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How To Wash Cross Country Spikes How To Wash Cross Country Spikes


How To Wash Cross Country Spikes

Looking to keep your cross country spikes clean and performing their best? Check out our featured guide on how to wash and maintain your spikes for optimal performance on the trail.

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When it comes to cross country running, having reliable and well-maintained spikes is crucial for optimal performance. Cross country spikes are designed to provide traction on various terrains, allowing runners to navigate through uneven surfaces and challenging conditions.

However, after each race or training session, cross country spikes are often covered in mud, dirt, and sweat. To ensure their longevity and performance, it is essential to properly clean and maintain them. In this article, we will guide you through the step-by-step process of washing cross country spikes.

By following these cleaning methods, you can remove dirt, grime, and odor from your spikes, leaving them refreshed and ready for your next race. Whether you are a seasoned cross country runner or just getting started, taking care of your spikes is an essential part of ensuring an optimal running experience.

Before we delve into the cleaning process, let’s take a look at the materials you will need to get started.


Materials Needed

Before you begin cleaning your cross country spikes, gather the following materials:

  1. A soft bristle brush: This will be used to remove excess dirt and mud from the spikes and shoe upper.
  2. Mild detergent or soap: Choose a gentle, non-abrasive detergent or soap that is suitable for washing athletic shoes.
  3. Water: You will need access to clean water for rinsing the spikes and shoe upper.
  4. Old towels or paper towels: These will be used to absorb excess moisture after washing.
  5. Optional: Odor-neutralizing spray or powder: If your spikes have developed an unpleasant odor, you may want to use an odor-neutralizing product to freshen them up.

With these materials on hand, you are ready to move on to the next step: preparing the spikes for cleaning.


Preparing the Spikes

Before you start cleaning your cross country spikes, it is essential to prepare them properly. Follow these steps:

  1. Remove the spikes: Most spikes can be easily unscrewed from the sole of the shoe using a spike key or a small wrench. Carefully remove each spike and set them aside.
  2. Inspect the spikes: Take a close look at each spike to check for any damage or wear. If you notice any broken or worn-out spikes, it’s time to replace them. Replacing spikes regularly ensures optimal traction and reduces the risk of injury.
  3. Remove excess dirt and mud: Use a soft bristle brush to gently remove any visible dirt or mud from the spike holes and the sole of the shoe. Take care not to damage the spikes or the shoe material during this process.
  4. Clean the spike holes: Use a toothpick or a small brush to clean out any debris or clumps of dirt that may have accumulated inside the spike holes. This will ensure that the new spikes are easily inserted and secured.
  5. Prepare a cleaning solution: In a small bowl or bucket, mix a few drops of mild detergent or soap with water to create a cleaning solution. Make sure to follow the instructions on the detergent packaging for the correct dilution ratio.

With your spikes properly prepared, you are now ready to move on to cleaning them. Next, we will explain how to clean the spikes effectively.


Cleaning the Spikes

Now that you have prepared your cross country spikes, it’s time to clean them thoroughly. Follow these steps to ensure a proper cleaning:

  1. Dip the brush in the cleaning solution: Take your soft bristle brush and dip it into the cleaning solution you prepared earlier. Make sure the brush is damp but not dripping wet.
  2. Gently scrub the spikes: Begin scrubbing each spike individually, using gentle circular motions. Pay attention to all sides of the spike to remove dirt, mud, and any other debris. Take care not to apply too much pressure, as this could damage the spikes or the shoe material.
  3. Rinse the spikes: Once you have scrubbed all the spikes, rinse them thoroughly with clean water. This will help remove any remaining soap or dirt particles.
  4. Inspect the spikes again: After rinsing, examine the spikes to ensure they are clean and free from any residue. If necessary, repeat the cleaning process for stubborn dirt or stains.

Once you have finished cleaning the spikes, it’s time to move on to washing the shoe upper. We will discuss this step in the next section.


Washing the Shoe Upper

After cleaning the spikes, it’s important to give attention to the shoe upper. The shoe upper can accumulate dirt, sweat, and odor, so it’s crucial to wash it properly. Follow these steps to clean the shoe upper:

  1. Remove the laces: Start by removing the laces from the shoes. This will make it easier to clean the shoe upper thoroughly.
  2. Prepare a cleaning solution: In a separate bowl or bucket, mix a small amount of mild detergent with water to create a soapy solution.
  3. Dip the brush in the cleaning solution: Take your soft bristle brush and dip it into the soapy solution. Ensure that the brush is damp but not dripping.
  4. Gently scrub the shoe upper: Starting from the toe box, gently scrub the entire shoe upper using circular motions. Pay attention to any areas that may have accumulated dirt or stains. Take care not to scrub too hard, as this could damage the shoe material.
  5. Clean the laces: If the laces are dirty, you can wash them separately in the same cleaning solution. Use your hands to agitate and scrub the laces to remove any dirt or grime.
  6. Rinse the shoe upper: Once you have finished scrubbing, rinse the shoe upper under clean water to remove any soap residue.

After washing the shoe upper, it’s time to move on to the drying and storage process, which we will discuss in the next section.


Drying and Storage

After cleaning your cross country spikes and washing the shoe upper, it’s crucial to ensure proper drying and storage. Follow these steps to effectively dry and store your spikes:

  1. Remove excess moisture: Use an old towel or paper towels to gently pat the spikes and shoe upper, absorbing any excess moisture. Take care not to rub too hard, as this can damage the spikes or the shoe material.
  2. Air dry the spikes: Find a well-ventilated area and place your spikes in a location where they can air dry naturally. Avoid placing them in direct sunlight or using artificial heat sources to speed up the drying process, as this can cause damage.
  3. Reinsert the spikes: Once the spikes and shoe upper are completely dry, carefully reinsert the spikes into their respective holes in the sole of the shoe. Use a spike key or small wrench to tighten them securely.
  4. Store in a clean, dry place: Once your spikes are dry and the spikes are properly reinserted, store them in a clean, dry place. Consider using a shoe bag or box to protect them from dust, dirt, and potential damage.

By following these drying and storage practices, you can help prolong the lifespan of your cross country spikes and ensure they are in optimal condition for your next race or training session.



Properly washing and maintaining your cross country spikes is essential for their longevity and optimal performance. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can effectively clean your spikes and keep them in great condition for your runs.

Remember to gather all the necessary materials before starting the cleaning process. Preparing your spikes by removing them, inspecting them for damage, and cleaning out the spike holes is a crucial first step. Using a soft bristle brush and a mild detergent, gently scrub the spikes to remove dirt and debris. Rinse them thoroughly and inspect for any remaining residue.

Next, focus on washing the shoe upper using a separate cleaning solution. Remove the laces and scrub the shoe upper with a gentle circular motion, paying attention to any areas that require extra cleaning. Rinse the shoe upper to remove any soap residue.

After the cleaning process, ensure that both the spikes and shoe upper are properly dried. Absorb excess moisture with a towel and allow them to air dry in a well-ventilated area. Once dry, reinsert the spikes and store the spikes in a clean, dry place to protect them from dust and damage.

By incorporating these cleaning practices into your routine, you can extend the lifespan of your cross country spikes and maintain their performance, allowing you to perform at your best in races and training sessions. Take care of your spikes, and they will continue to support you on your cross country running journey.