I recently got my hands on a brand new pair of Adidas Stan Smith sneakers. When I took them out of the box, I immediately noticed that the leather was different from my other white sneakers. It was perfectly white and smooth. I was almost afraid to wear them in fear of getting them scuffed. Part of the reason I love Adidas sneakers is how clean and white they look. Dirty white sneakers just don’t have the same aesthetic. But was the point of having a pair of coveted Stan Smiths if I never got to show them off?
In order to keep my kicks in perfect condition, the first thing I did was pretreat the leather with a stain and water repellent spray. Make sure the shoes are clean and dry before spray them. Then hold the can 6 to 8 inches away from the show and spray evenly, covering the entire area of the shoe. Use a cloth to dab and soak up any excess product. Allow the shoes to completely dry for at least 24 hours. I recommend using Jason Markk Premium Stain and Water Repellent ($17). This spray is basically a force field for shoes.
After pretreating my sneakers, I started using the following method to clean them on a regular basis. This method is relatively easy and will keep your Adidas sneaks looking brand new.
1. First, I fill a bowl with warm water.
2. Then, add a few drops of laundry detergent to the warm water and mix it together. Let it sit for a few minutes. You can also use a few drops of dish washing soap.
3. Dip a clean wash cloth into the soapy water. Make sure the cloth is damp not soaking wet.
4. Use the damp cloth to spot clean the sneakers. You can also scrub the area with a clean toothbrush.
5. With a dry towel, wipe the sneakers clean.
Let the sneakers dry in a warm place. Be sure to let the sneakers dry completely before wearing or storing them. Don’t ever wear your sneakers when they are wet. Dirt is more likely to stick to wet sneakers. Plus, moisture can cause weaken the fibers in shoes causing them to become weaker and lose their shape (wikiHow).
Another easy way to spot clean leather sneakers is to use a shoe cleaning wipe. I usually keep a few of the Jason Markk Quick Wipes ($3) in my bag. It might seem like overkill, but these wipes are a great way to clean your sneakers immediately after they get scuffed.
Whatever you do, don’t put your white leather sneakers in the washing machine to clean them. After all, would you put you leather handbag in the washing machine? Absolutely not. The washing machine can be extremely rough on sneakers, causing unnecessary wear and tear. Worst of all, the washing machine can also turn white rubber yellow. Nobody wants white leather sneakers with yellow rubber soles.
Don’t forget to wash your laces. Unlike sneakers, you can throw shoelaces in the wash. Just put them in a garment bag and put them in the wash on cold. Clean laces with help your sneakers look nice and new (a detail people often forget).
For more tips, check out how to keep black clothing from fading and how to prevent the dye from your jeans from rubbing off on everything.