You’ve finally got your hands on a new pair of kicks you’ve been chasing after, and now you want to make them last. Or maybe you’re just looking to give your ol’ reliable creps a bit of TLC. Either way, you want to know how to protect your sneakers.
The good news is you’ve come to the right place. At Private Label, we’re all about changing the game and keeping your gear looking slick. That’s why we’ve put together these 5 simple steps to follow to protect your sneakers and keep them looking (and smelling) fresh.
#1 Clean them regularly
You have to take care of your sneakers if you want them TO last. And that means cleaning them regularly. Yes, it requires a bit of elbow grease, but we guarantee it’s worth it.
So, what do you need?
- Cleaning liquid: make sure you use something that’s sneaker-friendly and is safe to use on suede or nubuck
- Sneaker brushes: try to use a hog bristle or soft brush for uppers, a medium bristle brush for midsoles (you can also use a toothbrush), and a stiff bristle brush for soles
- Shoe trees
Once you have your cleaning kit ready, follow the steps below:
- First, remove any excess dry dirt on the sneakers by gently brushing them with the soft brush.
- Remove the laces.
- Fit the shoe trees inside your sneakers.
- Pour a small amount of the cleaning liquid into a bowl of warm water.
- Dip the bristles of the soft brush into the cleaning solution, and then scrub the uppers.
- Dip the bristles of the medium bristle brush into the cleaning solution, and then scrub the midsoles.
- Dip the bristles of the stiff bristle brush into the cleaning solution, and then scrub the soles.
- Once your sneakers are looking nice and foamy and clean, use the microfibre towels to sponge them dry.
- Immerse the laces in the cleaning solution, then rub them between your hands to get them foamy and clean. Dry the laces using the towel.
- Let your sneakers and laces dry. Don’t try to rush things by leaving them in the sun or running them through the dryer, as that might damage them.
- Once they’re dry, re-lace the sneakers. Any suede sections might be a bit stiff from the wash, so just gently brush those sections with the medium bristle brush to bring back that original softness.
- And that’s it, your pair of sneakers should now be squeaky clean and ready to go!
Some sneakers are machine-washable. If they are (and you’re keen on that extra freshness) then after you’ve scrubbed them, place each one in a pillow case along with their laces, and put them in the washing machine. Add towels to the wash so that the sneakers don’t get banged up. Use cold water, and don’t bother adding too much laundry detergent.
If you find all of this didn’t help the soles, then try using a Magic Eraser. They can get rid of the more stubborn stains.
#2 Keep them smelling fresh
Knowing how to protect your sneaker’s insides is another important part of shoe care. Sweat and moisture can accumulate within your insoles and the insides of your sneakers, making them the perfect breeding grounds for odor-causing bacteria.
That’s why when you clean your sneakers you have to make sure you clean the insoles as well. This can be done by removing the insoles and using the foam of the cleaning solution to gently scrub them. Let them dry naturally. If they still carry a bit of funk, use a deodorizer.
If the insoles can’t be removed, try to wear moisture-wicking socks with the sneakers. And when you’re not wearing the sneakers, you can either leave crumpled newspaper in them to absorb any odors, or a dryer sheet to give them that great smell of fresh laundry.
#3 Make them weatherproof
The last thing any sneakerhead wants is to go out sporting their best kicks only for it to rain and for them to get drenched. Keep your sneakers safe from the elements with a water-repellent spray. There are plenty of protective sprays available nowadays – though make sure you pick one that is safe to use on the materials of your sneakers. Follow the instructions on the spray bottle, and reapply the protective coat once every 6 to 12 months.
#4 Remember to give them a break
We get it, you want to show off your creps. But that doesn’t mean you have to wear them every day. If you’ve bought them because you love how they look and you want to wear them during downtime or while partying with your friends, then maybe don’t take them with you to the gym or while pounding the pavement. Remember, you have to give your shoes time to breathe. Otherwise you’ll be tearing through them in no time.
#5 Store them right
This is a big one. The best way to protect your sneakers is to store them right. And that means a few things:
- Use shoe trees to prevent your sneakers from creasing
- Use crumpled newspapers or dryer sheets to keep your shoes from smelling funky
- Don’t store your sneakers in direct sunlight. Keep them cool and dry.
- And make sure you use an excellent storage system that will keep them safe. This could be plastic case boxes or Private Label bags.