The Best Way to Clean Your Running Shoes

Do you remember when you first got your running shoes, feeling all excited because they were vibrant and colourful? But then the dirt happened. Many runners cherish the fresh feeling of new shoes, only for it to be short-lived. Regardless of where you run—streets, tracks, or trails—your shoes are sure to get dirty. We've laid out simple steps to  clean your running shoes, which have shown amazing results even on white ones. Within just 30 minutes, your shoes will be clean and odour-free again. Just keep in mind that they need eight hours to fully dry.

Step-By-Step Guide On How To Clean Running Shoes

To properly  clean running shoes, you should make a mild cleaning solution. Mix warm water with a bit of gentle laundry detergent or dish soap for best results, no matter the colour of your shoes. For tough stains on white sneakers, try a paste of baking soda and water. Micellar water is also a great choice for safely removing dirt and oil without harsh chemicals.

Before you use any liquid solutions, it's best to first use a shoe brush or an old toothbrush to scrub the outsoles, midsoles, and uppers. This will help get rid of excess dirt and stop it from getting stuck in the fabric when you clean it wet. By dry brushing these areas, you clear away loose debris and prepare the shoe surfaces for a deep, thorough wash. Focusing on dry brushing can prevent the spread of dirt into tighter spaces, making the subsequent wet cleaning faster and more thorough.

Remove the laces to expose as much of the surface area as possible. Then apply a small amount of your prepared cleaning solution to the main parts of the shoe. If the laces are very grimy, consider soaking them in a diluted bleach solution to help brighten them up. However, we advise being cautious when using bleach; always dilute it properly and test on a small, inconspicuous area first to ensure it doesn't damage the fabric of the shoe. This will help maintain the integrity of the materials while ensuring a thorough clean.

Apply your preferred cleaning solution to the soles using a gentle brush or a soft cloth, ensuring you work the cleaner into all areas. Pay special attention to the grooves, as dirt and debris tend to accumulate here. After scrubbing, rinse the soles thoroughly with clean water to remove any soap residue. Finally, gently dry them with a soft cloth to prevent water stains and speed up the drying process. This method ensures that your soles are clean and maintained in good condition for longer wear. Allow your shoes to air-dry in a cool, shaded location. Replace the laces and insoles once they are fully dried.

Additional Care Tips for Different Running Shoe Materials

If you want to keep your  running shoes looking new, it's important to know how to clean them properly. Different materials, like leather, synthetic, and knit, each require specific care. Here are some extra tips to help you out. Leather shoes need special attention to maintain their appearance and feel. Use a cleaner that's made for leather to keep it from drying out or developing cracks. Regular conditioning will also help to keep the leather supple and smooth. When it comes to synthetic shoes, steer clear of harsh solvents or alcohol-based cleaners, as these can harm the material. Instead, opt for mild detergents and make sure to rinse them thoroughly to prevent any residue buildup that could weaken the synthetic fibres. Woven sneakers are well-liked for their ability to keep your feet cool and comfy. To clean them, be gentle with a soft brush and avoid scrubbing too hard to avoid damaging the woven material.

Understanding Running Shoe Technology and Cleaning Needs

When it comes to running shoes, you'll often find high-tech features like waterproofing and special cushioning systems. To keep these materials in top condition, it's important to use gentle cleaners that won't damage their properties. For waterproof materials, steer clear of harsh soaps and stick to cleaners designed specifically for this purpose. And when it comes to cushioning systems, especially foam-based ones, avoid submerging them in water, as it can weaken their structure. Instead, gently clean these areas by hand and ensure they are completely dry before putting your shoes back on.


Make sure your running shoes are kept clean, comfortable, and functional by following these steps tailored to their specific materials and technologies. By doing so, you can extend their lifespan and continue reaching your running goals effortlessly. Contact The Athlete's Foot for our newest selection of road and trail running shoes, so you can hit the track or trail confidently and in style.

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