Oct | 18
Running Tips, Shoes & Gear

Caring for Your Running Gear 101

Through hot runs and cold runs, wet runs and long runs, your running gear is there for you mile after mile. But sometimes, your running gear wants some TLC from you, too! Whether you’re wondering when to replace your shoes, how to keep them from smelling, how to care for your sports bra, or any other number of questions, we’ve got answers for you. Bennett Grimes, Footwear Product Line Manager, and Heather Cvitkovic, Director of Global Apparel Product Line Management, answer common questions below about caring for running shoes, sports bras and apparel.

If we didn’t answer your questions about caring for gear here, let us know in the comments and we’ll answer it for you there.

How long should your running shoes last before you need to throw them out?

We recommend replacing your running shoes every 300-400 miles.

What are some signs that it’s time to toss your shoes and replace?

The cushioning in your shoe will be the first thing to breakdown because midsoles are designed to absorb shock and protect the body. The tricky part is that this wear is not easily visible, that’s why we recommend you keep track of your mileage. Also, the tread on your running shoes is more durable than the midsole itself, so if you can see visual wear and tear on the tread, you can count on the fact that your cushioning is worn out and it is time for a new pair of shoes.

The goal is always to replace your shoes before you start feeling aches and pains. Unusual aches and pains which can’t be attributed to a change in your training are a sign that you may need to replace your shoes. The key aches and pains to look out for are knee pain as well as shin splints.

how to wash your running shoes, how to get rid of running shoe smell, how to wash sports bra, how to care for sports brasHow can you make your shoes last longer? How can you minimize wear and tear?

While there isn’t anything wrong with using your running shoes for other fitness activities, this will likely increase the amount of times you’ll need to replace your running shoes as you’ll be increasing the amount of wear and tear on them. One thing I recommend is to use your worn out running shoes for casual activities. While they may no longer be in good condition to run in, it’s likely that you won’t need as much cushion and support in your other activities.

What are some ways to cut back on smell? Or eliminate smell entirely?

Stuffing newspapers in your shoes to absorb moisture is one tip to cut back on smell, or put dryer sheets under the sock liner overnight. A spritz of Febreze will also do the trick for a quick fix.

How often should you wash your sports bras? How long should each bra last before you need to throw it out?

It’s really a personal preference, but 2-3 wears are OK in between washes. And on average, we recommend replacing your sports bra every 6-12 months.

how to wash your running shoes, how to get rid of running shoe smell, how to wash sports bra, how to care for sports brasHow can you tell when it’s time to replace your sports bra?

Pay attention to key signs such as stretched bottom band and straps, faded tags, possible chafing spots, and a less-than-fresh scent are all signs its time to replace your sports bra. Appreciate what it has done for you, say your goodbyes, and get fitted for a new style to keep you moving without skipping a beat.

At a minimum, we recommend women have three sports bras in her wardrobe at a time- one on her, one in the drawer ready for the next workout and one in the wash. Not only will this give her options for different outfits and workouts, but rotating them can extend the life of each sports bra. Not to mention, your size and shape can fluctuate over time. It’s great to get measured regularly to ensure you are in getting the best fit from your sports bras.

How long should running apparel last before you need to throw it out? How can you tell when it’s time to replace the item?

A well cared for garment should still be running strong after 50 home launderings. Similar to bras, it’s important to pay attention to the signals—stretched bands and straps, faded tags, possible chafing spots, a less-than-fresh scent, etc. are all signs it might be time to upgrade your running apparel.


Have more questions? Ask them in the comments and we’ll respond to you!

  • Suneson

    Well, I´ve been running in Brooks running shoes half my life (34 years) and I´ve ran five times across the US (3 200 miles). I use my shoes much, much longer than you recomend. For example, during a coast to coast I need 3 pair of shoes, in other words I run over 1 000 miles in a pair of shoes. I also wash mye shoes in a washing mashine.

    Björn Suneson, Sweden

    • Hi @Suneson:disqus! Thanks for running with us. A cross-country run sounds like an amazing challenge. When’s the next one? 1,000 miles in a pair of shoes is quite extraordinary, and we’d recommend replacing them a bit more frequently just to stay safe. Let us know if your cross country trips take you through Seattle next time!