Its spring and you’ve been looking forward to getting outdoors and using your new running shoes. Haven’t you? Unfortunately, early spring weather can be pretty rough on running shoes. Though the water and mud, created by a spring thaw, can age shoes dramatically, a few simple steps may help to keep them looking, if not brand new, than certainly their best.
Keep Them Clean
The key here is to remember to clean your shoes after every run. Don’t let it slide. Not cleaning only increases the chance that your shoes will become dirty and worn out more quickly.
Spring means sun, but it also means rain, and water is the most dangerous element a shoe will come in contact with, bar none. Water, alone is a nuisance, causing wear on a shoe, however, a Continually wet environment will eventually destroy a shoe’s structure, as moisture tends to remain locked in the shoe fibers, casing the shoe to deteriorate.
Leave your shoes in a puddle overnight and see what a season’s worth of rain can do to a shoe. That’s what falling rain does over time. Next to mold, salt water is probably the worst offender as far as shoes are concerned. It eats them away, much like it eats paint from a car.
Yes, come spring, rain may always be in the air, but it’s also in the streets and paths we walk or run on each day. Don’t forget the dirt, grime, mud and salt coming from where we walk in our lives and what it does to our clothing in general. Even sedentary paths are chock full of deteriorating chemicals. Mud, ashes and other debris, prove totally noxious to the shoe, both in structure and appearance. Other elements found in thawing water can damage to our shoes too: Icy chips can scratch and scrape them, pebbles can stick into the bottoms of soles and mud can turn them brown or even get itself lodged in its creases. If we put them away in this condition, they’ll stay that way. Here’s an alternative: Clean your shoes after wearing then.
This is a simple suggestion that may save you time and money in the future. A brisk brushing off of the entire shoe, after you wear it is your first and best way to clean the shoe. Even when wet, a course shoe brush works best if brushed briskly over the entire shoe, including the soles. A toothbrush works well for the edges and is great for brushing out debris from the soles. If a toothbrush isn’t handy, you can use a number of objects to get dirt and debris out of the creases, such as Q-Tips, screw drivers or even tooth picks, provided you’re careful.
Any of these remedies for environmental wear helps keep degradation to the shoe minimal and helps to keep the integrity of the shoe intact.
Keep Them Dry
After the cleaning process, it’s a good idea to remove the insoles, if you can and also to stuff the shoes with newspaper. This last measure not only helps make drying time faster, but it will absorb any water that may have penetrated into the shoe itself. Stuffing also helps to retain the shape of a shoe. If you have time and need to dry them in a hurry, you can try a fan. Never put your shoes on a radiator, hot air device or anything flammable. Always store your running shoes in a dry area.
The Rotation Method
One way runners have found to increase the life of their running shoes is to have several pairs. There are many advantages to this. Alternating shoes keeps them cleaner and dryer and contributes to the overall life of the shoe, by cutting down its wear.
It’s a pretty handy trick too, if one pair isn’t dry and you need another pair, you have another. The more pairs you have, the cleaner each pair will be. Also, the wear on each pair is decreased by the number of pairs you own. You can have one pair for every day of the week, in every color, and they’ll last years! Many different types and styles exist for running shoes these days: Some for walking around casually, some for hiking, biking mountain climbing and track.
Having different types of running shoes has many positive benefits that go beyond your fashion sense. Multiple pairs cut down on skin blisters, for example, because the same shoe isn’t rubbing on the same spot continually. Remember too that different styles exist for different activities you may enjoy. This changes the way it fits on your foot. It looks different and feels different because it is different. Different parts of the foot are used depending upon the style. Some styles of running shoes are specifically designed to target certain muscles of the body.
Start with picking a pair that suits your particular lifestyle at the moment and then expand. At the same time, you’ll be expanding on your exercise routine and your activities. Hopefully, you’ll be doing it all in clean running shoes.