From a previous article, you know I’m married to a sneakerhead (my view as I write this is a wall of shoe boxes). How’s that coming along, you ask? Pretty swell. We should have furniture made out of shoe boxes. Except you can’t really toss these boxes away or re-purpose them because apparently not only do they eat up so much space, they also play a part in shoe care. Yep. You need them. It’s okay, I didn’t know either, thank me later.
First, get to know this list of really important stuff if you don’t want your sneakers falling apart while running (yeah, it happened to me too). Here are 8 dos and don’ts of sneaker care.
Hence the boxes. Keep the boxes they come in because the cardboard absorbs the extra moisture in the air but not so much so that it dries the material out. Too dry and you end up with cracked shoes. Too damp and you get moldy, stinky shoes. The best way to combat extra moisture is to get a dehumidifier from the hardware store and keep that in your shoe closet. The best that I’ve used so far is Damp Rid available at Ace Hardware. It’s not like it keeps the perfect air to moisture balance or some bullshit like that, it’s just that it lasts longer than your 88 Peso store alternative. It’s cheaper in the long run and you don’t keep having to replace it. Just remember to keep it in a place where it can’t get knocked over.
Heat and direct sunlight will cause the materials on your shoes to break down and the colors to fade. I mean yes, by all means wear them out on a sunny day, but just don’t leave them sunbathing out in the garage for days. ‘Wag mo sila ikula, please.
Never use bleach to clean your sneakers no matter how badly you want them to turn white again. Bleach will weaken the materials on your shoes. Instead, use gentle cleansers like regular soap and water and make sure to clean stains as soon as possible. Best if you can use products made specifically for sneakers like Clyde. Clyde is a locally made shoe cleaner that works really, really well that I don’t even go for the pricer ones anymore. You can buy those through their Facebook page or at a couple sporting goods places.
Really, they are. Great when you need to scrub it a little and are too lazy to take out your whole cleaning kit.
As in love as you are with your newest pair, resist the urge to wear them every day. Give your sneakers a chance to breathe. Sweat needs to dry out and air needs to circulate around them to keep them from smelling like a gym locker.
I have a big jar of baking soda with a few drops of essential oils for taking out the smell from car matting, upholstery, rugs, anything. Great idea to sprinkle it inside your sneakers, right? Nope. Sweaty feet + trace baking soda in insole = dry, peeling feet a few days later. Instead, pour a couple tablespoons of baking soda into a coffee filter, fold over top and sides, staple shut and put in shoes. Just remember to change them periodically as they only last about a month.
A big part of my sneakerhead husband’s day is thinking about what he needs to do, where he needs to go, the terrain he’ll be traversing and which pair would be suitable for all those factors. It gets annoying and tiring at times (for me. Sorry. I love you) but at least it has saved him from a lot of potentially ruined sneakers. Unlike me who chose to wear satin sneakers to a muddy event.
The worst thing you can ever do for your shoes is to keep them forever in pristine, unboxed perfection. A couple years later you brag about your ultra vintage deadstock pair but the moment you lift it out of the box for the first time, it just crumbles. Ouch. If you wait too long to wear ‘em, they’ll die. They need love and affection! What good are they’ll never see the light of day? The world needs to see your sick pairs, show ‘em off!
Do you find these tips useful? Do you have more suggestions? Share them in the comments!