Easy Guide: How to Clean Hiking Shoes Effectively – Somvip
how to clean hiking shoes

Easy Guide: How to Clean Hiking Shoes Effectively

When you embark on a hike, your footwear is your most important gear. However, after a few trips, your shoes can start to look worn and dirty. Fortunately, with proper cleaning and maintenance, you can keep your hiking shoes in great condition, ready for your next adventure.

In this step-by-step guide, we’ll show you how to effectively clean your hiking shoes and provide tips for maintaining them. You’ll learn how to keep your outdoor footwear looking and performing like new.

Key Takeaways

  • Hiking shoe maintenance is crucial for optimal performance and longevity.
  • Regular cleaning can prevent excessive wear and tear on your shoes.
  • A deep clean, including removing mud and odors, can be done easily with the right techniques.
  • Properly maintaining your hiking shoes will save you money in the long run by avoiding the need for frequent replacements.
  • Follow our easy guide to keep your hiking shoes looking and feeling great for all your outdoor adventures.

Cleaning Hiking Shoes – Step-by-Step Guide

Whether it’s removing mud after a hike or tackling stubborn odors, keeping your hiking shoes clean can be a daunting task. But fear not, we’ve got you covered with our step-by-step guide on the best way to clean hiking shoes.

Step 1: Remove debris

Before getting started, use a soft-bristled brush to remove any excess dirt, mud, or debris from the outer surface of your hiking shoes. This will make the cleaning process much more straightforward and prevent the shoes’ material from becoming prematurely worn or damaged.

Step 2: Wash the shoes

Fill a large bowl or bucket with warm water and add a small amount of mild detergent. Dip a sponge or soft cloth into the water, squeeze out the excess, and gently scrub the shoes’ surface. Be sure to get into any nooks and crannies where dirt may be hiding. Avoid submerging the shoes completely in water, as this can damage the materials.

Step 3: Remove stubborn stains

If your hiking shoes have any tough stains that won’t come out with just soap and water, use a mixture of water and white vinegar (in equal parts) to create a mild detergent. Apply the mixture to the stained area with a soft-bristled brush, and gently scrub in a circular motion until the stain disappears.

Step 4: Eliminate odors

After washing your hiking shoes, they may be left with unpleasant odors. Eliminate these by sprinkling baking soda inside each shoe and letting it sit overnight. In the morning, shake out the baking soda and wipe the shoes with a damp cloth to remove any residue.

With these easy steps, you can effectively clean your hiking shoes to keep them looking and smelling great for future adventures.

removing mud from hiking shoes

Tips for Maintaining Your Hiking Shoes

Now that you know how to clean your hiking shoes, it’s important to maintain them properly to ensure they last for many adventures to come. Here are some essential tips to keep your hiking footwear clean and well-maintained:

  • Avoid machine-washing: While it may be tempting to toss your hiking shoes in the washing machine for a quick clean, it can damage the footwear and its materials. Instead, opt for hand-cleaning techniques outlined in Section 2 for the best results.
  • Regular cleaning: After each hiking trip, make sure to clean off any dirt, mud, or debris with a soft-bristled brush or a damp cloth. This will help prevent buildup and damage over time.
  • Keep your hiking shoes dry: After each hiking trip, remove the insoles and let your shoes dry naturally, away from direct sunlight or heat sources. Wet shoes can lead to mold and mildew, which can cause odor and damage.
  • Protect with a waterproof spray: Using a waterproof spray designed for hiking footwear can help protect your shoes from water damage and stains. Make sure to apply it regularly for the best results.
  • Store properly: When not in use, store your hiking shoes in a cool, dry place with good air circulation. Avoid storing them in airtight containers, as this can trap moisture and lead to mildew.

By following these hiking shoe cleaning tips and proper maintenance techniques, your footwear will be ready for your next adventure. Remember, well-maintained hiking shoes equals a happy hike!


Congratulations! You now have all the knowledge you need to keep your hiking shoes clean and maintained for many adventures to come. Remember to clean your shoes after every hike and let them dry completely before storing them. Avoid using harsh chemicals on your shoes, and opt for gentle cleaners and brushes instead.

Don’t forget to regularly check your shoes for signs of wear and tear, and repair any damage promptly. By taking care of your hiking shoes, you’ll not only extend their lifespan but also ensure that they perform at their best, providing you with the comfort and support you need on the trails. So go ahead and plan your next hiking trip – your clean, well-maintained shoes are ready for the challenge!


How often should I clean my hiking shoes?

It is recommended to clean your hiking shoes after every hike or whenever they become visibly dirty. Regular cleaning helps to maintain their performance and prolong their lifespan.

Can I wash my hiking shoes in a washing machine?

It is generally not recommended to wash hiking shoes in a washing machine as it can damage the materials and affect their performance. Hand washing is the preferred method for cleaning hiking shoes.

How do I remove mud from my hiking shoes?

To remove mud from your hiking shoes, allow it to dry completely, and then gently brush off the dried mud with a soft brush or cloth. Use a damp cloth to wipe away any remaining residue.

How do I clean the inside of my hiking shoes?

To clean the inside of your hiking shoes, remove the insoles and let them air out. Wipe the interior with a damp cloth or use a shoe deodorizer to eliminate any odors. Allow them to dry thoroughly before reinserting the insoles.

What products should I use to clean my hiking shoes?

Use a mild soap or specialized shoe cleaner that is suitable for the materials of your hiking shoes. Avoid using harsh chemicals or bleach, as they can damage the shoe’s construction and performance.

How do I remove odor from my hiking shoes?

To remove odor from your hiking shoes, sprinkle baking soda inside each shoe and let it sit overnight. Shake out the excess baking soda and air out the shoes. Consider using odor-absorbing inserts or shoe deodorizers for ongoing odor control.

How can I prevent excessive wear and tear on my hiking shoes?

To prevent excessive wear and tear, avoid walking on rough surfaces and sharp objects that could damage the shoes. Regularly inspect the outsoles and midsoles for any signs of wear and replace them if necessary. Store your hiking shoes in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.

How should I dry my hiking shoes after cleaning?

After cleaning, allow your hiking shoes to air dry at room temperature. Avoid placing them near a direct heat source, as excessive heat can cause the materials to warp or shrink. Stuff them with crumpled paper or use shoe trees to help maintain their shape during the drying process.

Are there any specific cleaning methods for different hiking shoe materials?

Yes, different materials require different cleaning methods. Consult the manufacturer’s instructions or do some research specific to your shoe’s materials. Generally, gentle brushing, wiping with a damp cloth, and using mild soap or specialized cleaners are safe for most hiking shoe materials.

How often should I deep clean my hiking shoes?

Deep cleaning your hiking shoes should be done periodically, especially if they have accumulated dirt, debris, or stubborn stains. It is recommended to deep clean your hiking shoes every 3-6 months, depending on your usage and the conditions they are exposed to.

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