How to Care for Athletic Shoes

Athletic shoes are a big investment, and unfortunately for your wallet, they are an investment you will continually need to make. Of course this kind of maintenance is worth it! After all, the health of your body is at stake. Anybody who leads an active lifestyle wants to be able to maintain that lifestyle for as long as possible. Athletic shoes that properly support and protect your feet, knees, ankles, legs, hips and back are a crucial step in this direction.

The good news is that there are several steps you can take to extend the life of your athletic shoes.

Rotate your shoes regularly. Your feet contain thousands of sweat glands, and after each run or workout, your shoes have soaked up an enormous amount of sweat. Rotating your shoes allows the shoes to dry thoroughly between runs, which ultimately results in your athletic shoes lasting longer. To increase the rate of drying, remove the shoes’ insoles.

While it may seem like an inconvenience to purchase several pairs of running shoes at one time, it will actually save you time and money in the long run. Specific versions of running shoes are discontinued every 12 to 15 months. This can be particularly irksome if you have finally found a shoe you really like. By stocking up on a shoe that works for you, you will save time shopping in addition to extending the life of each pair by rotating your shoes regularly.

Use protective soles. Sole guards are a new product designed to go over the existing sole of the shoe. They come in different colors (to match the color of the shoe’s sole) and are supposed to be thin enough not to affect the sole’s performance. In fact, many people claim that these protective soles actually increase a shoe’s traction.

Clean your shoes regularly. As tempting as it may be to throw your athletic shoes in the washing machine, it is better for the life of the shoe if you wash them by hand. Use a scrub brush and neutral cleaning solution (liquid dish detergent works well) to douse and scrub your shoes. A tooth brush can help you tackle the tough spots. Perhaps the most important step to washing your shoes is making sure that you dry them properly. Stuff your shoes with paper to draw out the excess moisture and to help the shoe retain its proper shape. Never stick your shoes in the drier. The extreme heat will ruin your shoes.