Shoe Care and Revival
Everyone has something in common when it comes to running shoes. If you use them, they get worn out, and smell. In this blog, I give my tips on prolonging the life of your running shoes, and preventing them from getting smelly!
The first thing that usually happens to running shoes is that they do get a bit smelly. However there are a few great products out there that can help prevent, and reverse this effect, making it a little more pleasent on the nostrils. The first of which is an insert to put in your shoes when you aren't wearing them. They are called Stuffitts Shoe Savers. They work by drawing the odour out of the shoe, and neutralising it. Put them in your shoes after exercise for a few hours.
The second of which is is a spray called Scholl Odour Control Shoe Spray. This is really simple, in that all you need to do, is spray it in your shoes after your run.
Sticking with the feet themselves, Athletes foot is a common problem, especially amongst runners. To prevent it, keep your feet dry by removing your shoes immediately after exercise, and washing your feet thoroughly, and you should be ok. However in the worst case scenario, it can be helped by using Daktarin Dual Action Spray Powder. To use this, just spray some of the powder in the ends of your shoes after exercise.
Sometimes, blister prevention socks just aren't enough, and there is a stitch in your shoes that rubs. If you haven't got a decent pair of running socks, I'd go down that route first (see my running socks blog for details). However, the next step is to prevent any friction from occuring. Engo Anti Blister Patches are designed to be as friction free as possible, and stick to the inside of your shoes. Find the spot in your shoes that is causing you the problem, and put a patch over the top of it, ansuring all sides are firmly stuck down. The glue on these gets stickier when it gets warm, so after one wear with them in, they'll be firmly stuck in place.
Cushioning and Support
Sometimes you just want a little more cushioning in your shoes. If the midsole has worn out (500 miles or 2 years after buying them) I would recommend getting a new pair of shoes, however, an insole can help prolong the life of your shoes. Sorbothane insoles are excellent at offering cushioning and simply replace your current insoles. They come in a variety of designs, ranging from just heel pads all the way up to full gel insoles, so choose whichever you feel you need.
You can also get structured inoles. These help prevent Plantar Fasciitis, and offer some support in terms of preventing over-pronation. The two brands I would look for are Superfeet and SOLE. Sole are customisable, and mould to your feet. Both have instructions with them, so follw those when using them.
Laces can be changed for any reason. Simply for a change of colour, or to make your shoes easier for triathlons, there are a huge number of different laces to go for. Some decent regular laces that come in a range of colours can be found here. However, there are different laces when it comes to speed laces:
Xtenex X300 Laces - These are excellent for quick transitions. They have knots 'pre-tied' in them, so you simply need to pull them tight and away you go.
Traditional Speed laces - These work via a locking mechanism that is attached to the ends of the laces. Simply pull them tight, then press the button and tighten that, then you're set to go
Greeper Shoe Laces - These laces offer a speed lace alternative to regular laces. They look like regular laces, but work by simply pulling the tab.
Ex-Pro® LED Shoe laces - These are a unique twist on laces, and are excellent for visibility.
Keeping things tidy
When cleaning your shoes NEVER put them in the washing machine unless they have no midsole (e.g. Vibram Five Fingers). It destroys the cushioning and often warps the shoe. However, you can clean them using luke warm water and a brush. I use a Caraselle Tyger Paw. Its easy and comfortable to use, and isn't abrasive. I only use this on the outsoles, and have found it particularly useful on trail shoes. And speaking of trails; its a good idea to have a bag in your car to stop that from getting covered in dirt. I keep a boot bag in my car, so that the shoes stay well away from the upholstery! If the uppers of my shoes get really muddy, I wait for them to dry, and then just bang the soles of them together outside. This gets rid of most f the dirt, and if there is a lot left, I use the brush and some lukewarm waer to just get rid of any excess. Always leave your shoes to dry naturally and out of the sunlight! Intense heat can again warp the midsoles.
Hopefully you've picked up some useful tips on taking care of your shoes!
For now though