Clean kicks live longer.

Buying/getting a new pair of basketball sneakers is a moment of pure joy, but if you’re not careful that feeling can turn to something completely negative when the shoes get dirty or damaged…that is why you need to read this blog! We are going to share some great tips and tricks on how to keep your kicks looking great for a long time. Perhaps the hypothetical situation we can use to paint an even better picture is you wearing your OG Jordans that match your style and personality perfectly for a night out and then somebody (imagine old school horror movie music here) steps on them!

How to start…

The first thing that you want to do when going for a thorough cleaning is to remove the shoelaces and, if possible, the insoles as well. However, some insoles are sewn in or glued tightly meaning that it’s better not to remove them since they could be damaged if you pull on them too hard. The laces can also be tricky to take out with some models, but most of the time it’s fairly easy to do. You just might want to remember how they were laced (or take a pic with your phone) so it’s easier to put them back on. Alternatively, you can consider re-lacing them in some new and cool kind of way (just hit up a search engine with the term “shoe lace patterns”).
So, let’s assume that you were able to easily remove both the laces and insoles which means that these two parts are the only ones allowed to find their way into a washing machine. Before you do that, a good idea is to put these two items in a pillow case with a zipper. As far as the shoes themselves are concerned, THEY ARE NEVER TO BE PLACED INSIDE A WASHING MACHINE (sorry for the caps lock, but this is simply that important). Sure, washing your sneakers in a machine could be a quick fix, but it could also damage them and leave a smell that is almost always impossible to get rid of. Another major “don’t” with regards to the smell of the shoe is related to using any kind of heaters, hair fans, dryers, etc. The only way to dry your shoes is air drying! While on the subject of don’ts you also have to completely avoid using bleach or any kind of alcohol based liquids for cleaning as they could cause some serious damage.

Let’s just back up to the shoe laces and why they need to be removed. This is done because dirt and dust could be trapped under them so if the laces remain on the shoes you will never be able to get them completely clean. Of course, if you own a pair of N3XT L3V3L by Adidas or some other laceless sneakers then you do not have to worry about this.

The cleaning process

OK, now we can get into actual cleaning details. Here is what you should definitely have ready and use it:
– microfiber cloth
– soft brush
– toothbrush
– toothpick
– water
– cleaning foam – we highly recommend the one by Sneaky that you can buy in our stores or online.

So, when your shoes get dirty, you will basically want to clean them up as soon as possible. The only exception to this rule if you went through some deep, heavy-duty mud that got stuck to your shoe. For example, Under Armour makes great basketball and workout shoes, but some think that they are also ideal for nature and outdoor activities. Unfortunately, this is not always the case, especially when there is heavy rain. Anyway, if you do happen to get a lot of “fresh” mud on your shoes, your best option might be to wait for it to dry – otherwise you could get it all over the shoe when it’s still wet.

The cleaning process should go like this:
– use the toothpick or toothbrush to remove rocks or smaller pieces of dried dirt that get stuck on the outsole (bottom part) or the upper of the shoe
– staying on the upper, take the soft brush to remove more dirt/dust
– next, take the cloth and put foam on it (alternatively use water) and follow the “wax on, wax off” lesson from the great Mr. Miyagi a.k.a. start rubbing the dirt away
– if necessary, you can go back to the (tooth)brush if there are spots that the cloth is not working on
– air dry

Although this part of the text is relatively short, do not rush through these steps and actually prepare that the whole process could take some time, because if everything is done right you just might experience again that moment of joy we mentioned at the beginning.

Some more tips
A useful additional tip is to make sure you store your basketball sneakers properly, especially after games or practices – try and not to stuff them in the bag with your dirty clothes or, even worse, leave them in a such a bag (if you have no other options) for a long time. At home, try and store your shoes away from constant direct sunlight and/or other sources of heat.

This pretty much covers all the major pointers and we hope it will help you! Also, we have a video on this subject so you can check it out here: