Everybody loves a fresh pair of sneakers, right? Well, It’s just going to take one bad day to take that new shine away from your sneakers, especially if your sneakers are white and you went for a run somewhere dusty or if some unexpected rain and mud hit you. The sad truth is that sometimes many sneakerheads avoid wearing their favorite kicks just to preserve their original shine. Today we shall see various sneaker-restoring techniques

Why Sneaker Restoring is Important

We understand the value of sneakers and someone who has a closet full of Air Jordans will know their importance. Most of us have spent big bucks on sneakers and sometimes it’s not even about the money, sometimes it’s about the emotional attachment you have with your sneakers and every story that is attached to it.

Someone who’s not a sneakerhead will always debate you on getting new sneakers when the old ones start to lose their shine, but what about the limited-edition and rare versions? Some go for thousands of dollars on the market and have a sentimental and monetary value that deserves restoration.

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Sneaker Restoring Importance
Dos and Don'ts of sneaker restoring
Dos and Don’ts of Sneaker Restoring

Even if you don’t drop big bucks on your sneakers, it would still look lousy walking around in grimy sneakers. Therefore restoring your sneakers is important and with our sneaker restoring guide you can make them look brand new and start using them again with pride and shine!

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Sneaker Restoring Techniques – Material Matters!

It’s important to know your sneaker’s material from which it’s constructed, even though the techniques applied to them would be similar it’s still better to think of sneakers as laundry, and it’s a bad idea to wash colored clothes with white clothes, right?

Sneaker restoring techniques
Never Wash Your Sneakers in a Washing Machine

Avoid Washing Machine

You should avoid washing machines because they can damage your sneakers, even more, especially the retro sneakers or the ones that have been exposed to heat. After all, the washing machine can damage the material and the foam that provides comfort. The foam absorbs water and if too much water is absorbed it can deform and the sole might lose its glue and start detaching itself.

How to restore sneakers

We can start with some simple and effective techniques:

#1. A Sneaker Bath

Begin with a spot-cleaning method for safe and effective results. Use a small bucket filled with cold water (avoid warm water to prevent color fading) and add some detergent. Submerge the shoes in the cold, soapy water, and initiate spot cleaning with a toothbrush. Gently brush the mesh and apply more pressure on the midsoles, adapting based on the material.

Avoid directly applying soap or detergent to the sneakers as it may harm the color. Utilize the toothbrush to remove dirt from the mesh, tongue, and midsole. This straightforward technique promises to breathe new life into your sneakers, providing the desired shine.

Sneaker Restoring procedure
How to give a sneaker bath


  • A bucket (could use the sink)
  • Detergent
  • A Toothbrush
  • Coldwater

#2. Sneaker Repaint and Dye

When conventional cleaning methods fall short, and suede or leather loses its luster despite efforts with detergent or toothpaste, consider a more intensive approach: sneaker repaint or suede dye. While it might seem intricate for some sneaker enthusiasts, it proves remarkably effective in revitalizing old or retro sneakers.

The challenge lies in obtaining the precise color you desire; however, black sneakers with black leather and suede often find reliable matches. If this DIY seems daunting, various online services, such as Proof Culture, offer professional assistance in sneaker repaints and dyeing.

How to Repaint and Dye Sneakers
How to Repaint and Dye Sneakers


  • Shoe Paint (Angelus has one of the best paints and dyes for shoes)
  • Paint Brushes
  • Some Basic Painting Skills
  • Brass Brush to keep the suede soft
  • Patience

#3. Un-crease Your Sneaker

This straightforward technique can be easily executed at home for a fresh look. To begin, tackle dirt in crevices using a toothbrush dipped in soapy water. Next, shape the shoe by filling it with stiff packing paper. Cover the sneaker with a cotton cloth to prevent burning during the ironing process. Before ironing, generously pour water over the toe box to shield it from heat.

Now, carefully iron over the cotton cloth, incorporating steam where creases are present. Once done, allow the sneakers to dry with the cotton cloths. This simple at-home method ensures your sneakers are free from unsightly creases, leaving them looking refreshed.

How to Un-crease Sneakers
Sneaker Crease removal
Sneaker Crease Removal


  • Iron (preferable with steam)
  • Cardboard inserts and paper
  • Cotton Cloths
  • Bottle of water

#4. Sole Repair and Renew

With time the sole slowly starts to part ways from the sneaker but we cannot let that happen on our watch because the sole is something that completes the sneaker.

You can start off by stuffing some paper in the sneakers that will help later in clamping and if the paper will absorb any glue seeps inside the glue. Then clean the sole and the underneath of the sneaker with alcohol and then apply the glue and spread it with a cotton swab. One of the best sole glues available on the market is Shoe Goo which provides above-satisfactory results.

Sneaker Sole Repair and Renewal
steps to repair sneaker sole
Sneaker Sole Repair and Renewal

After the glue is applied the clamping process starts. Place some weights on the sneaker, something heavy, and let it be for at least 24 hours and the same process is to be followed if the toe cap needs some fixing too.


  • Some Paper
  • Glue (Shoe Goo)
  • Something Heavy (Maybe a brick or some weights)

#5. Use Protective liquids and Sprays

It may seem surprising, but your sneakers require weatherproofing. Numerous sprays available in the market can transform your sneakers into water and rain-resistant shields while safeguarding them from stains. Whether you find yourself caught in the rain or accidentally spill wine on your white suede, these protective measures have covered.

For leather sneakers, opt for leather conditioners. These shield your leather-constructed sneakers from cracking and impart the shine they deserve. Embrace these simple steps to ensure your sneakers endure various weather conditions while maintaining their aesthetic appeal.

Protective Liquids For Sneakers
Protective Sprays for Sneakers
Protective Liquids For Sneakers



These techniques will help you restore your sneakers and give a new life to them, stay tuned for more sneaker updates! You can also join our winner’s circle where we share insights and additional tips and tricks with our valuable members which will give you an advantage over other sneaker sellers and help you improve your reselling game!

Take your reselling game to the next level



Sarim A

Thanks to sports, Sarim's love for sneakers began and has grown ever since. He's been part of the sneaker culture for many years, seeing it evolve and grow more serious over time. A particular favorite pair of sneakers for him is the Air Jordan 3 'White Cement'


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