4 Simple Steps to Bring New Life to Worn Running Shoes

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I am getting a little tired of this “Back-to-School” money gouge. I heard today that it costs the average Canadian child over $425 in back to school items!! I know that there are many expenses that are unavoidable, but I’ve been trying to cut corners whenever possible, and have found footwear to be a good one. Do my kids really need a brand new pair of indoor and outdoor shoes every September? At a price of $40 per pair, with four kids? $320 just on shoes!!! No thanks! 

Aside from being a huge expense, it also contributes to the disposable mindset that our society has. Use something for a while, then throw it away and buy a new one.  Not cool!!

What I do is buy shoes on clearance whenever I see them at a good price (less than $15). Stocking up and storing them til next year is worth the effort at that price! 

I also scour the second hand stores for gently-used good quality running shoes, and I also keep last year’s shoes. With a few simple steps, you can easily bring new life to worn running shoes.

4 Simple Steps to Bring New Life to Old Running Shoes

1. Throw them in the washer! Did you know that most running shoes can be washed pretty easily? I wouldn’t try it with very expensive ones or dress shoes, but the typical running shoe will brighten up from a wash.  First, tap off excess dirt. Close any velcro closures. Put in a regular wash cycle, along with some towels to cut down on the thumping sound.

2. Get out the Magic Eraser.love Mr. Clean Magic Erasers for so many jobs. They do great work on running shoes! Scuff marks, dirt, smudges, and general wear is removed with just a bit of scrubbing.

3. Clean the velcro, if there is any, or replace the laces. Open the velcro taps, and lightly trim the fuzzy part, if it’s too long. Pick out any large items from the hook side, then use second piece of hook velcro to “comb” through, and remove the smaller bits. If necessary, get out a needle or seam ripper for the last little bits. Your velcro should look and work as good as new! If they are lace-up shoes, a new pair of laces brings instant brightness to the shoes!

4. Let it dry! I like to hang mine from the clothesline in the sun. Any odour from remaining bacteria will be killed by the sunlight. If there is still a bit of smell, sprinkle with baking soda and let sit for a day or two, then shake off.

Enjoy your “new” running shoes!

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Marya R

I live in Bowmanville, and am a mom to four young boys - it can get a little loud in my house. I am a Christian, a part-time French teacher, a piano teacher and former homeschooler. I love finding the best deals, which will come in handy when our boys become hungry teenagers! We just moved to a house with more outdoor space, and I'm still getting used to life in the country (a walk around the block is a lot longer here!).

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  1. Great tips!! For something that we pay so much for, it’s worth it to have them last for a long time!! :)

  2. I usually throw sneakers in the washer. I try to rinse them with water first after shaking off the excess dirt to soften the material.

  3. YES! I definitely NEED to try this for a few of my shoes. I’m working really hard to combat that disposable mindset these days. I wonder if it will work to put shoes with memory foam in the washing machine? I have a few other pairs that don’t quite look great for work anymore but I could still wear on walks, weekends if I just gave them a little love.

  4. Thank you for these great tips! I usually take out the inserts and put our sneakers in a pillow case and right into the washer.

  5. I would really love to revive old shoes. But to be honest, I don’t have the patience. :) I just donate them or hand them down to relatives in the Philippines.

  6. Great tips! I love the magic eraser. It really is pretty magical!

  7. I have to go through my closet and try these things out. I’d love to extend the life of my shoes!

  8. I agree, back to school items are always going to be so expensive. I do stand by you when it comes to people who just throw something & go for new ones in a short time. My husband too always prefers such clearance sales to get the best out of it.

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