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Gone are those days when we think playing in the mud was only meant for children. Today, thousands of adults gather to participate in mud racing events, not just for the sake of getting dirty, but also for the sake of testing their limit against obstacles that are sure to test their endurance, and also keep their body and mind sharp in the process.
To some who have participated in 5k mud racing in the past, they will agree that one of the most daunting tasks after a mud race is getting your items tidy and clean. Some have even gone the easy way of just tossing their mud racing gears into the trash just because they feel they can’t get the mud completely out of them. One of the sporting gears with this fate is the shoes.
You might have resorted to running in the next mud racing event in an old shoe that you feel you can easily do away with after the race.
Well, I am here to tell you that you don’t have to put the comfort of your feet at the hands of an old shoe all because you don’t want to ruin a new one. As a matter of fact, you can even participate in a mud race with a brand new shoe and still get the shoes sparkling after the race. Let me show you how. (Read Also: How To Dress For Mud Run In 2021)
Expert Steps To Cleaning Shoes After A Mud Run Race
Step 1: Get A Plastic Bag For Your Shoes After The Race
Getting a plastic bag (such as this awesome Reusable Plastic Shoe Bags With Zip Lock) is the first and most important step in regaining the appearance of your shoe after a mud run. You will not only be doing your shoes a favour but also your car.
Leaving your shoes after a mud run exposed without proper coverage might likely mess your car up with mud from the race. Getting the mud out of the shoe is already enough to worry about, you don’t have to get your car involved in the whole fiasco.
Step 2: Be Patient And Allow The Mud To Dry On Its Own
Getting the mud out of your shoe right away will always be the easy route to follow, but I suggest that you allow them to dry on their own.
Trying to remove the mud from your shoes by cleaning them with a rag can only make the mud get more attached to the clothing material of the shoe. This also implies that you have to also avoid the temptation of leaving it outside (except the garage) so that it doesn’t get damp again especially during humid seasons.
Also, do not try to hasten the drying process of your shoes. Don’t leave it exposed to a direct heat outlet, such as radiators and the likes, as this may distort the appearance of your shoes.
In a case where there is no natural sunlight or heat to dry your shoes when you return home, use a fan. It could either be a ceiling fan or a standing fan. Position the shoe in such a way that the air gets into the shoe, especially the inner section.
Step 3: Remove The Caked Or Dry Mud From Your Shoe
Once you are sure that the mud has dried out, hit your shoes together to remove the already dried mud from the shoes, or better still hit them against a hard surface and watch them come off on their own. Do this as many times as possible, but ensure that you don’t hit them too hard so that you don’t damage the soles of your shoes in the process.
Step 4: Remove The Laces Of Your Shoes And The Interior Layer (Inserts)
Not all shoes are designed to have their inserts or insoles removed, some shoes have their insoles glued to the sole of the shoes.
If your shoe insoles can be removed, please remove them for proper cleaning of both the insoles and the inner compartment of the shoes. But if not, do ensure that you try as much as possible to reach every area of the feet compartment in your shoe using a rag.
You should also remove the laces of your shoes for proper washing and reachability. In a case where you feel your shoelaces are too tangled, you can simply cut them with a pair of scissors and get new ones. I will recommend getting these Flat Coloured Athletic Shoe Laces for you.
Step 5: Dust The Shoe With A Clean, Dry Rag Or A Dry Paper Towel
Using a wet piece of clothing to get rid of the remaining fragments of mud on your shoes after stumping them on a hard surface doesn’t sound ideal, especially since you had to wait for them to get dry in the first place.
So ensure that you dust the shoes with a dry piece of clothing, especially one that can get into the feet compartment comfortably.
Step 6: Gently Clean Up Your Shoes With A Soft Brush
Get a bowl and drop some dish soap in it. Use a soft brush (such as this shoe brush with a soft bristle and handle) or a toothbrush because it can reach areas where a normal and conventional brush might not reach. Dip the shoebrush into the soap water and scrub gently.
Ensure you get every corner of your shoe including the feet compartment. If you have removed your shoe insoles, clean them as well.
In the process of cleaning, use a paper towel or a dry rag to clean the cleaned surface after every scrub. Do not allow the water to dry on your shoes while cleaning them.
Cleaning with a dry rag while scrubbing your shoes also ensures that you don’t have to rinse your shoe with fresh water after washing, which could delay the dry time of your shoe.
Rinsing your shoe with clean, fresh water after scrubbing will also get your shoes clean, but that is if you have no intention of using them immediately.
It would also mean that they have to be completely dried under direct sunlight before you can bring them inside, which is a luxury you can’t really afford especially during humid seasons. Wiping your shoes dry with a dry rag in the process of cleaning is the best option to go for.
Read Also: Best Watch For Mud Run & Other OCRs In 2021
Step 7: The ‘Machine-Wash’ Option
You can use the washing machine if you feel that the previous scrubbing did not do a good job. All you need to do in this case is to drop your shoes in the machine, albeit with other items of clothing such as sheets or towels.
