once you have worked your way around the hole shoes ensuring to get rid of all the larger chunks of dried on mud you are likely to have dirty water which leads us onto the next step.

Step 3: Clean your water

Once you have completed one shoe move onto the next one but before you do you will want to change your water. To clean effectively we will need to use clean water. If you use dirty water you are wasting your time. The stains will stay there and your footwear will look filthy.

For this reason next time you are cleaning your shoes change the water half way through the cleaning process. The same rules apply.

Make sure the cleaning solution is made up of warm water and don’t bother wasting your time adding baking soda or white vinegar. Soap will do the job just fine and remember no cold water.

Step 4: Start scrubbing again

There isn’t really much to say hear. Just repeat exactly what is said in step two. It simple.

Step 5: Finish up

Traffic Sign by the Sea

I am sure that most of you like me like to run in dry shoes. By this point you have gone from dirty shoes to clean shoes that are wet. If your shoes are wet they will take a couple of days to dry. If like me your run almost every day this is just isn’t an option.

For that reason you will want to dry the shoes. Doing this is even easier than cleaning the shoes in the first place. This is the part of the process that using the paper towel.

Open the shoe laces and then stuff the shoes with the paper towel. After that put them under the radiator and the leave them there until your next run. If you don’t have a radiator or don’t want to put your shoes there then placing them in direct sunlight or next to a heat source are also good options. In my opinion doing this is the best way to move into your nest session with nice dry and maybe even warm running shoes.


In conclusion cleaning the mud stains out of the shoes to prolong the life of your running shoes. On top of all this having clean shoes will reduce the odour and keep the outsole looking fresh. I would really recommend constantly cleaning your shoes so you can last long and look good.

if you like cleaning in general these posts are quality and I would definitly reconmend them

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