You’re probably aware that sneakers are rather in fashion these days. And, one thing is for sure – from obsessed sneakerheads with thousands of pairs in their collection to that guy who wears the same trusty pair of sneakers every day and has done for years, we all want to keep our kicks in great condition and make sure that they last as long as possible.
But, don’t throw your sneakers in the washing machine – no matter how tempting it is! When it comes to making sure that your kicks get superior care, nobody knows how to do it better than sneakerheads. Here’s what the sneaker aficionados have to say about looking after your prized shoes.
#1. Start from Before You Wear Them:
Most of us only begin to start thinking about caring for and cleaning up our sneakers after they’ve gotten dirty and are starting to show some general signs of wear and tear, after being walked around in for a while. But, while the good news is that there’s plenty you can do in order to get your sneakers looking fresh again, the bad news is that at this point, it’s pretty much impossible to restore them to their like-new state.
So, get started with your sneaker care routine before you’ve even put them on your feet for the first time. Invest in a good shoe protection spray at the same time that you buy your new sneakers, so that you’re not tempted to wear them before you can get your hands on some. Then, lay a towel or an old sheet down to protect your floor and spray your new kicks all over. A good stain and water repellent spray is definitely worth it as it will keep your babies waterproof while repelling all kinds of grime, dirt, rain, and anything else your shoes come into contact with as you’re walking along. The spray will usually last for a couple of months at the most, depending on how much your shoe is exposed to the elements, so have a bottle handy to top up with.
#2. Wipe Gently with a Damp Cloth:
If your sneakers are looking a little bit grubby, then it can be tempting to throw them in the washing machine, but hold up – there’s an easier way to do things that will help your sneakers stay in top condition, too. Every so often, wipe a damp cloth over your sneakers to dissolve any dirt that’s clinging to them. Then, carefully rub away any remaining marks and scuffs. It doesn’t really matter exactly how you do this – just use any cleaning motion that works best for you when it comes to removing the grime and making them look shiny again. If your sneaker has a canvas surface, a ‘press and twist’ motion tends to work best for getting stains and dirt out.
For any stubborn stains that are difficult to remove when you carry out this step, it’s worth investing in mild sneaker shampoo, which should be applied to the stain and gently brushed in using a soft toothbrush or similar. Then, wipe with your damp cloth, rinse and repeat until the stain is fully removed. You might also find using the toothbrush handy to scrape away any debris from the outsole of the shoe.
#3. Make Sure You Allow Them to Dry:
While hand cleaning your sneakers might take longer than throwing them in the washing machine, you can be sure of one thing – they’ll be ready to wear sooner, compared to drying them off after a full wash cycle. But that being said, if your sneakers are damp after cleaning, then it’s worth allowing them some time to dry fully before putting them back on your feet. Don’t be tempted to put them on straight away, as wearing them damp can mess with their shape, and it’s easier for them to pick up dirt again, meaning you’ll have to re-start the entire process and this time it’s probably going to be even harder to get them clean.
Fully drying your sneakers will depend on how wet they are – if you’ve really saturated them, then be prepared, as it could take up to several days. If you’re pressed for time, then inserting some crumpled up paper towels into the shoe can help absorb some of the moisture to speed up drying, while also helping them retain their shape. Avoid placing your sneakers on or near a heat source to dry, as this could cause shape distortion.
#4. Keep Them Stuffed:
Everybody knows – and most people hate – that annoying toe crease that forms in your brand-new sneakers after just a day of wearing and walking around in them. But the good news is that there’s something that you can do in order to prevent this from happening and keep your sneakers looking like they are fresh out of the box.
When you first buy a pair of sneakers, it’s worth hanging onto the cardboard, paper or plastic inserts that they come stuffed with, and taking a few minutes after wearing them to re-stuff them before putting them away. It might seem like a bit of an inconvenience but it’s definitely worth it for keeping your sneakers in perfect shape for longer. If you’ve lost the original stuffing, scrunched up newspapers can be a great alternative.
#5. Alternate Your Sneaker Choices:
If you’re a sneaker fanatic, then this tip is for you – do your best not to wear the same pair of sneakers two days in a row! Alternating your sneakers – and re-stuffing each pair after every single wear – will give your kicks a chance to rest and completely dry off in between each wear, which in turn will lengthen their lifespan.
Even if you only have two prized pairs of sneakers, then alternate between wearing each pair every day. And if you only own the one pair, well it’s a great excuse to treat yourself to a pair of fresh new kicks, or three. Nike
#6. Never Use the Washing Machine, Ever!
Finally, as mentioned earlier, never ever use a washing machine when it comes to keeping your sneakers clean. While throwing them in on a short wash cycle might be tempting if you want to get them clean as quickly as possible, it can cause serious damage to your kicks that will shorten their lifespan.
And, the same goes for the dryer – throwing your sneakers in the dryer might be another tempting option if you’re tired of waiting for them to dry and want to get them back on your feet as soon as possible. But, using either the washing machine or the dryer can cause some serious damage to the leather or canvas that your sneakers are made of, and can cause the stitching to begin to come loose.
Whether you’re a sneaker fanatic or just want to keep your small collection of kicks looking and feeling great for longer, keep these top care tips from the pros in mind.
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