Cruisers. Kicks. Trainers. Sneakers. Whatever nickname you use for the pairs of shoes that you own, there’s no denying the value they hold in your wardrobe.

Everyone loves a good pair of shoes. However, not everyone enjoys the proper upkeep that’s required with making them last over a longer span of time.

Maybe you’ve avoided buying pairs in the past because of the upkeep you foresaw with that style. Even better, maybe you purchased that pair, but are too afraid to wear them and mess them up.

Fear no more! Here are a few steps to proper shoe care that will have your kicks looking fresh and clean all the time.

1. No Washing Machine… Ever!

Many people have the misconception that the washing machine is an appropriate way of cleaning your shoes.

It doesn’t matter what pair of shoes you’re looking to clean up, it’s never a good idea to use the washing machine to clean them. Learn more details on cleaning velvet shoes to maintain the quality and appearance after cleaning.

Not only do you risk damaging your washing machine, but the glue on your shoes will wear out. That will lead to the horrible situation of your shoe’s sole falling off while you’re walking in rain.

Also, it may damage the material that the shoe is made of, thus fading the color and the appeal of your sneakers. -So make sure to avoid environments for your shoes where eventually it will succumb to. If ever it comes down to a small break in a part of the shoes, there are safe options to glue the fabric on shoes. ShoeAdviser’s Lilly Harvey has published a list of glue solutions for shoewear you might want to check out.

2. Access to Airflow

The material that your shoe is made of requires constant breathability to be able to keep its structure and quality.

Some people try to store their kicks in plastic in an effort to protect it from dust or other items. What they don’t realize is that they’re harming the shoe’s integrity more than they’re helping it.

There are better options to store your prized shoes such as your favorite pair of Air Jordan 3 shoes.

Air Jordan 3

For example, simply keep the shoebox that they came in. Store them back in the shoebox whenever you aren’t using them. The box allows just enough airflow for the shoe while also protecting it from dust and dirt.

3. Hands-On Cleaning Technique

Every so often your favorite pair of shoes is going to need a good, thorough cleaning. However, as previously mentioned, that shouldn’t be via a washing machine.

So… how then, are you supposed to keep your shoes looking fresh?

The best way (and really, the only way) to go about cleaning your shoes is to do so manually.

Before you get started, be sure to take off all extra accessories to the body of the shoes such as the shoelaces and any insoles you have.

Now, use a sponge for the body of the shoe and a toothbrush for any tough to reach spots such as the shoe’s bottom tracks. Ensure a thorough cleaning by rinsing the shoe under warm water and making sure every area is clean.

Maybe you’d like to sterilize the inside of your shoes where the smell is coming from. If so, feel free to apply alcohol to a dry rag and give the inside of the shoe a good scrub.

Once both shoes are cleaned to perfection, let them air dry for a few hours until they’re completely dry on the inside and outside. Speaking of drying…

4. Don’t Use a Heater to Air Dry

Many people place their damp or wet shoes on top of a heater or near a space heater to dry them.

While this might help the shoes to dry a bit faster, it can also damage the shoe’s structure.

For instance, if you’re drying leather shoes by a heater then you’re risking the leather cracking from the heat.

That said, there’s no harm in doing it on rare occasion, just make sure not to make a habit of it.

5. Distribute the Number of Times You Wear Each Pair

One of the best ways to ensure each pair of shoe’s overall integrity and quality is by distributing the number of times you wear each.

If you have a go-to pair of shoes, then you need to account for it. In other words, if there’s a pair you wear significantly more often than others, then that pair needs to be cleaned more often.

This doesn’t mean you have to keep a schedule of how many times you’ve worn each pair of shoes.

Just try to take a mental note of the last time you wore each pair. If there’s a pair in your closet you haven’t worn in a while, bring them back out!

Not only will this help with the cleanliness of your shoes, but it’ll also help with the cleanliness of your fashion style! Keep people on their toes (pun intended) about the pair of shoes you’ll be dawning each day.

6. Wipe Every Mess off ASAP

Everyone has those freakout moments where you step in a puddle of mud or water and, in turn, get some on your shoes.

Even worse, those times where you step in dog you-know-what that’s in the grass at the local park.

All you can do during these situations is wipe off as much of it as possible right away, then make a conscious effort to clean it as soon as you get home.

Wiping the mud or residue off of the shoe right away will help prevent it from staining.

Install Better Shoe Care Habits

The best type of shoe care that you can provide starts by adopting better habits on how you use and clean your shoes.

As long as you make it more of a priority, you’ll notice a longer lifespan for all of your favorite kicks.

Be sure to read our other articles that pertain to both this topic and other topics that are just like it.