Most men have at least one good pair of sneakers in their closet. If we’re being honest, really, most guys have more than one pair, and many of them are content enough wearing only sneakers all their lives. And who could blame them? Sneakers are as comfortable as they are versatile. They pair well with any ensemble and can be worn anywhere from the gym to the red carpet, as most celebrities have popularized.
Like all other types of footwear, though, sneakers tend to take a beating and they’ll require care and cleaning from time to time. Custom men’s sneakers, in particular, need a little more love than normal if you want to keep them looking fresh and new. Here are a few tips to get you started:
Protect your sneakers
The easy way to keep your sneakers clean is to protect them from getting dirty in the first place. Our custom men’s sneakers here at Idrese will come to you already protected with a sealant that we apply during production. However, that will still wear out over a couple of months.
If you’ve purchased a pair of custom men’s sneakers from us in leather, or has leather components, we recommend applying a good-quality white shoe cream to condition them. Simply wipe away any dirt and debris from the surface with a soft, damp cloth and then rub the cream in. For non-waterproof materials such as linen or suede, use an appropriate shoe-protecting sealant to keep them in pristine condition.
Don’t let stains sit too long
Serious sneakerheads agree that you should always clean your sneakers immediately after wearing them. This doesn’t just prevent dirt from accumulating on them; it’s also much easier to get any stains out when they’re fresh.
There are differing opinions about putting your shoes in the washing machine, but our advice is: don’t. We can’t stress this enough, especially for our custom men’s sneakers made with more delicate materials like suede. Certain washing machine detergents will be too harsh on them, and the agitation they’ll go through in the machine will weaken them. Putting them through the washing machine can also loosen the stitches.
You can easily wipe stains off of custom men’s sneakers crafted out of leather. On porous materials like fabric or suede, though, they pose a bit more of a problem. Do your best to wipe them off as soon as you spot them, and then subject them to a more thorough cleaning when you get home. For fabrics, you can use an old toothbrush dipped in a mixture of gentle soap and water, or one made with baking soda and water, to rub stains right out. For suede, though, you’ll want to perform a dry cleaning using a suede brush and a suede eraser.
Dry them properly
Sneakers should never be dried using heat or direct sunlight, as extreme temperatures can cause them to crack. It’s also best to keep them away from radiators and heating vents for the same reason.
Instead, allow your sneakers to air-dry after cleaning simply by placing them out in the open, under the shade. Stuff them with newspaper to prevent creases and maintain their shape. Those little silica gel packets can help speed up the process. Just toss a few of them into the shoes before putting the newspaper in.
Store them with care
Most guys keep their sneakers in the original packaging it came in, and that’s fine—but you can do a lot better than that. Investing in shoe storage boxes is a great idea, especially if you’ve amassed quite the collection. They’re stackable, which is a major advantage for the spatially-challenged. The see-through drawers also let you see which pairs are where, making it easier to choose which ones to wear.
Buying shoe trees for your sneakers is a must, especially if you want them to maintain their shape. If you don’t have the budget for them yet, though, you can use newspaper or old white t-shirts. They have to be white, so that they don’t stain your shoes.
You can still improve on how you store them, even if you do decide to keep them in their original boxes. Keep your custom men’s sneakers fresh by inserting dryer sheets in them before putting them away.
In addition to these care and cleaning tips, the one piece of advice we’d like to leave you with is: rotate your shoes! It’s always a good idea to let your kicks dry and rest between wears. Alternate your custom men’s sneakers with a pair from our Nuno collection of minimalist leather sneakers, available in Polar White, Oxblood, or Pitch Black. Or grab yourself a pair of Chelsea sneakers like our Medici, available in gorgeous Taupe Suede. For more excellent footwear options, browse our catalog now or use our online portal to design your own custom men’s sneakers today.