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.


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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 with it.

For 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.

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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Via Unsplash

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Sneaker Restoring Techniques – The 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 but it’s still better to think of sneakers as laundry, and its a bad idea to wash colored clothes with white clothes, right?

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Avoid Washing Machine

You should avoid washing machines because they can damage your sneaker, even more, especially the retro sneakers or the ones which have been exposed to heat because 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.

We can start with some simple and effective techniques:


1. A Sneaker Bath

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Via Displayinfinty

Start off by doing some spot cleaning. It’s safe and effective. you can use a small bucket and fill it with cold water (no warm water because it causes the color to fade), some detergent and dip the shoes in the cold bubbly water and start to spot clean with a toothbrush and brush gently on the mesh and hard on the midsoles, depending on the material.

Don’t put the soap/detergent directly on the sneaker since it can damage the shoe color. You can clean off the dirt from the mesh, tongue, and midsole simply by using a toothbrush and this will give your sneakers a new life and the shine you wanted.

Things you’ll need:

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


2. Sneaker Repaint and Dye

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Via Restoreblockcleaner


Sometimes cleaning does not work anymore no matter how much you dip it in detergent water or clean it with toothpaste, the suede and leather just tends to fade away and become rough and light in color over time. One way to restore your sneakers from this problem is obviously repainting or suede dye.

This might be a technical job for many sneakerheads but also very effective because this can pump new life into old or retro sneakers, but the problem with this is that you might not get the desired color of paint that you wanted for your sneaker or the ones that are available are of a different shade.

If you have a black sneaker with black leather and suede you are in luck because the black paints and dye mostly never disappoint and if you’re not able to do this, they are many people on the internet who are offering these services like Proof Culture.

Things you’ll need:

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


3. Un-crease Your Sneaker

Via Instructable

This technique is simple and can be easily done at home! Nobody likes a pair of creased sneakers with dirt stuck in them. So we’ll start off by cleaning the dirt out of the cracks with a toothbrush dipped in soapy water. After that, we will fill the shoe with some stiff packing paper that will form the shape of the shoe.

After this, you cover your sneaker with a cotton cloth so that it doesn’t burn when we iron it. Don’t start ironing yet! You have to now pour an excessive amount of water over the toe box so that you protect them from burning.

Lastly, you start ironing over the cotton cloth (use steam too) where creases are present and after you’re done you let them dry with the cotton cloths and you’re done!

Things you’ll need:

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


4. Sole Repair and Renew

gluing shoe sole on running shoe
Clamping the sneaker Via Howzoo

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 any glue seeps inside the glue will be absorbed by the paper. 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 glue available on the market is Shoe Goo and provides above satisfactory results.

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.

Things you’ll need:

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


5. Use Protective liquids and Sprays

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You might believe this or not but your sneakers need weatherproofing and they are multiple sprays in the market that can make your sneakers water and rainproof but also guard them against stains. So whether you’re in the rain or you spill some wine on your white suede, you’ll be guarded.

For leather sneakers, you can use leather conditioners that will protect your leather constructed sneakers from cracking and provide you with the shine your sneaker deserves.

Things you’ll need:

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!

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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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