Running is a simple sport where you need very little kit (most of the time). Your running shoes are the most important item of your kit and are likely to be the most expensive too. It makes sense to look after them, so here are my tips to making your running shoes last.
1) We’re the right shoes for the right conditions
All too often people buy one pair of running shoes and wear them for both road and off-road running.
If your running shoes are trail shoes then wearing them on road surfaces will wear down the tread much faster than it would otherwise. Visa-Versa, wearing road shoes on trails will wear that tread differently too, and you’re more likely to slip and injure yourself.
Having a road and a trail pair of running shoes might seem like a luxury, but it makes sense. If you are regularly running on both types of surface then it will ensure each pair lasts a bit longer.
2) You get what you pay for
Trust me, this is true. I have been tempted by cheaper running shoes and ALWAYS regretted it. I know that the top brand shoes can be expensive, but if you shop smart you can get these cheaper. The last time I went for a cheaper pair of shoes I ended up having to glue them back together multiple times, even holding them firm under rocks!
3) Only wear your running shoes for running
This is something I really do stick to. When I buy a pair of running shoes that is all I wear them for. I’m strict about that. They will get enough wear and tear when I’m running so I’m not going to add to it by wearing them to the shops or the school run.
Once I’ve retired a pair of running shoes then I might keep them for gardening or casual wear.
4) Cleaning your running shoes
I know, when you come home from a run wet and muddy, the last thing you want to do it clean your shoes. But, leaving shoes damp and muddy actually perishes the rubber. It also degenerates stitching such that it will snap far more easily. Sparing a minute of light brushing under a lukewarm tap will get most of the mud and grime off. Or, take them in the shower with you like I do. I have a small brush that I keep in the bathroom and I give my trainers a quick scrub before I clean myself off. Remember to brush the mud off the sole as well so they’ll dry more quickly and won’t be heavy next time you wear them.
Never be tempted put your shoes in a washing machine! We’ve all done it, go on, admit it. You could get away with a c few times but doing this repeatedly will break down the materials in the shoes.
5) Drying your running shoes
If your shoes are wet through then take out insoles and dry them separately.
Hang really wet shoes, or position them such that most of the water can run off them. Stuff them with newspaper to soak up the worst of the remaining water, but remember to take the paper out after a couple of hours so that the shoes can dry naturally. To get water out of the laces, get a paper tissue or kitchen towel and run it from the eyelets to the tip of the lace while squeezing hard.
Never put the shoes in a tumble-dryer – that’s a fast route to needing to replace your running shoes! Also, don’t attempt to accelerate the drying process by placing them in direct sunlight or on a radiator. This will affect the glue that is used to bind the materials together. Running shoes can literally fall apart if not treated correctly.
6) Storing your running shoes
It’s best practice to store your running shoes in a dry environment. Somewhere they will not get crushed or otherwise damaged is also best. Wherever you store them, room temperature is best. This will ensure they are warm when you next put them on and the midsole materials will remain flexible.
Never put them in a plastic bag or a box because this will stop the air circulating them. It can also slow down any residual drying out, and worst of all – cause them to become smellier. Even when you’ve run in dry weather, the chances are they will be damp from your own sweat. It is best for them to dry out as quickly as possible.
7) Getting a good fit
I know, you would think this was a tip for a different post. However, making sure your running shoes fit properly does help them to last longer. I had a pair of trail shoes that were a bit too big for me. They were technically my size, but they were too big. What this meant was that at the pinch point the material wore through very quickly and the shoes were consigned to the bin. So just like when choosing walking boots, the fit is most important.
8) Become a creature of habit
Get into a routine of caring for your training shoes. Doing these things immediately after a run will ensure that you won’t need to replace them as quickly as you otherwise might.
So there you have mt 7 top tips for looking after your running shoes.
Thanks for reading.