As Promised…

Today let’s talk about the best way to clean your shoes after a muddy trail run.

Step 1: Take a picture of your shoes.

more shoes

Because you’ve clearly earned the title “Tough Old Broad” (or whatever your preferred running title may be) and this proves it for all time.

Step 2: Let them dry. Leave them alone for a day so the mud can dry. Once they’re dry, take them out in the backyard and bang them together so the mud will fall off. Then use a DRY paper towel or vegetable brush to brush off as much as the mud as possible. It’s very important that the shoes and the brush (or paper towel) are dry for this step. If any of them are wet, you’ll just make your shoes a muddier mess.

shoes clean

To tell you the truth, if I wasn’t doing my first-ever tutorial, I’d be tempted to stop here. I think they’re looking pretty good and, let’s be realistic, they’ll just get muddy again this weekend.

Step 3: Check INSIDE your shoes. If they’re completely soaked, remove the laces and the inserts and clean INSIDE your shoes. Use an old toothbrush, a few drops of dish detergent, and maybe a little bit of water to get them really clean inside. Use a dry paper towel to wipe up the water as you go.

Step 4: If you’re really determined that your shoes should look brand new, throw them in the washing machine. Add them to a load of towels or jeans or something tough to cushion the thumping around inside the machine and set the wash to cold water since we all know that hot water only sets the stains.


Step 5: Let them dry. Do not, I repeat, DO NOT, throw them in the dryer. This can melt the rubber and make the toes of your shoes curl up. Not to mention that it might not be great for your dryer. Stuff them with newspaper and let them sit. If you’re not that patient, get out your old blow dryer and go to work. But really, don’t they deserve a day off to recuperate? Let them sit. Break out your old shoes for today’s run. It’ll be ok.

worn out shoes

And Step 6: Try them out. They’ve had a day or two off now. Maybe you have too. Tie those suckers back on and hit the road. Enjoy.

Bonus Step: If you’ve taken them completely apart now might be a good time to try a new lacing technique. There are a couple here that I think I might just test.


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