High-quality running shoes aren’t cheap. Costing in the upwards of $100 to $140 a pair, new kicks can set you back quite a bit. Finding the perfect sole-mates isn’t easy, either.
That’s why once you find footwear that works the best for you, you should have a few tricks up your sleeve to make running shoes last longer. That’s where today’s post comes in handy.
In this short article, you’ll discover the strategies you need to increase your running shoes lifespan without sacrificing comfort or function.
Let’s lace up and dig in.
Running Shoes Are Made For Running
Running shoes provide comfort and protection, but using them the whole day cuts their lifespan. In fact, the more miles you accrue playing basketball, shopping, taking the dog out in the evening will only add to the shoe’s mileage.
The average American may be walking as much as 2.5 miles per day, according to research out of the Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. Do some math, and over the course of a month, you might put in more than 70 miles that could be better spent running.
Even if you’re just walking around, you’re still wearing out the shoe.
Make it a rule to use your running shoes for actual runs, not for running errands. Keep your sneakers for the activity they’re designed for logging miles. Nothing else.
Clean Your Running Shoes
Keeping your sneakers clean not only makes them look good, but it also helps extend their lifespan (as well as protect against injury).
Outdoor running can really put a number on your shoes, making them really dirty. Mud, grass, leaves, or puddles can leave stubborn stains behind. All of this can build up on the outside of the shoe, causing undue strain on your feet that can result in blisters and foot pain down the road.
This build-up can also compromise the rubber, undoing the stitching and shortening the shoe’s lifespan.
What’s more? You also sweat a lot during a run, which can seriously impact the condition of your shoes, turning them into a breeding ground for bacteria and mold.
Here’s how to clean your running shoes properly:
First, never put your running shoes in a washing machine. Laundry detergent damages your shoes by melting the glue that holds the fabrics together.
Instead, wash your running shoes using a bucket filled with warm water, anti-grease soap, and a sponge. You can also use a worn-out toothbrush or nail brush to polish and remove stains from the shoe.
Shoes too stinky? Try soaking them in a water and soap mixture for a while before washing thoroughly. You can also use baking soda to help deodorize the shoe. Even peroxide or chlorine seems legit, it’s better to avoid these chemicals if you want the shoes’ fabric to last longer.
Check the following YouTube Tutorial on how to wash your shoes the right way:
Air Dry your Shoes
You’ll undoubtedly cook your shoes if you put them in a dryer or near a radiator. The scorching temperature can break down the shoe materials and compromise its structure, cutting their lifespan short.
Drying your sneakers the right way not only adds to their lifespan but also lowers the risk of athlete’s foot, a nasty condition that occurs when the tinea fungus grows on the feet. This fungus thrives in sweaty damp places, such as running shoes..
Here’s how to dry them the right way.
Following a wash, or a rainy run, unlace the shoes, remove the sock line, take out the insole, wash your shoes, then let them air dry—outside in the sun is ideal. Flip it upside down so the remaining water can get drained quicker.
In a hurry? Try stuffing your wet shoe with paper towel or newspaper to help absorb the moisture. Take out the wet stuffing and replace it with more dry paper, repeating the cycle until your running shoes are dry.
Keep in mind that it takes u to a whole day for the shoes to dry out properly. So please be patient.
Rotate your Shoes
Do you run almost every day? Try rotating two pairs of running shoes, so you always have shoes ready to go. This comes handy during the winter season when weather conditions are not always predictable.
Some experts recommend alternating running shoes as a way to help them last longer. According to theory, this practice gives your shoes enough time to decompress and bounce back between runs. Think of it as recovery time for your shoes.
Having more than one pair of running shoes is also helpful if you need different types of shoes for your various workouts (for outdoor runs, treadmill training, or cross-trainers for strength training, for example).
Rotating running shoes stops the growth of this bacteria by giving your shoes a chance to completely dry. The bacterium festers best in a warm, wet environment, such as the areas between your toes and under the balls of your feet. You don’t want to have sock lint between your toes, right? Euh.
Store Your Running Shoes Properly
How you store the shoes also affects their lifespan. Storing them under extreme conditions—at a cold garage in winter or directly under sunlight, for instance—achieves nothing but wears out their fabrics.
As a rule, store your running shoes in a dry, cool, place where they can air out properly. Avoid leaving them in a gym back, a garage, or worse, the trunk of your car. If you want to use box, make sure it has holes so the air can get in and avoid fungus.
Replace Your Running Shoes Regularly
All good things must come to an end—running shoes are no exception. The rule of thumb is to replace them every 400 to 500 miles. Try running in them beyond that mileage range, and you might risk pain and injury.
To make sure you pull the plug at the right time, keep track of your shoes’ mileage using a running app or training journal.
I typically get a through a pair of running shoes every 4 to 5 months, spending anywhere between $60 to $90 per pair. If you don’t monitor any stats, then, at the very least, write the purchase date inside the shoe to help you remember.
Choose shoes specifically designed for the terrains you typically run, and they’ll last a lot longer. Trail shoes are made for uneven, wet, and technically challenging terrains, not for road running. And vice versa.