How to Care for Your Sneakers 

The Ultimate Shoe Care Guide – Tips and Product Recommendations

September 21, 2021


Taking care of your sneakers, whether it be cleaning or protecting them, is a must if you want to have them look brand-new longer. Whether it’s a $300 pair of Air Jordan or a $40 pair of Chuck Taylors, both get dirty and need good caring. In this guide, we will show you how to clean, maintain and protect different shoe materials, such as leather, canvas, nylon, fabric, mesh, suede, and nubuck. 

In This Guide

1. Protection & Waterproofing Post-purchase
2. Deep Cleaning
3. Quick Cleaning & Whitening
4. Winter Cleaning
5. Protection & Waterproofing Post-cleaning
6. Maintenance & Storage  

1. Protection & Waterproofing Post-purchase


Caring for your shoes begins as soon as you walk out of the store. There’s nothing more annoying than staining or damaging your brand-new white sneakers, and you want to prevent this for as long as you can. If your sneakers are straight out of the box, the first thing to do is protect and waterproof them before their first wear. Protecting your shoes from water and stains will prevent damage when exposed to the harshest conditions.

We recommend using the Pro-Tex NANO Water & Stain ProtectorThis is an excellent protector to waterproof and guard against the elements. This protector can be used on leather, suede, fabric, and nubuck to protect from rain, snow, salt, oil, coffee spills, and more. Do not use this product on patent, vinyl or imitation leather made of polyurethane blends as white blemishes may appear. 

Features and Benefits

  • High-tech protection based on NANOTECHNOLOGY
  • Elements bead up and roll off the surface of the material for better and longer-lasting protection
  • Does not contain silicone
  • Large spray can 300g/10oz
  • Made in Canada


Always test on a small inconspicuous area before using any product you’ve never used on your shoes before. Ensure the shoes are clean and dry before spraying the protector. Hold can upright 20-30 cm (8” – 12”) away from the surface. Shake can well and apply an even spray making sure to include all seams and leather soles, do not soak the area. For best results, let dry for one hour and spray again. Wear the shoes only after completely dry. Re-apply every 2 weeks. Watch Video

2. Deep Cleaning


Breath some life back into your old pair of dirtied white shoes or your dirtied brand-new kicks! Try to avoid the washing machine as it can damage your shoes. It’s better to get your hands on some safe, effective, accessible, and easy-to-use shoe cleaning products.

Let’s get cleaning!

STEP 1: Set up your station with everything you will need. We recommend the following products:

STEP 2: Remove shoelaces and wash them with cleaning solution. Massage the laces, rinse, and then dry with a soft cloth.

STEP 3: Remove surface dirt from the outsole, midsole, and uppers of your sneakers using a dry, soft-bristled shoe brush.

STEP 4: Clean your shoes with one of the three options below: 

Boot and Shoe (foam) Cleaner is best for canvas, leather, nylon, patent, suede, and vinyl footwear. It sprays a fine cleansing foam that penetrates the soiled article deep to eliminate dirt build-up. It is quick and easy to use with a built-in scrub brush and no-rinse formulation. This product is environmentally safe and contains soil guard to keep footwear clean longer and help protect against permanent stains.

Test on a small inconspicuous area and shake well. Then remove the brush cap to reveal the nozzle, hold 6cm away and spray onto the shoe. Replace the brush cap and work in the shampoo in a circular motion to help lift ground-in dirt. This is a no-rinse formulation, simply wipe off loose dirt and excess product with a clean, soft cloth.

Gel Cleaneris best for leather, nylon, mesh, rubber, fabric, and vinyl. A one-step cleaner perfect for athletic shoes and sandals. It comes with a built-in Scrub brush applicator that helps loosen ground-in soil and shoe stains. It is a no-rinse formulation as well and it does not leave a residue. This gel cleaner is specifically great for scrubbing rubber outsoles.

Start by testing for colour fastness on a small inconspicuous area. Remove the cap to reveal the built-in brush applicator, press the brush onto the shoe surface and squeeze the bottle to release the gel formula. Brush gel onto shoe gentle, loosening dirt with lathering cleaner. This is also a no-rinse formulation, simply wipe off loose dirt and excess product with a clean, soft cloth. Make sure to rinse the brush applicator after use.

