Good quality running shoes come at a price, which necessitates that you take care of them to optimize the investment you make on your fitness and health. Your running shoes should easily let you enjoy from 640 to 800 km running miles in their lifetime. Ideally, regular or everyday runners need to invest in two pairs of the same running shoes. However, since the investment can be quite sizable, the runner can take care of just one pair in the best way possible. Here’s how.
Use your running shoes for running, period:
Although they may be the most comfortable footwear you ever own, your running shoes feature cushioning that will wear down with all-around use. Using them outside of running will take its toll. In addition, always remember to run on surfaces designed for the activity. A pair of cutting-edge racing shoes may not feature technology that enables trail running or running up a mountain. Most running shoes are engineered as road running footwear and nothing else. They may not be designed for rough trail running.
Additionally, running shoes aren’t geared for lateral sports but only for straight ahead mobility. Basketball and tennis shoes are equipped with side-to-side support while running shoes are not. Plenty of jumping, as what you do in volleyball, is also not what your favorite running shoes are engineered for.
It is best to get a second pair for gym or casual use.
Neglecting to undo the laces will be your running shoes’ undoing:
It can be quite difficult to ward off exhaustion after a tiring run, so one is tempted to simply pull off or kick off their running shoes without untying the laces. Doing this frequently will ruin the shape of the shoes, especially the heel. Keep in mind to unlace the footwear and slip each one off.
Dry your running shoes off:
Odor can come from the glue and variety of materials used in creating the running shoes. This can get worse if the shoes are left damp from sweaty feet running without socks, or soaked from running in the rain. Drying them in the clothes dryer is a no-no due to the fast and hot drying system. The glue holding the midsole and outsole together can disintegrate when subjected to heat, which can also weaken the upper and cause it to crack.
The shoes should be aired outside in direct sunlight for an hour after the run. If that is not possible, dry the footwear in front of a fan. You might also try sprinkling some baking soda underneath the insoles to counteract any unpleasant odors. However, if the insoles get to be wickedly stinky, you might just purchase a replacement pair for them.
Some runners don’t like wearing socks with their running shoes, but those who do should opt for premium synthetic ones, not cotton. A bit of antibacterial spray can also resolve stinky shoes issues.
The washing machine is not where muddy, filthy shoes are cleaned:
Cleaning your running shoes in a washing machine using the harsh detergents you use for laundry is not a good idea. Powerful laundry detergent can be harmful to the glue used in the shoes.
Just use a soft-bristled brush or an old toothbrush to wash away dirt using a mild soap, or even better, an anti-grease soap, plus water. Make sure to remove the insoles first before brushing the filth away. You can also remove the insoles and hose off all the dirt and mud. Remove any mud clumps caught in the outsoles. Let the running shoes air dry.
Store your running shoes where they air properly:
Store your running footwear in a dry environment where they won’t be stepped on, torn apart by pets or crushed underneath. Preferably, they should be stored in an open space where air circulates freely, and not in a gym bag or shoe box. Put them on an open shelf where there is good ventilation and the shoes are safe from getting gnawed by pets.
Keep track of the condition of your running shoes:
Any signs of wear and tear should be noted, since they could easily leave your feet vulnerable to injury during use. When the cushioning and shock absorption of your running shoes are significantly reduced, pain and injury to your legs and feet can occur. Should your shoes no longer feel as bouncy as before, the cushioning has most likely deteriorated.
To ensure that you are getting the most mileage from your running shoes, take note when they were purchased. Halfway through the lifetime of your original pair of running shoes, you could get a new pair for comparison on how a new or good pair actually feels compared to a worn-out one.