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How to Properly Take Care of Your Trail Shoes

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When you leave the tarmac behind and hit the trails you know you’re going to end up ankle-deep in mud and water. After investing in quality trail running shoes to enhance your performance and protect your body, look after them properly so they stay in tip-top condition. Don’t just sling them in your bag covered in muck, take steps to care for your footwear so they last a bit longer and serve you better.

Don’t let the mud dry on your trail shoes

1. Right off the bat, wash all the mud, filth and grime off your trail shoes as soon as you can. If you love a gadget, buy a battery-powered pressure washer that’s rechargeable and portable. Spray your shoes down beside the car as soon as they’re off your feet. If that’s not for you, take your footwear straight home and rinse them clean before you do anything else. It’s much easier to remove the dirt thoroughly when it’s fresh and wet. 


2. Next, loosen the laces so that the shoes can be opened wider. If you want to get your trail shoes really clean, remove the laces completely, wash them with soap then dry them separately.


3. Remove the insoles and wash them with soap, rinsing them until the water runs clear. The insoles cushion your feet as they pound the ground so take care of this part of your shoe.


4. Take a close look at the mesh and fabric of the uppers. Rinse away all of the mud paying close attention to the creases made by your feet. Crusty, crunchy creases make wearing the shoes uncomfortable next time you put them on. 


5. Turn your shoes over and get every pebble and chunk of grit out of the tread. Maintaining the grip and stability of the sole is essential so clean the bottoms thoroughly.

Dry your shoes the right way

6. So you don’t undo all the hard work of cleaning your trail shoes, you need to dry them properly. It’s a simple technique but one that works. Take a used newspaper, scrunch pages up and stuff them inside the wet shoes. Makes sure that the paper goes firmly into the toes. The newspaper does two things, first of all it absorbs the moisture speeding up the drying process. Secondly, it maintains the shape of the shoe. Replace the paper with fresh pages as they soak up the water. 


7. Don’t put your damp shoes too close to a heat source. Tempting though it is to stand them in front of the fire or put them in the airing cupboard, it’s not a good idea. You’ll end up with crispy and brittle shoes that could disintegrate. Drying them slowly is the way to go for comfort and the longevity of your kit.

Deodorise and store your trail shoes

8. Trail shoes that have been worn across fields and through puddles multiple times could end up stinking like a farmyard. The combination of sweaty feet and stagnant water leaves an unsavoury odour unless treated. All that’s needed is a few tablespoons of baking soda, simply shake it inside the shoes. Tip out the baking soda roughly 24 hours later. Dry and deodorised, your shoes are ready to be worn again.


9. Not using your trail shoes for a week or two? Store them away carefully and they’ll be perfect for your next run. If you kept the shoebox they came in, pop them back in there so they don’t get crushed by other things in the cupboard. Or place them in a gym sturdy bag that holds its shape and offers some protection. Failing that, store your trail shoes under the bed so that they are out of the way and won’t get stepped on. Take a moment to stop them from being squashed and they’ll be there for you for longer.

Caring properly for your trail running shoes will prolong their life, but they won’t last forever. When the time comes, pick out your next pair from the extensive selection at Runners Need. And when you wear your new shoes for the first time, make sure you clean, dry and store them carefully.

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