Suede + Nubuck Cleaner contains special ingredients which clean as well as recondition footwear and garments made of suede, nubuck, pigskin and napped leather. This cleaner also rejuvenates the colour and leaves the nap soft and velvety. It will not discolour the suede or nubuck.

Start by testing the product on a small and inconspicuous area of colour fastness. Use the brush cap to remove surface dirt and dust. Shake well and spray 20-30cm (8” – 12”) away from the surface. It is best to spray in small areas at a time. Use a clean cloth to work cleaner well into shoes and allow to dry thoroughly. Then use the dry brush cap to lift nap and freshen.

STEP 5: Let your sneakers fully dry overnight before wearing them and before spraying them with a protector.

3. Quick Cleaning & Whitening


When you’re on the go, you can’t just take off your shoes, pull out a brush, cloth, and a cleaning bottle to clean your shoes and on top of that, wait for them to dry. You need a quick and effective solution to dirtied or stained shoes. We recommend you carry with you shoe wipes and a shoe whitener.

Shoe Wipes are perfect when you’re on the go and need to quickly clean your shoes. You’ll want to keep these wipes in your bag, purse, gym bag or pocket. These wipes quickly and effectively remove dirt and scuff marks from genuine and synthetic leather, canvas, nylon, and vinyl. Each wipe is double-sided - the smooth side is for regular cleaning and the raised dotted side is for scrubbing tough stains and scuff marks. Watch Video

Shoe Whitener - Brillo Quality Whiterefreshes and brightens all-white leather, suede, nubuck and canvas. Ideal for duty, golf, and athletic footwear. This is an easy-to-hold, ergonomically shaped bottle with the sponge applicator top perfect even when on the go.

4. Winter Cleaning


Winter means salt on the roads, sidewalks, and pretty much everywhere else. Salt can stain and ruin your shoes. Simply wiping them down with a wet or dry cloth is not enough to prevent salt from eating away your shoes. We recommend the following products to save your footwear from salt damage. 

Winter Shoe Wipes are soaked in a salt-removing solution that effectively removes dirt and prevents salt stains from setting into footwear. This resealable pack includes 16 disposable wipes made with all-natural ingredients and is 100% biodegradable. Quick and easy to use, making them perfect for travel. Great to keep in your purse, briefcase, luggage, glovebox, closet, backpack, locker and more. For use on leather, vinyl or suede footwear and accessories. 

Salt Remover removes salt stains quickly and easily with no rubbing or scrubbing. The new revolutionary aerosol formula and BOV Technology works by dissolving and lifting the salt film back into the solution to be wiped away with a cloth. Recommended for leather only.

Salt Stain Remover gently and instantly removes salt stains and dirt from leather, vinyl, suede, fabric, footwear, pant cuffs and car interiors. Easy application, no rinsing or wiping. Includes convenient sponge applicator.

5. Protection Post-cleaning

Now that your shoes are thoroughly clean and fully dry, it’s time to protect and waterproof them. Lace them up and spray them with the Pro-Tex NANO Water & Stain Protectorrefer to the first section for instructions.

6. Maintenace & StorageSneaker_Care_Blog_7

Storing your sneakers in their original shoe box is not enough to maintain the freshness and shape of your shoes. To properly store your sneakers and keep them crease-free, check out the tips below.

STEP 1: Deodorize your shoes before putting them away to reduce odour and maintain their freshness. You don’t only want to look fresh; you also want to smell fresh.

Odour Stop™ Boot and Shoe Freshener destroys tough odours in all types of shoes. It contains a hygienic formula that neutralizes odour and keeps footwear fresh. The upside-down spray applicator gives boots and shoes full coverage from heel to toe. The fresh athletic scent lasts up to 48 hours. We recommend respraying periodically, so feet always smell and feel fresh! Watch Video

STEP 2: Use a shoe tree to keep the shape of your shoes. You can find plastic shoe trees or cedar shoe trees. It’s preferred to use cedar products because it helps protect shoes the natural way. Cedar absorbs moisture, protects from moths and other harmful insects, and serves as a powerful deodorizer. 

Cedar Shoe Trees prevents cave-in and wrinkling of shoes in the heel, toe and vamp areas. Absorbs moisture to prevent odour and bacteria growth. Prolongs the life of your favourite footwear. A must-have for all shoes to keep them looking great longer!



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