How to Clean Athletic Shoes

How to Clean Athletic Shoes

How to Clean Athletic Shoes in 5 steps no matter how dirty they are


There’s nothing like a fresh pair of shoes to add a spring in your step. The problem with athletic shoes is they don’t stay fresh for your long. Hiking, running, cross-fitting, training and even gymming attract dirt, water and grime. Keep your shoes looking fresher for longer with these tips on how to clean athletic shoes.


1. Clean early

Keep your shoes clean by wiping them down immediately after exposing them to dirt, when it’s easiest to remove.


2. Hand-wash only

Most shoe manufactures caution against using a washing machine and dryer to clean your shoes. The soaking doesn’t help the sole or arch support and can damage the glues, fibres and materials used.


3. Cleaning Solution

A mixture of hand or laundry soap and lukewarm water and a soft bristled brush (an old toothbrush works great) is all you need to clean your shoes. To get rid of bad odours add baking soda to your cleaning solution.

Avoid bleach, chemicals and only use saddle soap on leather areas of the shoes.

Wet your brush and clean the dirty areas. To get rid of the soapiness apply clean water to another sponge or brush and wipe off.


4. Slow Dry

Placing wet shoes in a dryer, in direct sunlight or by any heat source will alter the shape of your shoes and ruin the glue holding the outer and inner soles together. It can also cause the shoes to crack and weaken.

Allow your shoes to dry naturally in a well ventilated area. To keep their structure, stuff them with newspaper which also helps absorb water. Shoes take at least 12 hours to dry, so if you use them daily invest in two pairs to rotate.


5. Remove insoles and laces

Laces can be washed in the washing machine or easily replaced for a new look. Remove insoles and clean using the same method as you did for the shoe. Bad odours generally stem from the insole so add baking soda to the mix to get rid of the smell. Allow insoles to air dry on a flat surface.


To extend the lifespan of your shoes, only use them for the purpose they were intended. Different activities require different support which is what different shoe models offer. Use trail shoes for trail running, cross trainers for gym and road shoes for road running.


How do you keep your shoes clean? Share your tips below!

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Zissy Lewin

Zissy Lewin

Zissy is the co-founder of Nutreats. She likes to make things, do things and wear things.
Zissy Lewin
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