How to Clean Running Shoes: A Comprehensive Guide by The Shoe Business

Running shoes are more than just footwear; they’re an investment in your health and performance. Ensuring they’re clean not only maintains their appearance but also prolongs their lifespan. Clean shoes can provide better support, prevent the growth of bacteria, and even enhance foot comfort. Let’s dive into the essentials of cleaning your running shoes the right way.

Recognizing the Different Materials in Running Shoes

Different shoes, different rules. Recognizing the materials in your running shoes is the first step towards their proper care. Here’s a brief overview:

Mesh/Fabric: Common in most running shoes, allowing for breathability.

Leather/Synthetic Leather: Offers a combination of style and durability.

Rubber: Often used for soles, providing grip and flexibility.

Common Running Shoe Materials

MaterialCommon UsageProperties
Mesh/FabricUpper part of most running shoesBreathable, lightweight
Leather/Synthetic LeatherStylish athletic variantsDurable, stylish
RubberSole of the shoeGrippy, flexible

It’s vital to clean your shoes according to their material to ensure longevity and prevent potential damage. Dive deeper into the various shoe materials and their care at our detailed guide on Shoe Materials.

Preliminary Cleaning Steps

Before diving into a deep clean, there are a few preliminary steps to ensure effective cleaning:

Remove Laces and Insoles:

This allows for a more thorough clean. Laces can be washed separately or replaced if they’re overly worn out.

Dusting Off:

Before wet cleaning, dust off excess dirt and debris using a soft brush. It prevents larger dirt particles from scratching or staining the shoe fabric during the washing process.

Cleaning Based on Shoe Material

Different shoe materials require specific cleaning methods to maintain their integrity and appearance. Here’s how to approach each:

Mesh and Fabric Shoes:

  Use a mixture of mild soap and water.

  Gently scrub with a soft brush in circular motions.

  Rinse with cold water and pat dry with a towel.

Leather or Synthetic Leather:

  Wipe down with a damp cloth to remove superficial dirt.

  For deeper cleaning, use a leather cleaner or a mild soap mixture.

  Always dry leather shoes naturally, away from direct sunlight.

Rubber and Foam Soles:

  Scrub using a bristled brush and a mild soap mixture.

  Focus on the outsole patterns where dirt tends to accumulate.

  Rinse and wipe down with a towel.

For those with unique or customized footwear, there might be unique materials or embellishments that need extra attention. Always refer to the care instructions provided by Custom Shoe Makers for the best results.

Recommended Cleaning Solutions and Tools

The right tools and solutions make the cleaning process efficient and safe for your shoes.

Soap and Water Mixtures:

A go-to solution for most running shoes. Always opt for mild soap to avoid damaging the shoe material.

Specialized Shoe Cleaners:

These are formulated specifically for footwear, providing deep cleaning without compromising the shoe’s material.

Brushes, Cloths, and Other Tools:

  Soft brushes for the upper part of the shoe.

  Bristled brushes for soles.

  Microfiber cloths for drying and polishing.

The Cleaning Process

For the most effective cleaning, follow this step-by-step guide:

Preparation: Remove laces, insoles, and dust off any excess dirt.

Wet Cleaning: Depending on the shoe material, use the appropriate cleaning solution. Apply using a brush or cloth in gentle, circular motions.

Rinsing: Rinse off any soap residues with cold water.

Drying: Always air dry shoes, keeping them away from direct heat sources. Stuffing them with newspapers can help retain their shape.

Reassembling: Once completely dry, reinsert insoles and re-lace.

It’s essential to occasionally check manufacturer-recommended practices to ensure you’re using the best cleaning methods for your specific pair of running shoes.

Drying Your Running Shoes

Once cleaned, ensuring your running shoes are dried properly is just as crucial. Proper drying not only retains the shoe’s shape but also enhances its functionality.

Best Practices for Drying:

Air Dry: Always opt for air drying over direct heat. Place them in a well-ventilated area but avoid direct sunlight which can warp the shape and fade the color.

Shape Retention: To help shoes keep their shape, consider stuffing them lightly with newspaper or paper towels. This also aids in absorbing moisture.

Never Use Heat: Direct sources of heat, like hairdryers or radiators, can damage the shoe’s material and bonding glue.

Additionally, after your shoes are dried, think about storage. Proper shoe storage not only keeps them clean but also in optimal shape for your next run. Check out some innovative shoe packaging and storage solutions for inspiration.

Regular Maintenance and Shoe Care

Regular maintenance goes beyond just cleaning. To ensure your running shoes have a long and functional life:

Rotate Between Pairs: If you’re a regular runner, consider having two pairs and rotating between them. This gives each pair a break, allowing them to breathe and regain their shape.

Spot Clean: Address stains or dirt spots immediately. This prevents them from setting deep into the material.

Storage: Store in a cool, dry

place. Avoid leaving them in damp or confined spaces, like a gym bag, for prolonged periods.

For more insights and tips on shoe care, be sure to visit our regularly updated Shoe Business Blog, where we delve deeper into the world of footwear maintenance and more!


The journey of a runner is as much about the journey as it is about the gear. Taking care of your running shoes means they’ll be with you every step of the way, looking good and providing the support you need. Regular cleaning is more than just aesthetics; it’s about functionality, performance, and respect for the investment you’ve made.

At The Shoe Business, we believe in the power of well-maintained shoes. Dive deeper, explore our offerings, and equip yourself with the knowledge and products to give your running shoes the care they deserve.


