De-stink your sneakers

Your competition shouldn't know you're hot on their heels just because they can smell your kicks from six yards away.

The one quandary that has stumped athletes for ages is how to clean that precious -- though stinky -- pair of sneaks without basically destroying them. Look, when you shell out $100 (or more!) for performance shoes, the last thing you want to do is experiment with washing-machine tactics. And, spoiler alert: the washer-dryer plan is not the move for your runners. The heat and tumbling motion destroys the glue and midsole foam, shortening the lifespan of your shoes.

There's a better way, and Brian White is cluing you in on it. "Fill a large bucket or sink with warm soapy water and submerse the sneaker," said White, who co-owns Fleet Feet in Carrboro, North Carolina, with his wife. "Use a toothbrush to remove grime on the outside."

When it comes to managing eau de ensole, it's all about scrubbing away microscopic bacteria that has accumulated there, White said. After tackling the exterior, pull out the insoles and scrub each one really hard with a sponge. (The friction will help wipe out bacteria.) Dunk them back into the water and repeat a couple more times. Be sure to rinse the insoles in clean water.

Although placing shoes in the sun seems like a smart way to speed drying, the shoes can actually get too hot, causing the materials to break down, White said. Instead, place shoes in a shaded area, turning them upside down. Stuffing newspaper inside will help draw moisture away from the shoe, too (and is also a great drying strategy after you've been running in the rain).

"Ideally, washing your shoes like this every four to six weeks will help prevent the build-up of odor-causing bacteria," White said.

Just be sure to clean them on your rest days so they have plenty of time to dry before you slip your feet back inside.

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