From the right shoes to high-quality apparel, running gear is an investment. To make sure you’re getting the most for your money, follow these tips and tricks to give your gear a longer lifespan.
Hang Up Running Apparel Post-Run
Moisture-wicking tops and bottoms are a must for serious runners, but these items do require more specific maintenance. As you sweat, your technical tee will wick moisture away, but if it’s not properly cared for, it may also trap odor-causing bacteria in the fabric. Hang shirts and apparel to dry immediately after your run instead of tossing them in a laundry basket.
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Avoid Fabric Softener and Heat in the Wash
When you wash your technical tops, bottoms and socks, avoid fabric softener and high temperatures. Fabric softener can leave a residue that will compromise the wicking capabilities of the garments, and heat is more likely to trap odors in. Wash technical items in cold water, and consider using sports-specific detergent. These cleansers are designed to more effectively remove odors without damaging the moisture-wicking properties you value. After the wash, always air dry your clothing. In addition to emanating bacteria-trapping heat, dryers can also wear down the fibers of your apparel.
Women should wash sports bras in a mesh laundry bag to keep clasps or hooks from snagging other clothing. As with other technical items, sports bras can be damaged in the dryer. In addition to trapping odors, heat can also harm the elastic and compromise the bra’s form and fit.
Hand Wash and Air Dry Running Shoes
You can wash sockliners and laces in a machine, but throwing the entire shoe in could damage the cushioning as well as the washing machine itself. Instead, clean external dirt with a soft toothbrush using warm water and gentle soap.
If your shoes get wet during a run, apply the same logic to them as you would to apparel—that is, do not use heat. Heat from a dryer or vent can compromise the glue that holds together the midsole and outsole and warp the shape of your shoes. Instead, dry your shoes by removing the insoles, stuffing them with newspaper and letting them air dry for approximately 12 hours. Frequent runners may want to have a second pair in their rotation to allow for proper drying time.
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Untie Your Shoes
To help shoes maintain their structure, always untie them after a run. Stepping on the heels to kick off shoes may save a second or two, but it can damage the heel collars or heel counters in the process. This will thus accelerate the breakdown of the shoes' construction and compromise the fit.
Save Running Shoes for Running
There are several variables in play, but generally a good pair of running shoes should last around 400-500 miles. The simplest and most important thing you can do to make running shoes last is to save them for running. Wearing your running shoes on a walk or to run errands will tick valuable miles off the life of the shoes.
Making sure to take extra care of your running shoes and clothing can help ensure they last longer and help your running performance. Come shop our choices in running gear where we offer a wide selection in running shoes & running clothing for you to choose from.
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