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Gear and Technology

Get the most out of your running gear: tips for extending gear lifespan

How to extend the life of your running gear with Brooks Running
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The better care you take of your running shoes and workout clothes now, the less gear you’ll need to buy, the more money you’ll save, and the less stuff you’ll add to the landfill in the long run. Win-win-win!

But how exactly do you care for your gear, and what should you do when it eventually wears out? We share our top tips for extending the life of your running gear below, and how you can choose more sustainable options when it’s time for a replacement.

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Help your running gear go the distance

Let’s get the most out of your gear. Here are our top tips for prolonging the lifespan of your running shoes and workout clothes:

  • Rotate your shoes: If you’re an avid runner, avoid wearing the same pair of running shoes every day. Rotate between two or more pairs to allow them to fully dry out and recover their cushioning and shape between runs.
  • Untie the laces: When taking off your shoes, untie the laces and loosen them before slipping your feet out. This helps prevent excessive stretching or wear on the shoe's upper and laces.
  • Wipe shoes down: Read our article on how to clean your running shoes to get them looking squeaky clean. Never put your shoes in the washing machine or dryer—this can damage the shoe’s structure and materials.
  • Give your gear a good home: Store your running shoes and workout clothes in a cool, dry environment away from direct sunlight, as extreme temperatures and moisture can degrade the materials.
  • Follow care instructions: Follow the care instructions provided on the label. Typically, it's best to machine wash running apparel on a gentle cycle with cold water and mild detergent. Avoid using fabric softeners, bleach, or harsh chemicals that can degrade the fabric.
  • Air dry: When it comes to taking care of your Brooks Run Bras and other specialty running apparel, we recommend hanging them to dry. Using the dryer can wear down the fabric and damage the moisture management properties of performance running gear.
  • Repair when possible: If you notice minor damage like loose threads or small holes, repair them promptly. This prevents further deterioration and extends the lifespan of your apparel.
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What to look for when buying new gear

Once you’ve squeezed the last kilometer out of your running gear and it’s time for a replacement, consider eco-friendly options that are built to last. Look for running gear made from sustainable materials such as organic cotton and recycled polyester, which have a lower environmental impact compared to conventional fabrics. You’ll also want to look for well-constructed and durable gear. High-quality products tend to have a longer lifespan, reducing the need for frequent replacements. Consider the stitching, seams, and overall craftsmanship of the gear. Look for brands that are transparent about their sustainability practices, including their materials, manufacturing process, and environmental initiatives.

Our commitment to sustainability

At Brooks, we aim to minimize the impact our running gear has on the planet. We want our gear to last longer and we’re taking greater responsibility to make sure it doesn’t end up in the landfill after it has run its last kilometer. To achieve this, our sustainable consumption initiatives include:  

  • Source only materials with minimum 50% recycled or bio-based content by 2030
  • Eliminate footwear manufacturing material waste sent to landfill or incineration by 2030
  • Launch Brooks’ first fully circular performance running footwear and apparel by 2030
  • Launch re-commerce (learn more about Brooks ReStart below!) and implement a product take-back program
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The carbon-neutral Ghost 15

Brooks has signed The Climate Pledge to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2040 — ten years ahead of the goal set by the Paris Agreement. We started our journey in 2021 with our best-selling style, the Ghost 14, as our first carbon-neutral product.

Our latest edition, the carbon-neutral Ghost 15, is made from recycled materials, including a 90% recycled content vamp mesh, 86% recycled content tongue mesh, 87% recycled content tongue and collar lining, and 100% recycled content materials used for the lace, sockliner top cloth, and all the textile reinforcements. We then compensate for the remaining carbon emissions we have not yet been able to reduce with carbon credits to make an immediate impact to help address climate change.

More kilometers, less impact

Extending the life of your gear is just one of the many ways you can make your run more sustainable. Remember: small actions add up to big change in the long run. Learn more about how Brooks is lacing up for a net-zero carbon emissions future and how you can do your part, one stride at a time.

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Disclaimer: Our writer's advice is intended for informational or general educational purposes only. We always encourage you to speak with your physician or healthcare provider before making any adjustments to your running, nutrition, or fitness routines.