There are lots of trail runners who love muddy trails. Who doesn’t? After all, you get to bring out your inner child! You know, the one who loved running through puddles and playing in the mud?
But now as adults, after running on muddy trails for hours on end, we’re repeatedly faced with the problem of what to do with our muddy trail running shoes. That’s why we’ve taken it upon ourselves to put together some advice on how to properly care for your trail running shoes.
Let’s just get one thing out of the way first: forget about throwing your shoes in the washing machine. They’ll usually be able to withstand one wash cycle, but this could bite you in the bum should you ever want to return the shoes or get them repaired, since most manufacturers explicitly advise customers against washing trail running shoes in the washing machine.
Care instructions for your trail running shoes
Cleaning trail running shoes isn’t really all that difficult, but that doesn’t mean you need to make them spick and span after each and every run. However, it is a good idea to clean them every once in a while, because only then can get the most out of your trail running shoes. So, here are four easy steps for cleaning those mucky shoes of yours:
1. Superficial cleaning
Before washing, always remove the insole. Then remove the surface dirt with a brush and warm water. As long as the shoes don’t have a Gore-Tex membrane, you can rinse out the interior as well, since dirt tends to get through by way of the mesh upper. Oh, and steer clear of detergent! It could ruin the adhesives!
2. Busy work
That may be enough for some of you out there, but for those of you who plan on polishing up the shoes so much that they could go with your best three-piece suit, here are some more tips. Take a damp cloth and wipe the fine dirt and dirty water off the surface. If you want to clean the tread and small grooves more thoroughly, a toothbrush works wonders. Try it out!
Before you go for your next run, it’s really important that your shoes dry properly. To do so, stuff the inside with some kitchen roll (change every couple of hours) and leave them in a dry place at room temperature until both the inside and outside are completely dry.
4. Tending to the sole
Trail running shoes are usually made from synthetic materials, so they don’t require any special care. However, you should tend to the soles. The tread, or more specifically the lugs, can often be roughened up a bit to improve traction. After wearing the shoes a few times, their grip will usually wear down. Did you know you could reverse this wear? Indeed you can! All you have to do is take some sandpaper or a wire brush and carefully scuff the tread a bit. But don’t brush off too much material, just enough to roughen up the lugs.
To get rid of any unpleasant odours, you can spray the insides of your shoes as well. We’d recommend using the Toko Eco Fresh Deodoriser.
Now for the finishing touch: apply a water-repellent spray. This will prevent dirt and water from sticking to the surface so quickly. Plus, it’ll give you some extra time before you have to clean them again. A good spray to use would be something like Holmenkol.
Trail running shoes are easy to clean
If you’ve already taken a gander at our care instructions for walking boots, you may have noticed how much easier it is to clean trail running shoes. This is primarily due to the materials used. Since synthetic materials used for trail running shoes don’t require special care and trail running shoes themselves are not made of leather, they’re easier to clean and ready to go in no time. The down side is that they’re not particularly long lasting. Even though resorting to leather would mean more durability for your shoes, it would also make them much heavier, which is honestly pretty counterproductive when it comes to trail running.
I, personally, always wait until winter to clean my shoes. Go for a run in some deep snow and the shoes will look brand spanking new! Some nutters even hop in the shower with their shoes on directly after a run – but beware! Your partner might not be so happy with that!
If you have any questions, feel free to ask our experts in customer service. They are available during the week from 9 a.m. till 4 p.m. and can be reached by phone at 03 33 33 67058 or via e-mail.