We subject our running shoes to a lot: miles of gravelly pavement; rocky off-road terrain; dusty dirt trails; and sloppy puddles of mud or undefined urban liquids. Oof. And we pay a lot for these shoes, sometimes burning through multiple pairs in one training cycle. Our shoes are part of our identities. They are our most loyal and reliable running companions, and thus they’re an investment worth taking care of—especially if you want to max out the 700 to 800 miles you can get out of some models these days. To really care for your pair, you might just need to use a little elbow grease to bring them back to life. Here’s how to clean your running shoes to keep them looking so fresh and so clean.

Seems like a good idea, but not so fast. “The constant tumbling could damage and/or jeopardize the integrity of the shoes,” says Jason Angsuvarn, the founder of Jason Markk, a premium shoe care brand. (You can, however, toss those dirty laces in with the rest of your laundry.)

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