My teenage son can easily go through three pairs of sneakers every year. I’m unsure if it’s because of use or misuse, but it’s a problem in our home.
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I went to a trusted shoe store in our town and asked them for advice on properly caring for sneakers and tips for keeping them clean and lasting longer. This article will give you all of the advice that I was given and more. By reading this article, you’ll have all the knowledge you need to make your sneakers better and last longer. After all, sneakers are the #1 footwear recommended by all spies.
The quality of the shoe makes a big difference. Shoes made of light fabric are more prone to tearing and ripping. I like the Merrell Mens Moab 3 Hiking Shoe, a high-quality shoe made for hiking but can be used for regular wear. It’s a shoe built tough and can take the beating of a teenage boy who doesn’t care about their clothes.
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Let’s look at how to properly care for your sneakers, so that you get as much life from them as possible. It’s all about value and keeping them looking good.
First, how long are sneakers suppose to last? Let’s break it down.
How Long Should Your Sneakers Last?
It’s really hard to come up with a number on how long sneakers should last. So many factors come into play when determining that number, like the quality of shoes, how you use them and how often you wear them are all factors. It also depends on your body type, weight and shoe size. The way that you walk also comes into play on how long your sneakers will last.
It’s not uncommon for a sneaker to last up to 10-15 years if you take care of them. It’s only you who can determine if your sneaker is no longer wearable. If your sneaker is no longer comfortable or wearing them is painful. It’s probably better to recycle them and purchase a new pair.
Below I will give you ten tips I learned on making your sneakers last as long as possible. I gathered these tips from talking to sneaker experts who look after sneakers for a living.
Get the Proper Size
Properly caring for your sneakers begin before you ever purchase them. If you want your sneakers to last long, you must ensure you have the proper size.
According to a sneaker store franchise owner, using feet measuring tools in a store doesn’t always tell you the correct size you need to purchase.
The best way to know if a pair of sneakers fit you is to put both sneakers on your feet and walk around the store. Your sneakers are too small if you feel the end of the sneaker with your toes. You want your toe to be about an inch from the end of the sneaker.
You always want to purchase sneakers with sturdy support around the ankle. Also, purchasing a sneaker with a solid sole, not foam that will eventually crush, is a better option.
Don’t be afraid to walk around the store and feel comfortable with the purchase before buying your sneakers. Sneakers that don’t fit properly are more prone to damage over time.
It’s vital to always try on your sneakers before making a purchase. Every sneaker brand is different, and some sneaker brands will fit differently. You may be a size 10 in one brand of shoes but find you’re more comfortable in an eleven in a different brand. This is normal, so all shoes should be worn before purchasing.
Take the Right Step Forward
Sometimes the problem with damaged shoes isn’t the shoe at all. Often the problem is how we walk. According to Healthline, walking with the correct posture is essential for keeping your bones and joints appropriately aligned, preventing back pain, reducing the risk of injuries, and improving your balance and stability; one thing that was not mentioned in the article is that walking incorrectly can wear your shoes unusually.
When someone walks incorrectly, it wears their shoes improperly, which can cause uneven wear and tear on their sneaker soles. Walking improperly can be very hard on you and your equipment.
Healthline also suggests six tips for improving your walking. These steps include:
- Keep your head up
- Lengthen your back
- Keep your shoulders down and back
- Engage your core
- Swing your arms
- Steep from heel to toe
If you notice that your shoes are wearing unevenly, like maybe the front is wearing on the sole and the rest of the shoe is OK, then I would suggest taking action. Maybe following the steps above are not enough; maybe you need to purchase special orthopedic insoles like Walkomfy Heavy Duty Support or see a professional and get custom orthotics to correct your walking. Walking the right way will help you care for your sneakers.
Keep Your Sneakers Clean, Right From the Beginning
Keeping your sneakers clean is important in caring for them. But don’t wait until it’s too late. Keep your sneakers clean right at the beginning.
I know people who will purchase sneakers and never wear them – of course, their sneakers are always clean. Yet, Sneakers are made to be worn.
