Looking after and cleaning wet cycling shoes

Looking after and cleaning wet cycling shoes

It's an inherent hazard of cycling that, at some point, either by weather or sweating, your cycling shoes will get wet or damp. This is especially so for off-road shoes for gravel and mountain bike, as riders will frequently be crossing water courses and rivers. In the same way that you clean and dry and look after your bike, cycling shoe care is equally as important. Here at Lake, we make some of the world’s most comfortable high-performance cycling shoes. However, if you want them to stay in pristine condition and keep your feet in comfort, then there’s a few simple steps that you need to take in caring for your cycling shoes.

1. Absorb most of the water & dampness

Firstly, it’s critically important to delicately clean the shoe as best you can before the drying process begins; removing mud, gravel and other debris from the sole and the upper. A soft, small brush will clean out the lugs and sole from our off-road cycling shoes, and a soft cloth will clean the mud and debris from the upper.

Next, it’s an old trick, but it still works in soaking up and starting the drying-out process. Use newspaper or paper towels, and stuff the inner of the shoes with these, or some other absorbent cloth as tight as possible, and all the way onto the toe. This helps to absorb water quickly, and to dry the shoes. Importantly, it also helps the shoe from losing its shape or from the toe box collapsing.

It’s a good practice to get into after every ride, storing them with shoe inserts such as a shoe tree, even if dry.

2. Storing & drying the shoes

Leave the shoes for 10+ hrs in ambient room temperature and not under direct sunlight, but in a well-ventilated room. Do not place the shoes in a closet or damp place, and do not place them in a heated cupboard, where the drying process may be too harsh. The shoes need to dry out at the right rate, otherwise the leather or fabric can be damaged.

3. Slowly is always best

It’s important not to rush the drying process, as indicated at point 2. Do not use heat, a dryer, setting the shoes next to heat source or on a radiator. Don’t leave the shoes damp in the car or set them in direct sunlight, as this will deform the shoe, cause the shoe to lose its shape, for leather to become damaged, collapsing the toe and potentially lead to a separation of the upper from the sole.

4. Post-drying actions

After drying the shoes, we recommended that you use a shoe tree to keep the shoes shape. This will help in keeping your Lake cycling shoes in tip-top condition for many years to come.

5. Use a recommended shoe cleaning product

Finally, give the shoes a thorough clean with correct shoe cleaner/lotions and apply leather moisturizer/oil to leather shoes, protecting the leather and keeping it supple.

We appreciate that when you choose a pair of Lake cycling shoes, that you put your trust in us. That’s why we want to help you to look after your shoes for as long as possible. After all, there’s more than 40 years of innovation that’s gone into creating the world’s best cycling shoes. We want you to ride them into adventure for many years. That will mean that at times they’ll get wet, due to rain or simply down to the nature of the tracks that trails. Following the advice here will ensure that your feet stay wrapped in our legendary Lake comfort, and that you get the most from your Lake cycling shoes.

Click here to see our recommended shoe cleaning products


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