How to Clean Your Running Shoes

That last run may have been invigorating, but the muddy trails you splashed through probably weren’t that great for your running shoes. But they’re just battle scars, right? Your shoes need to be properly worn in when you’re running, don’t they?

While it’s not bad to have a favorite, worn-in pair of running shoes, it’s important that you take care of them. Occasionally, this might even mean cleaning your shoes to ensure they last longer.

Follow these simple rules to keep your favorite men’s or women’s running shoes in proper working condition:

Take them on and off properly
After a long run, the first thing you want to do is rip off your shoes. Resist this temptation! It’s important that you don’t take your running shoes off without untying the shoe laces. Loosening them before you take them off will prevent stretching and damage.

Never put your running shoes in the washing machine
Your shoes will get dirty, but the best way to clean your running shoes is with a scrub brush, soap and cold water. Then simply let them air dry.

Properly store your running shoes
It’s important to keep your shoes in a cool, dry area of your home. They need to properly air out after each use. You don’t want to store your shoes in a locker, gym bag or trunk of your car.

Dry wet shoes
If you do happen to find yourself running through puddles, it’s important to let your running shoes completely dry before putting them on again. Simply loosen the laces, take out the insoles and let them air dry. Placing your shoes in direct heat can dry out the leather and other materials.

What do you do while your favorite running shoes are drying? Well, that’s the perfect time to shop for a new pair of men’s running shoes or women’s running shoes from Sun and Ski Sports. Having alternate pairs of shoes will make your running shoes last longer and give them time in-between runs to properly dry out.

Local amateur skateboarders get their chance to shred this Saturday in Grapevine

Photo: Geiger Media - The mini-ramp and box, to be used in the street portion of the competition, were constructed at the Guapo Skillz Center in South Dallas.

By Erin Rice

According to recent statistics, at least one in every ten children in the United States owns a skateboard, with around 9 million active participants each year. Between 2002 and 2007, female participation increased more in skateboarding than any other sport. In North Texas, this most accessible of the “extreme” sports is growing in popularity and gaining more mainstream acceptance as public skate parks are being approved and built in several cities.

As popular as skateboarding is in the region, there isn’t a wealth of opportunities for young riders to compete at an amateur level. But with baby steps, that could change soon. As soon as this weekend, in fact.

On Saturday, May 16, Dallas-based Geiger Media will host the first stop of the Regional Amateur Tour (RAT) outside the Sun & Ski Sports at Grapevine Mills. With a total of four stops around Texas, the competition will include a mini-ramp and a street “Best Trick.”

Geiger Media’s founder, Bill Geiger, has had prior success with tours of this type in another board sport, wakeboarding. In 2004, he founded the Texas Wakeboard Tour with a number of stops aimed at promoting the water sport throughout the southwest. Geiger anticipates that the RAT will grow in popularity in much the same way.

“When I started the wakeboard tour it was all very amateur, but as we built it up the money got better and then the pros started to come.”

Speaking to skateboarding’s following in this region, and the desire for a place to compete, the RAT had no trouble getting participants. Though the organizers originally put a limit of 20 on the number of entries in mini ramp, Geiger noted that early this week, only two weeks after releasing the tour’s website, they’d easily reached their number and would likely accept additional riders. Throughout the two parts of the competition, street and mini-ramp, he said the ages of participants vary from eight- to 24-years-old.

While the RAT is an amateur tour, looking at the sponsorships you could mistake it for a pro event. Top-billed sponsors include Texas Scion of Grapevine, Sun & Ski Sports, Monster Energy Drink, Fuel TV and Time Warner Cable. In addition to sponsoring the event, footage from the four stops will be aired on Fuel TV, associated with Fox Sports and piped into tens of million of homes throughout the U.S.

Also helping to put on the tour is Push Distributions and Productions, a local manufacturer and distributor that oversees three skate brands: Hype!, Guapo, and City Stars. Mike Crum, an original X-Gamer who works with Push and helped construct the mini-ramp that’s being used this Saturday, is excited about the impact of a competition like this on young Texas riders.

“In California they see events like this all the time. Tony Hawk skates at the skate parks. But here – bringing something legit like this to Texas – it’s way more of a big deal for the kids.”

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The RAT kicks off this Saturday at the Grapevine Mills Mall. Located just outside the Sun & Ski Sports, action begins at 11 a.m. and will continue through 5 p.m. There will be a live DJ spinning tunes and a number of sponsor tents. But, most importantly, there will be tons of local amateur skateboarders shredding the lot all day long. The event is free to watch.