It’s inevitable that sooner or later your running shoes are going to get dirty. Even if you’re on the road or on a sidewalk, you’re not going anywhere near trails, they’re going to get dirty. It’s going to be a rainy day, you’re gonna get puddles, there’s going to be who knows what on your shoes. I’m Jesse Funk. and on today’s episode of Runner’s High, we’re going to talk about should you wash your running shoes or just leave them dirty.

Let’s start off with the simplest answer I can give you. If you’re thinking about taking your running shoes and putting them in the washing machine, don’t. Although it’s a modern marvel that has really helped us reduce the amount of time we’re spending washing our clothes, we don’t have to hand wash, which is awesome. It is not suitable for washing your running shoes if you’re ever planning on running in them again. 

Don’t get me started on the dryer. Between the two, we’re gonna waterlog our midsole, which if you watch my video on how long shoes should last, you know, sweat, moisture, bad for midsole. And then in the dryer, you have the potential with that high heat that actually warps the shoe and it won’t even fit on your foot anymore. 

Now you might be sitting there and thinking, “Well, I put it in the washer before and I didn’t have any problems.” Well, look at you Mr. Fancy Pants getting away with it. But just know that yes, it does not happen 100% of the time, that you’re gonna warp your shoe by putting in the washer and the dryer. But you’re not doing yourself any favors by putting your running shoes through that kind of basically, shoe hell inside of the washing machine and then the dryer. 

So, the question still remains, should you wash them at all or just leave them be? Generally speaking, if you’re following that three to 500-mile rule before you’re switching out your shoes, it’s probably not a big deal whether you wash them or not.

There’s not going to be a huge difference except that, you know, we know when you clean the shoes and it looks nice, nice shoes that make you feel good. You always run faster and nice looking shoes, right? That’s just kind of the rule. But for other practical terms, it’s really not a big deal if you follow that three to 500-mile rule, downgrading to everyday shoes or your lawn mowing shoes, whatever you want to do from there. As far as running is concerned, probably fine. 

The one kind of scenario here where it does make sense to clean your shoes is one if you’re a neat freak and you want to clean your shoes, that’s fine. But also, when the sweat builds up and grind builds up, and all these kinds of things build up in the materials in the shoes, it can lead to it being a breeding ground for bacteria, mold, and fungus, which can potentially affect your feet which is what we do.

Here at Solpri, we deal with people that have skin conditions involving fungus and bacteria and potentially mold, and deal with athletes, you know, with particularly skin problems. And it can start with making sure that your shoes are clean and tidy. 

If you want to actually see a routine about how to clean your shoe and the things you should be doing to prevent these kinds of things, subscribe to the channel, hit that button there in the bottom right hand corner, stay with me. I’m going to do that in another video in the future, so don’t go anywhere.

The whole thing here though, is yes, it’s okay to clean your running shoes properly. Again, stay tuned for that other video, but do not put them in the washing machine. You’re not doing yourself any favors or your running shoes. It’s gonna hurt you and your running shoes in the long term to try to put them through that cycle. So, I’ll see you next time on the next episode of Runner’s High.