How to Clean Trail Running Shoes

How to Clean Trail Running Shoes the Right Way

Estimated read time: 3 minutes.

If you’re a fan of trail running, then you know that your shoes take a beating. Mud, soil, and gravel can quickly make your shoes look like they’ve been through a mud fight. It’s not easy to clean a running shoe effectively. If you don’t know what to do, then your shoes can end up getting damaged or even ruined. In this article, we’ll look at how to safely and effectively clean trail running shoes.

Rinse Your Dirty Trail Shoes

dirty trail shoes wash shower

The first step is to rinse your shoes off. This will remove any large debris that may be on the shoes. You can do this by using a hose, shower or if you’re near a stream or river, you can dunk them in there.

If you have access to a mild soap, you can also add some to the water and scrub it on your shoes with an old toothbrush. This is optional, but it will help remove any dirt or grime that may be stuck to the shoe.

Remove the Insoles

Next, remove the insoles and shake them out. Be sure to get all of the mud and dirt out of them. You can also use a toothbrush to scrub them if needed.

Loosen the Shoelaces

Dirt can easily get stuck in the shoelaces, so you’ll want to loosen them as much as possible. This will make it easier for you to clean and dry your shoes later on.

Dry Your Shoes

Now that all of the loose dirt is gone, it’s time to dry your shoes. There are a few ways to do this:

  • Air them out by placing them in the sun. The sun will help evaporate any moisture that is in the shoes.
  • Use newspaper to absorb the moisture. Place crumpled-up newspapers inside your shoes and let them sit overnight. The paper will absorb the moisture from within, leaving your shoes dry and ready for use in the morning!
  • Using a special shoe dryer or a shoe heater. If you have either of these, you can use them to dry your shoes quickly and effectively.
  • If you’re in a hurry, you can use a blow dryer on low heat to help speed up the drying process.
trail shoes shoe heater

I always use my Shoe heater to dry my trail shoes. In these dryers, the air is heated by an internal heater that gradually heats up. The warmth rises gradually before reaching the shoes. These dryers are quite quiet, which is a big plus.

Be sure to check the manufacturer’s instructions before using any of these methods, as some may not be safe for your shoes.

Replace the Insoles and Shoelaces

Once your shoes are dry, it’s time to put them back together! Replace the insoles and shoelaces, making sure they’re tight so that dirt doesn’t get inside again.

And that’s it! Easy peasy. Now you know how to clean your trail running shoes and keep them looking new for longer.

Things Not to Do When Cleaning Trail Running Shoes

Don’t use detergent. Detergents will damage the fabric of your shoes and make them less water-resistant. If you must use soap, stick to mild soaps only!

Don’t put your shoes in the washing machine or dryer. This will also damage them and leave them less water-resistant than before cleaning!

Do not dry your shoes near an open flame or direct heat source like a fire pit because it can cause melting that leaves permanent marks on the shoe. Soak up excess moisture first, then use air drying only for best results.

Avoid using bleach on any type of shoe upper material – it will damage the fabric over time and make them less water-resistant than before cleaning! Keep your shoes looking new by following these tips today!


Cleaning your trail running shoes the right way is important if you want to keep them looking new for longer. In this article, we have taught you how to rinse, scrub, and dry your shoes using methods that are gentle on the fabric. We have also shared some tips on things not to do when cleaning your shoes! By following these simple steps, you can keep your favorite pair of running shoes in great condition for many miles to come!

Joseph Peele