Many sports, like cheerleading and tennis, require teams to wear white athletic shoes. When white shoes are worn on football fields, black tops, gym floors and more, they can be difficult to keep sleek and bright white, especially if you have to transport them from gyms to games to competitions.
While it may seem impossible to keep your shoes perfectly white, there are a few ways you can keep your shoes looking as clean as the day you first took them out of the box. Here are a few cleaning and transport tips:
1) Go synthetic. The easiest athletic shoes to clean are those with a synthetic upper. If you buy shoes that are all leather or have a mesh top, they can be a little more difficult to clean.
2) Tread carefully. Only wear your white shoes during performances and practice. Even walking across a parking lot from the gym to your car can scuff up your shoes. Whenever you leave practice, a competition, or game, always change out of your athletic shoes.
3) Clean ASAP. When you do discover a dirt mark on your shoe, it’s important to immediately clean it. The longer the dirt sits, the longer it has to sink in and stain permanently. With a dampened (not drenched) rag, towel, or napkin, add a small amount of soap and lightly rub the dirt mark on the shoe. Then, wipe off with clean water.
4) Be careful with the washing machine. Yes, you can use a washing machine for many styles and brands of athletic shoes. However, results can vary. Before you toss them in the machine, check the shoebox for any warnings. Some may specifically advise against washing them by machine. Keep in mind that some shoes may tighten with washing.
5) When in doubt, use shoe polish. If a stain or dirt spot is really stubborn, try covering up the mark instead of removing it. With a damp sponge, apply a light layer of white shoe polish. Let the polish dry for about 15 minutes or so.
6) Compartmentalize. The easiest way to keep your sports shoes clean is to carry them in a sports bag with a shoe compartment. This will also keep your team uniform and other accessories from getting dirty.
Just remember, some stains, like one from a permanent marker, can never be removed and are hard to cover. No matter what way you try to clean your shoe, always start out slowly.