Washing Shoes


Experience From - Jeff Baillie , Kristine Hinrichs , Len DeMoss , Adam Greene , Jim Stroup , Rick Lewis , Claudia Berryman , Stuart Gleman , John Thieme , Pete Ireland ,

Jeff Baillie

Does anybody out there in Ultraland ever wash their running shoes? If so, any how-to's, suggestions, and/or tips would be mucho appreciated!! Thanks!

Kristine Hinrichs

I've never washed mine in a machine - but I have given them a heavy scrubbing by hand. I think the most important thing is drying. I do know something about that - newsprint absorbs water like nothing else! After washing, stuff your shoes with newspaper - check them in a few hours - remove the paper and stuff them again with dry paper. I rarely have to wait for even 24 hours to have dry shoes - the newsprint wicks the moisture away ----- maybe someone should figure out a way to make jackets from the stuff! The only thing you have to be careful of is the colored ink - it may bleed into the fabric of your shoes - I try to use the classified and other sections without colored images. Good Luck.

Len DeMoss

I wash mine with a hose. I never put them in a washing machine. I just put them out on the patio and use the hose on them. Then I take shoe trees and put them into the shoe and let the shoe dry in the house in the utility room sitting up so that the water will run downward to the toe area. I do not put them out in the sun, but in the summer I will put them under the deck area on the patio where it's shaded.

Adam Greene

I asked this question about a year ago. I have developed my own way that some people would say is nothing short of what an electrical engineer would go through to rewire the Biltmore House (for those of you that don't know what this is: it is the Largest Private Home in the U.S. It has about 4 acres of floor space, and it is modeled after three French chateaus [Blois, Chenonceaux {please excuse the spelling}, Chambord]).

I start out by removing the insoles and laces and soak my shoes in warm water overnight. Then I use an old toothbrush and liquid hand soap on the soles and other misc parts of the shoes, and I use shout gel (the type with the stiff plastic brush) on the stains and cloth parts of the shoes. Then I soak them again in warm water. Depending on how dirty, smelly, etc. my shoes are I will decide whether to add/not add another shouting. Next I put them in the washing machine, but I don't just toss them in. I set the washer on large load with warm water (this way the shoes will not be at the bottom where the blades are). But even still, I put both shoes in a pillow case, and my shoes are the only thing in the washer. Then I put detergent and set the cycle on soak. Then I let them air dry, but I like Ms. Hinrichs use of newspaper. I will have to try that. But I definitely don't put them in the dryer.

My shoes seem to last just as long either way (washing/no washing).

Jim Stroup

I just put them in the washer with Tide and baking soda, let them agitate for a few minutes, let soak for half an hour, finish the cycle, and let them air dry on their own. They look and smell MUCH better and seem to last fine. I observe no visible damage.

Rick Lewis

The secret is putting them in front of a small fan - they dry usually in less than 12 hours! (As fully described on our site) I relate to the engineering approach to ALL running-related issues ha! :)

Claudia Berryman

I just throw mine in the washing machine on the regular cycle. Do not put them in the dryer. Air dry.

Stuart Gleman

Throw them in the washing machine with a few tablespoons of laundry detergent. I usually wait until I have 2 or 3 pairs to wash at once it seems to help the balance of the machine. I used to disassemble the shoes to wash them take out the laces and insoles now I just throw them in laces and insoles and all. after the spin cycle I don't put them in the dryer (the noise annoys the entire neighborhood) I just set them out to dry which they do in about a day even in humid Florida. this may not be optimum but they wind up cleaner and better smelling than when they started.

John Thieme

The fan that blows the warm air out from around the compressor on your `fridge does a great job of drying shoes. Pull the inserts.

Pete Ireland

I occasionally machine wash mine on a gentle or hand wash cycle using cold water and whatever detergent is handy. I leave the insoles in mainly because I do some modification under them that might work loose if I took them out.

I agree with Rick about using a small fan. I take the insoles out when I dry the shoes. It takes only a few hours--overnight at most. Usually 4-6 hours will do it depending on fan speed. I also set them in front of a fan if I have been running in the rain or have perspired heavily rather than letting them sit around wet. IMHO it is probably better to dry them fairly quickly (but without heat) than let them sit around wet for a longer period. At least you can put them away sooner.