Can I Wash Running Shoes In Washing Machine

As a running enthusiast, I often find myself facing the dilemma of how to clean my running shoes. After days of pounding the pavement, my shoes accumulate dirt, sweat, and even the occasional mud splatter. Naturally, I want to keep my running shoes clean and fresh, but the question that often arises is: can I wash my running shoes in the washing machine?

Well, the answer to this question is not a straightforward yes or no. It depends on several factors, such as the material of your running shoes and the washing machine settings. Let’s dive deep into the details to understand if it’s safe or not to toss your beloved running shoes into the washing machine.

Consider the Material

The first thing to consider is the material of your running shoes. Most modern running shoes are made from a combination of synthetic materials such as mesh, nylon, and polyester. These materials are generally safe to wash in a machine, but it’s important to check the manufacturer’s instructions before proceeding.

Leather or suede running shoes, on the other hand, can be a bit trickier to clean in a washing machine. These materials require special care and often need to be cleaned by hand using a gentle cleanser. Washing them in a machine can cause damage and alter their appearance.

Preparation is Key

Before throwing your running shoes into the washing machine, there are a few steps you should take to prepare them. Start by removing the laces and insoles to prevent tangling and promote even cleaning. You can wash these separately in a mesh bag or by hand.

Next, give your shoes a thorough brush to remove any loose dirt or debris. This will prevent the washing machine from getting clogged and help ensure a more effective clean.

Choosing the Right Settings

When it comes to washing your running shoes, selecting the appropriate settings on your washing machine is crucial. Use a gentle or delicate cycle with cold water to minimize the risk of damage. Avoid using bleach or harsh detergents, as they can be too abrasive for the materials of your shoes.

In addition, consider placing your shoes inside a mesh laundry bag or pillowcase to protect them from getting tossed around too much during the washing process. This will help prevent any damage to the shoe’s structure.

Drying and Care

Once the washing cycle is complete, resist the urge to put your running shoes in the dryer. High heat can cause the glue to weaken or melt, resulting in a loss of stability and support. Instead, let your shoes air dry naturally in a well-ventilated area.

To help maintain the shape of the shoes, you can stuff them with crumpled newspaper or use shoe trees. This will also help absorb excess moisture and speed up the drying process.


So, can you wash your running shoes in the washing machine? The answer is yes, but with caution. It’s important to consider the materials, prepare your shoes properly, choose the right settings, and avoid using heat to dry them. Following these steps will help ensure that your running shoes stay clean and in good condition for many miles to come.