How best to drill holes in running shoes to let sweat out?
October 6, 2015 7:59 PM   Subscribe

I run in extremely hot and humid weather and my shoes are squishy. I need to drill holes in them to let the sweat out. Help.

I am a runner. I run in incredibly hot and humid conditions in Southeast Asia, and I run long distances. So, everything gets completely soaked. After 6-7 miles, my shoes are soaked through and squishy. I have heard that drilling holes in the soles of shoes is a great way to let the water out, and I'm ready to do this. However, what I don't understand is how to properly remove the soles of the shoes first, and then reinstall them. I am looking for advice on how to remove the soles of running shoes (specifically the Kinvara 6) and then put them back in properly. I can handle the drilling myself.

Also, if anyone can recommend good running shoes with drainage holes, I am open to that. I know there are many triathlon shoes for this, but those tend to be a little bit less than what I am looking for in terms of shoe quality.
posted by dead_ to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (10 answers total)
It's probably impossible to disassemble and successfully reassemble a running shoe. Try placing a thick block of wood inside the shoe, then drill into the sole from the bottom, until you hit wood.
posted by monotreme at 10:10 PM on October 6, 2015

I really don't think you can remove the soles and reinstall them. They are fused together using heat and pressure on a jig you cannot possibly come up with. But I don't see why you can't just drill holes in them anyway. If you know where you want the holes, take out any insoles that you can get to come out without destroying them, and drill your holes, with your hand in the shoe. When you feel the bit start to come through, stop drilling. Maybe you want the holes to go all the way through and then replace the insoles you took out. Be aware, though, that these shoes are made all of a piece, and holes may weaken them in places you don't expect or even know about.
posted by carping demon at 10:11 PM on October 6, 2015

Do you mean the insole? Like the the thing you'd remove to put in orthotics? They just pull out but you do need to give a strong tug. I have Kinvaras and have removed the insole. Lever your finger or a pair of tweezers under the insole at the heel. It will come out as a single piece.
posted by 26.2 at 11:29 PM on October 6, 2015 [1 favorite]

Exactly. Not all brands have an insole that will lift out. If Kinvara, which is a Saucony brand, has such a removable insole, i.e. one that comes out in one piece, as opposed to an insole that is cemented into the shoe, you can do whatver you want with it (within reason). Sometimes you have to carefully remove it a mm at a time using your fingers to lift it up out of the forefoot.
posted by carping demon at 12:36 AM on October 7, 2015

Please don't put your hand inside the shoe while drilling, as suggested above - that's an accident waiting to happen. I do think you can pry out the insole, then drill away. I'd try it on an old pair first, just in case.
posted by Fig at 1:46 AM on October 7, 2015 [13 favorites]

Some triathlon shoes advertise drainage holes. I know K-Swiss markets tri shoes that way and I'm pretty sure there are others. I think the people who drill holes themselves just remove the insoles.
posted by Lame_username at 3:42 AM on October 7, 2015

drill your holes, with your hand in the shoe

Do not do this. You are asking to also end up with handy water-drainage holes in your hands.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 4:04 AM on October 7, 2015 [19 favorites]

The insole might be lightly glued down - I think either it's going to come out with a good tug or it's not. I do wonder whether drilling holes in the soles is going to adversely affect the shoe to the point where you'd be better off just buying a good quality tri-shoe.

Is the sweat coming from your feet or running down your legs? You might have better luck catching it before it gets to the shoe, like with sweat bands and/or wicking socks.
posted by mskyle at 6:30 AM on October 7, 2015

The insole might be lightly glued down
Running shoes always come with easily removable insoles. There are many manufacturers of custom running insoles to adjust for a variety of issues and you'd have a lot of trouble selling a running shoe that didn't accomodate them. According to this review of the specific shoe in question, it also has a removable insole.
posted by Lame_username at 9:42 AM on October 7, 2015

Why not just get better shoes? I love in Houston and run trails. I am often crossing mud and streams. My shoes are filled with bayou water, sand and sweat. I wear the New Balance Minumus which have a Virgil some and are made of mesh elsewhere so they dry by the next day.

If I'm running on the street I prefer the Minimus 100 which have a thin plastic plate in the footbed to protect the ball of your foot, but the same minimal material elsewhere.
posted by Brittanie at 10:44 AM on October 8, 2015

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