Athletic Shoe Maintenance - 5 Effective Tips
Athletic shoe care doesn't end with cleaning and polishing. The longevity and performance of athletic shoes depend on proper maintenance, just like any other equipment. Here are five effective tips to help you maintain your athletic shoes in top condition.
Choose the Right Cleaning Products
The first step in maintaining your athletic shoes is choosing the right cleaning products.
For cleaning running shoes, you need to avoid harsh chemicals found in some laundry detergents which can damage the material of the shoes. Instead, opt for a mild detergent or a cleaner specifically designed for athletic footwear.
Note that leather shoes require a different treatment and should not be cleaned in the washing machine. It's best to clean those with a toothbrush or a specific shoe brush to remove grime without damaging the leather.
Remove shoe laces and insoles before you start the cleaning process. Never use a dryer, as the intense heat can warp the shape of the shoes.
Keep Your Shoes Dry and Clean
One of the most common mistakes in the maintenance of athletic shoes is the improper use of cleaning tools and methods. When dealing with stains on the upper material of your sneaker, clean water and a gentle brush can be sufficient. You should remove the laces to get access to more surface area, and use wet wipes for quick cleanups.
For the sole, you might need a more rigorous approach to remove embedded dirt. However, always remember to rinse thoroughly to avoid leaving soap residue that can attract more dirt. Warm water is usually safe for most materials.
For a comprehensive clean, it's recommended to give your shoes a deep clean once every few months, depending on usage. Be cautious though, never put athletic shoes in the washing machine if they are made of materials that could be damaged by such a process.
Instead, learn the proper ways to clean and care for your specific athletic shoes, ensuring they stay functional and fresh for longer.
Air Out Your Shoes
Air out means letting your shoes breathe, an essential step to prevent shoe odor. After a long day of wear, remove the insoles from your shoes and place them in a well-ventilated area. This allows the moisture to evaporate, avoiding the build-up of odor-causing bacteria.
Never be tempted to put your shoes in the dryer, as again, the intense heat can warp the shape of the shoes and shorten their lifespan. Instead, fill a mesh bag with baking soda and place it inside the shoes. Baking soda is a natural deodorizer that is much gentler on your shoes, absorbing unpleasant smells without damaging the material.
Remember, your shoes need time to air out, so let them sit overnight to ensure all the moisture and odor are thoroughly removed. By doing so, you can extend their lifespan and keep them in peak condition.
For an even more effective solution to shoe odor, you can check out our shoe deodorizer here at Stone and Clark. Designed specifically for athletic shoes, it not only removes odors but also helps in maintaining a fresh and clean interior.
Store Them Properly
Lastly, the way you store your athletic shoes can significantly influence their durability and appearance.
For traditional leather athletic shoes, consider applying a shoe polish before storing them, as this can help preserve the material and keep them looking fresh.
To maintain the shape of your running shoes without ruining their structure, shoe trees can be a great investment. These devices can help keep your shoes in their original shape by preventing creases or wrinkles.
After each cleaning session, make sure to let your shoes air dry. Avoid storing them immediately after cleaning, as residual moisture can lead to the growth of bacteria and fungi. Instead, place them in a well-ventilated area to air dry fully.
In case of tough stains persist after a gentle scrub, consider reaching out to a professional shoe cleaner to avoid damaging your shoes with aggressive cleaning methods.