How to Lace Running Shoes: Unlocking the Secret to Peak Performance and Comfort

Every runner, whether a beginner or a seasoned marathoner, knows the profound impact a pair of well-fitted shoes can have on their performance. But beyond the shoe’s cushion, arch, and design lies another critical component: lacing. How you lace your running shoes can dramatically influence your running experience, from optimizing your stride to ensuring top-tier comfort.

At The Shoe Business, we’re not just passionate about giving you the best running shoes; we’re dedicated to ensuring you get the most out of them. Our commitment extends to helping runners lace their shoes effectively, optimizing both performance and comfort.

The Science Behind Shoe Making and Lacing

Modern shoe manufacturing is a blend of art and science. Each shoe is meticulously designed, keeping in mind the athlete’s needs, the terrains they’ll traverse, and the distances they’ll cover. This intricate process gives birth to the ultimate performance gear.

Design Phase:

The shoe’s overall structure, including where the eyelets are placed, is determined.


Models are made to test and refine the final product.


Here, machines play a crucial role. Our shoe-making machines ensure precision and consistency, translating designs into tangible products.

But what about the laces? The positioning of eyelets, the shoe’s structure, and its materials all influence how a shoe should be laced. A well-laced shoe can help in distributing pressure evenly, enhancing the shoe’s grip and the runner’s stride.

Materials Matter: The Relationship Between Shoe Materials and Lacing

Every running shoe is a symphony of various materials, harmoniously coming together. From the breathable mesh upper to the cushioned midsole, each component plays a part in the shoe’s overall function. Here’s a quick list of common materials you might find in your running shoe:

Mesh: Provides breathability and flexibility.

Synthetic Leather: Offers durability without adding weight.

EVA (Ethylene Vinyl Acetate): Commonly used in midsoles for cushioning.

Rubber: Used in outsoles for grip and durability.

When it comes to lacing, these materials matter. For instance, shoes with a softer mesh upper might require a different lacing technique compared to ones with a rigid synthetic leather upper. Lacing too tightly on soft mesh can cause it to tear, while lacing too loosely on hard materials might not provide the snug fit you need.

Popular Lacing Techniques for Running Shoes

While the process might seem straightforward, there are numerous ways to lace up your running shoes. Each method has its distinct benefits, designed to cater to different runners and their unique needs. Here are some of the most popular techniques:

Standard Criss-Cross Lacing:

This is the method you’ll most often see on running shoes right out of the box. It’s simple, effective, and works for most runners. The laces zig-zag across the shoe, providing even tension.

Loop-Back Lacing:

Preferred by sprinters, this technique ensures the shoe grips the foot snugly. It involves looping the laces back on themselves, which tightens the fit and prevents the shoe from slipping off during high-speed runs.

Ladder Lacing:

This technique gives the feeling of a solid, well-anchored fit. Laces run vertically and horizontally, creating a ladder-like appearance. It’s great for those who need extra stability in their run, including heavy runners.

Gap Lacing:

Have a high instep or wider feet? Gap lacing can be your go-to. It allows for a section of the shoe to be less tight, creating a ‘gap’ that offers relief to pressure points.

For those seeking a unique touch or an even better fit, insights from custom shoe makers can be invaluable. They often have tricks up their sleeves, fine-tuned from years of crafting personalized shoes.

Customizations and Advanced Lacing Techniques

Beyond the standard techniques lie an array of advanced lacing methods, many of which have been championed by professional runners. Here’s a closer look:

Window Lacing: Ideal for runners with high arches. This method reduces pressure on the top of the foot by skipping a couple of eyelets.

Heel Lock: Perfect for those experiencing heel slippage. The laces loop around the last two eyelets, locking the heel into place.

Bunion Lacing: Designed to relieve pressure off the bunion area, this technique skips lacing over the bunion, providing comfort.

Mistakes to Avoid When Lacing

Lacing might seem like a simple task, but certain common errors can hinder your running experience. Here’s what to steer clear of:

Over-tightening: While a snug fit is desired, over-tightening can impede blood flow, leading to numbness and discomfort.

Mismatched Lace Lengths: If one end of your lace is longer than the other, it can lead to uneven tension and might even cause tripping hazards.

Not Adjusting for Terrain: Trail running requires a tighter grip than a casual jog in the park. Adjust your lacing based on the challenge ahead.

Keep Learning: Dive Deeper into Shoe Design and Lacing Techniques

The world of shoe design and lacing is as intricate as it is fascinating. Every runner’s foot is unique, and as such, understanding the nuances of

shoe anatomy and lacing can truly elevate your running game. Beyond just the foundational techniques, there’s a wealth of knowledge waiting to be discovered.

At The Shoe Business, we’re consistently updating our platform with the latest insights, trends, and innovations in the realm of shoes. Our blog is a treasure trove of articles, guides, and tips curated specifically for avid runners and shoe enthusiasts alike. We encourage all our readers to dive deeper, explore our content, and stay informed. Who knows? The next lacing technique you come across might just revolutionize your runs!


The journey from lacing up your shoes to hitting the tracks is one filled with subtleties that make a world of difference. As we’ve delved into, the art of lacing isn’t just about securing your foot within a shoe; it’s about optimizing fit, ensuring comfort, and enhancing performance. From the tried-and-true Criss-Cross Lacing to the specialized Bunion Lacing, there’s a technique for every foot and every need.

But the crux of it all? Lacing matters. The right technique can safeguard your foot health, enhance your running performance, and ensure that every stride you take is one step closer to your goals.

For those of you keen on delving deeper or perhaps seeking personalized advice, our team at The Shoe Business is always here to assist. Whether it’s a specific query about lacing or a general footwear concern, don’t hesitate to reach out. After all, every runner deserves the best, and we’re committed to ensuring you get just that.