This is usually done to ensure that your shoes are not damaged in the process of the machine wash. The sheets serve as a “shock absorber” from the machine, but take note that you would have to wash the sheets again after this is completed.
Ensure that you wash the shoes using only cold water, and set the machine on a “delicate” or a “gentle” setting. Feel free to toss in your shoe insoles and laces as well, but ensure that both are removed from the shoe before tossing them in.
Step 8: Ensure That They Are Dried Properly
To help absorb the dampness from your shoes after the wash, especially in the feet compartment, stuff your shoes with a paper you have no use for. Please, do ensure that they are thoroughly exposed to direct sunlight. Following this procedure would mean that your shoes are dried in about 12 hours.
After your shoes are dried, do well to avoid any smell whatsoever by applying baking soda in the feet compartment. This will certainly help to drive off any lingering smell that might be caused by dampness. You can use this baking soda to get the job done.
Participating in a mud run can stir up a passion in you to take running more seriously. However, you might want to know if you can still use the same shoes you used for mud racing on a normal road run. The answer is an emphatic yes! But there are things to do, to ensure that your shoe stays not just clean, but fresh after every run you embark on.
How To Keep My Shoes Fresh After Every Run
It’s not just running shoes, there are some individuals who complain that their normal working shoes will always let out a very horrible smell after they take it off. Following these simple steps will ensure that every embarrassment you might have felt in the course of removing your shoes is a thing of the past.
1. Wash Your Feet Often And Properly
Apart from putting baking soda in your shoes to absorb any offensive smell that might be emitting from your shoes, it is important that you take out time to scrub your feet properly using the right types of equipment.
Washing them while taking your bath will not be enough, ensure that the right techniques, alongside the right equipment, is used for this purpose. You can use these recommended Foot Care Kit and Foot Soaking Bath Basin for a start.
2. Don’t Leave Your Shoes On Your Feet Longer Than Necessary
If you are done for the business of the day, be it running or anything else that requires you to put a shoe on, do not waste another moment by leaving your shoes on your feet.
The source of shoe odours emanates from sweat glands that produce sweat while you work out or go about your daily activities. The sweat produced during that process is restricted firstly to your foot, then your socks, and finally your shoe.
The smell begins to manifest when the sweat released has nowhere to evaporate to. It also comes from the bacteria living in the foot, socks, and shoes.
So it is important that you take your shoe off at any given opportunity so as to allow for proper evaporation of the sweat that would have been produced while wearing the shoe. Do not delay for a minute longer. The earlier, the better!
3. Wear Proper Running Shoes And Also Socks To Compliment
Do not improvise when it comes to running shoes. Shoes meant for running are built especially for the purpose of running. Running shoes are always built with proper ventilation to help allow sweat generated in the course of running not to linger for long.
However, when we wear other shoes that are not built for this purpose, we tend to experience smell after a period of time. This running shoe (New Balance Men’s 520 V6-Running Shoe) has been proven to have very proper ventilation by experienced runners.
Also, do not wear a shoe without socks. It makes the sweat absorb inside your shoes easily without any resistance that the socks will normally provide.
Your socks should also be made up of moisture-wicking fibres, these kinds of socks (Anti-Blister Running Socks for Men and Women) will do a nice job in preventing sweats from absorbing inside your shoes.
4. Try And Replace Your Inserts Or Insoles From Time To Time
Shoe insoles are the last place of contact between the foot and the socks, which means that any sweat released in the course of the days training or activity will always be absorbed by the insoles of your shoes. Do well to change them every 3 months or thereabout.
This Full-Length Orthotic Shoe Insoles with Arch Support should go a long way in ensuring that your shoe smells fresh at all times.
5. Wash Your Shoes
This should actually be your first line of action if you notice any kind of unpleasant smell from your shoes. You can follow the steps spelt out in clear terms in the earlier part of this article above.
You don’t have to necessarily wash your shoe after wearing it for a run (with exceptions to mud runs), simply clean it properly using a piece of rag or paper towel, but most importantly, sun-dry your shoes after every run so as to eradicate every form of sweat in them.
6. Have At Least Two Pairs Of Running Shoes
One of the reasons why you don’t have unpleasant smells coming from your work shoes are because you have other options you can change to, from time to time. You can still apply the same logic by having two pairs of running shoes.
Not having to run in a particular shoe every day will help in reducing the amount of sweat a particular shoe has to absorb, and it will also give it ample time to dry.
How To Clean Shoes After Mud Run – Conclusion
Your mud shoes don’t have to be thrown away after a mud race. All you need to do is to diligently follow the simple steps explained in this article on how to clean them up after a mud run and watch those muddy shoes transform beyond your wildest imaginations.
And as a spoke person for the community of shoes around the world (yes I speak shoe language) I hope I have saved the life of a shoe which would have been rendered owner-less or homeless by its owner. We all say hello from here. Cheers!