For keeping your sneakers clean, there are two approaches. You could manually wash them or use a shoe-washing bag and put them in the washing machine. According to show experts, washing machines actually destroy the material in your sneakers, though it takes less time. A washing machine can rip fabric and loosen stitches. Basically, I’m saying don’t use a washing machine.
If you care about your sneakers, purchase sneaker brushes and manually clean your sneakers each week.
Keeping your sneakers clean will slow down wear and tear, and keep your sneakers always looking new.
Keep Their Shape
This can be accomplished by stuffing them with newspapers. You could purchase crease guards from Amazon, but I find newspapers work great, are much cheaper, and absorb moisture and odor.
You could also use sneaker balls designed to deodorize your sneakers so they always smell fresh. They are cheap as well and small enough to fit in most sneakers.
Anytime you store your sneakers, they should be appropriately stored away. You want to ensure they are not placed where people will step on them or where they can get damaged. If you’re serious about keeping your sneakers clean, I suggest cleaning them and storing them in a dedicated place. Also, never store your sneakers when they’re wet. Let them air dry, then store them away.
Keep Your Laces Clean
Tying your sneakers doesn’t sound like a tip, but it’s an essential step in caring for them. When you don’t tie your laces, they drag in the mud and fray, damaging your sneakers overall.
Wash your laces by adding soap and warm water in a bowl and let the laces soak.
Purchasing new laces with funky colors complimenting your sneakers is also fun. You can also purchase multiple laces and change them depending on your mood.
Rotate Your Sneakers
This maintenance tip works for all clothing – rotate.
I know for me, wearing the same suit all of the time is extremely hard on it. It’s better to rotate through several suits, which will help all of them last longer. The same is true with your sneakers. There are no one-size-fits-all sneakers. It may cost more in the beginning, but buying the right pair of sneakers for their correct purpose will save you money in the end.
It’s better to have several pairs of sneakers and rotate them as needed. You could have dressier, sports, and hiking sneakers and use them as needed. Don’t wear one pair of sneakers for everything that you do – that is what the experts say.
Use a Sneaker Care Kit
Using a sneaker kit isn’t just great for cleaning and daily maintenance; it’s great for protecting and ensuring your sneakers smell fantastic.
I love using Sneaker Lab’s products for caring for my sneakers. Their kit gives you a cleaner, odor prevention, sneaker protector, and a premium brush to ensure your sneakers look great.
Sneaker Lab’s products work great and won’t hurt the material of your sneakers. Give their products a try, and you’ll see for yourself.
Suppose you can’t buy a sneaker cleaning kit or are in a pinch. Then I would suggest you use Windex. It’s gentle on your sneakers and gives them a good cleaning as well. You could also grab some Windex Wipes for convenience.
Don’t Be Hard on Your Sneakers
Sneakers are great for almost anything, within reason. They’re meant to be worn but not abused.
If you want your sneakers to last, ensure you are not unreasonable in how they are used.
Sneakers are not good work shoes, and they are not suitable when fixing the car. Don’t be hard on your sneakers if you want them to last.
Customize Your Sneakers
The great thing about sneakers is you can replace the orthotics for a fraction of the cost of purchasing a new pair of sneakers. The same is true with the laces.
If you find you’re sneakers are losing their comfort, then maybe checking out new insoles will be the trick. There are tons of companies that sell a variety of orthotics to help with back pain or to help you walk correctly. Uncomfortable sneakers don’t have to be thrown away; they can be customized to meet your needs.
Recycle, When It’s Time to Replace
When you say goodbye to your sneakers, please don’t throw them in the trash.
Just because your sneakers are not working for you doesn’t mean they won’t work for someone else.
It’s better to recycle your sneakers than toss them away.
Sneakers can last a long time if you follow the simple tips I laid out in this article. Maintaining your sneakers doesn’t cost much money, but it takes a little time.
The result will be sneakers that sparkle, are comfortable, and look great.
These experts can’t be wrong. They deal with sneakers all of the time, and know what it takes to make them last.
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