How to Wash Running Shoes

Running shoes are essential fitness tools. But sweat is just one of the many components that can give running shoes a dirty appearance. Weather conditions and grime buildup also affect the way shoes look and smell. Proper cleaning will not only make the shoes look newer, but also prolong their life. For quick and straightforward cleaning of your running shoes, you only need to use your washing machine.

Step 1

Wipe the outside of the shoes with a cloth. For convenience, Mom's Budget suggests baby wipes. ASICS Sports says an old toothbrush will help get off stubborn dirt. Use an anti-grease soap on the outside of the shoe to clean grime.

Step 2

Remove the insoles, or liners, of the shoes if possible and wash them separately. You can leave the laces on or remove them and insert fresh ones.

Step 3

Place each shoe in a separate pillowcase. Knot the ends of the cases to secure the shoes inside.

Step 4

Set the shoes inside the washing machine and add laundry detergent as normal. Adjust the cycle on the machine to what you use for normal laundry.

Step 5

Cushion the inside of the washing machine tub with two bath towels. This will prevent the shoes from banging around during agitation. If you took out the liners, place them in the machine with the towels or hand-wash them separately. Turn on the washing machine and let it run.

Step 6

Remove the shoes from the machine once the cycle ends. If your shoes have a mesh surface, place them in the dryer on the gentle cycle.

Step 7

Stuff the inside of shoes, if not dryer safe, with newspaper or paper towels. According to ASICS, this will help absorb water from the inside and maintain the shape. Place the shoes and liners somewhere and allow them to air-dry. Once done, reinsert the liners into the shoes. Add new laces, if necessary.

Things You'll Need

  • Wet cleaning cloths

  • Toothbrush

  • Anti-grease soap

  • 2 pillowcases

  • 2 towels

  • Laundry soap


Verify that the shoes are machine washable before placing them into the units. If the manufacturer warns against machine washing, just wash the outside with a wet cloth and soap. Stuff the shoes with paper and let them air-dry.


ASICS warns not to put shoes near a heat source, such as a radiator or vent while air drying. This may cause the shoes to lose their shape.

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