Did you know that in 2019, the global sneaker market had an estimated value of $73 billion? By 2026, experts project this sector to grow to a staggering $119.51 billion.
All those figures prove how sneakers have become cultural commodities. While they still symbolize athleticism, they’ve also become a staple of day-to-day wear. Moreover, the need for ergonomic workwear has made them a must in the workplace, too.
However, since sneakers are so comfy, most people don them all the time. As such, they’re more prone to wear and tear than, say, loafers.
Fortunately, proper sneaker care can keep your kicks looking great and feeling good. This guide rounds up some of the top ways to make your fave pair last long, so be sure to read on.
Guide to Sneaker Care
Variation Is Key:
A 2015 study found that the average American took about 5,815 steps a day. Folks in Britain, France, and Germany all walked farther, averaging more than 6,300 steps.
While that’s far from the recommended daily 10,000 steps, it can already cause a lot of sneaker wear and tear. After all, every step you take exposes your shoes to friction as they come into contact with the ground. Your gait and the weight you put on each shoe matter, too; the heavier your steps, the more wear your kicks get.
For those reasons, it’s best to alternate from one sneaker to another. Otherwise, if you keep using the same pair, its soles will thin and wear out faster.
Also, consider that experts recommend replacing running shoes after 300 to 500 miles. You can use the same guideline for sneakers, even if you don’t use them for running.
So, if 5,000 steps equate to about 2 miles, 300 miles equate to 150 days, while 500 miles equate to 250 days. You definitely don’t want to replace your sneakers after such a short period. That’s why it’s best to regularly use different sneakers so that you can prolong the life of all your kicks.
Keep Them in Tip-Top Shape:
When you walk or run, your feet take on a slight, natural downward curve. This position helps give your feet a better grip or traction with the ground. However, it’s also because of this form that causes your shoes to form creases, dents, and wrinkles.
In fact, those crinkles are some of the most common sneaker issues, as they have soft materials.
The height and width of your feet can also cause your kicks’ materials to stretch a bit. Usually, the toe vamp shows the most evidence, as this is the snuggest spot of a shoe. Its surface can become concave once you take your feet out of your shoes.
So, to help keep your sneakers retain their form, get them a pair of shoe shapers. Also called shoe trees, shoe shapers are devices shaped like afoot. These shoe inserts help maintain your shoes’ original shape while they’re not in use.
Use Heat to Flatten Out Creases:
According to this guide on how to get creases out of shoes, you can actually iron those wrinkles away. However, it’s vital to dampen your sneakers first; otherwise, the material may burn. Inserting a shoe shaper also makes the job easier, as it helps stabilize the area from the toe vamp to the tongue.
Don’t Use Your Feet to Kick Your Shoes Off:
Sometimes, tiredness at the end of the day can tempt you to remove your shoes using the toe of one on the heel of the other. That can damage your shoes, not to mention spread even more dirt and germs on the collar and heel tab. At the very least, forcing your shoes off with the toe of the other can result in the formation of more creases.
So, as tired as you may be, it’s important to take your shoes off with care, using your hands.
First, find a place to sit so that you can feel comfier. Then, untie the laces properly and use your hands to gently grip the outer edge of the shoe as you ease your foot out of it.
Don’t forget to wash your hands after!
Clean Your Kicks Once Every Two Weeks:
Dry and wet brushing should be a critical part of your regular sneaker maintenance. You can use any old but soft-bristled toothbrush but invest in a shoe brush if you have the dough. Be sure to grab a few pieces of clean cloth for dabbing and drying, too.
Start With the Laces:
To ensure you’re cleaning sneaker parts thoroughly, remove the shoelaces first. You can then place the laces in a small basin with some water and mild laundry detergent.
Massage your shoelaces to remove the dirt, rinse, and then hang to dry.
Move to the Shoes:
Use a dry brush to sweep away dirt and lodged debris from the outsole and midsole. Next, ease out the tongue of each shoe. Then, dip the brush in the water and detergent mixture and gently brush the entire exterior.
Rinse and Dry:
Moisten a fresh piece of cloth with clean water and then dab it on the soapy areas of your shoes. Don’t use too much water when rinsing off the soapy mixture.
After that, use another dry cloth to remove excess moisture. You can then air dry your sneakers at room temperature. Make sure both the shoes and the laces are completely dry before you lace back up.
Make Your Kicks Last With Proper Sneaker Care:
Keep in mind that the typical sneakers can cost between $70 and $250. Some have even sold for $1,000! Either way, that’s a lot of money right there, which is a good enough reason to want your kicks to last as long as possible.
So, as early as today, follow our nifty tips on proper sneaker care. Besides, the better you look after your shoes, the better they’ll take care of your feet, too.
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