Shoe Care 101

Did you know that each of your feet takes 1.5 times your body weight when you walk? That's a lot of weight put on a relatively small part of your body.

Our feet are our natural shock absorbers, better than those in our cars. These are just some of the many things our feet do that most of us take for granted or may not even be aware of. 

woman with her running shoes

And what protects our feet when we go out? Our shoes, of course. Therefore we have to take care of our shoes since they take good care of our feet. And as our shoes also subconsciously communicate so much about our individual personality and spirit, it's important your shoe care game is on point! 

In our shoe care guide below we'll provide simple how-to tips to care for your footwear so they can last longer.

Here are simple tips on how to care for your footwear so they can last longer.

No to the wash machine

Our footwear is one outfit item you should never put into the washing machine. It doesn't matter what your cycle setting is, the washing machine can inflict some major damage on the glue that bonds of your athletic shoes. This can make your soles look worn-out, and can have your shoes fall apart.

not to wash your shoes

Instead hand wash your sports shoes following these simple steps:

1. Using a damp cloth rub any dirt stains until they are gone. For hard to remove spots mix a mile detergent with water in a spray bottle and mist. If this does not clean your pair of shoes, move to the next step.

2. Remove the laces and insoles of your shoes and set aside. NOTE: the one exception to no wash machine our your laces; these usually can be placed in the wash machine.

3. Place shoes in a bucket of luke warm water to soak. While there are specific care products that can be used, I generally use a mild detergent cleaner. Allow to soak for around 20 to 30 minutes.

4. Lightly scrub the outside of the shoes using a good quality shoe brush until all dirt has been removed. If you do not have a dedicated shoe brush any type of soft bristled brush will work.

woman scrubbing gently the white shoes

5. Air Dry the shoes for at least 24 hours, and up to 72 hours, to ensure they are dry. Place the insoles back in the shoes, re-lace, and it's like having a brand new pair of shoes!

Alternatively here's another method to wash your athletic shoes, but be warned, they ask you to purchase lots of equipment we do not feel is necessary.


Cleaning your Dress Shoes or Boots

Whether you have smooth leather shoes, suede shoes, or ones made from synthetic materials you need to ensure these shoes are cleaned on a regular basis.

Daily shoe care: Using a clean cloth, Lightly dust off any debris or dirt from your shoes.

Weekly shoe care: Use a shoe cream to ensure that the suppleness of your smooth leather shoes stays like the day you bought them. Ensure that you are using a shoe cream that is recommended for the type of material that your shoes are made from.

Monthly shoe care: It's time for a deep cleaning to put a shine on your old shoes. If your shoes are made from a smooth leather it's time to put a high shine on them!

high hell shoes and fit close up

Start with the following items:

  • A trusted polish or shoe wax
  • A clean cloth, soft rag, or even an old sock
  • A rugged shoe brush for cleaning.

Now with the equipment gathered follow these steps:

1. Using the brush, remove all excess dirt and dust from your shoes or boots. For the hard to remove dirt feel free to use a dampened rag to remove the dirt, just ensure they are dry prior to step #2.

2. Rub your cloth into the polish, until there is a small amount on your rag.

3. Apply the wax to the shoe or boots using small circles as you buff the was or polish into the shoe.

woman applying shoe wax to leather

4. Using the shoe shine brush, brush the shoe to remove all but a small amount of the polish from the shoe.

5. To get a mirror finish on your footwear, breathe heavily onto the shoe until a small amount of moisture has collected, and then brush vigorously. Repeat multiple times until a mirror shine is achieved.

Here's a great video showing how to do this:

Cleaning your Suede Boots and Shoes

Finally we'll discuss how to clean suede shoes or boots. This is a little trickier than maintaining the other types of shoes, but nonetheless mandatory knowledge if you want your shoes looking good into the future. 

To start, here's what you'll need:

  • Suede protector
  • Suede brush
  • Eraser
  • Newspaper
  • Another clean cloth
  • Water
And here's the step by step shoe care instructions:

    1. Start by stuffing the pair of shoes or boots you're cleaning with newspaper such that they do not lose their shape throughout the process.

    2. Using the soft suede brush, remove any small amount of dirt or debris.

    woman using suede brush

    3. For tougher stains use the foam eraser and wipe repeatedly back and forth on the dirty area, blowing excess eraser off as it gathers on the shoe. Wipe withe the clean cloth when this step has been completed

    4. To clean water stains dampen the cloth and blot it onto the water stain on the shoe. Continue the process multiple times. When done feel free to either air dry, or use a hair dryer on low, to dry the spot. If there's still a mark repeat steps #2~#4.

    5. Place a Suede Protector or conditioner on to the shoe to have it looking good for the foreseeable future!

    Here's a great video of just how to do this in action:

    Let them breathe!

    Wipe your feet before wearing your shoes! Yes, you read that correctly, make it a habit to always wipe your feet completely dry before putting your shoes on (well, actually, before you even wear your socks). Wearing shoes with damp feet can cause a variety of health issues, not to mention the foul smell it can cause. Also, when your feet are moist when you wear your shoes, it may cause molds to grow on them. And while this should go without saying, never wear a pair of shoes without socks; this is the quickest way to destroy your beloved investment.

    woman raising shoes in the air

    Avoid overusing them

    We have that favorite pair we want to wear every single day. However, just like with any other thing, using them frequently can take a toll on their condition. With all the punishment they get, they need time to rest and breathe. Use your other pairs, too.

    Don't put them away right away

    When you arrive home, give them some time to dry before storing them, especially if your storage area is dark and moist. Where it's dark and moist, bacteria thrive.

    Storage - Let them breathe some more!

    While shoe racks are great for shoes you use every day, you can get our great COMPONO Shoe Holder for Under Bed Shoe Storage. Not only will this allow you to store the shoes that are not in your daily rotation, the special woven microfiber cloth will still allow for your shoes to breathe. You do not need to worry that they will mildew, mold, or otherwise have problems in storage.

    Additionally, the design of our storage bags allows you to have up to 12 pairs of men's shoes or lady's shoes in one storage bag. For larger shoe sizes you will likely only get 6 pairs of shoes, 12 shoes, in each bag.

    However, for a limited time only we are selling a 2-pack of under bed shoe storage organizers for only $19.99! This deal will allow you to store a total of up to 24 pairs of shoes out of site, and in a clean and dry environment where they'll look great when you're ready to wear them again!

      overused shoes

        cleaning the shoes

        Our shoes do a lot of service in terms of making sure our feet are protected from dust, dirt, dross, and even dung. Caring for our shoes is caring for our feet. The more you care for your shoes, the longer they will take care of you and, of course, the less you the have the need to buy more pairs.

        To know more about your footwear, read All About Storing Your Footwear now!

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