So you’ve just splashed out the better part of a week’s wages for a fresh pair of trainers. They fit like a glove, smell box-fresh and look immaculate. But unless you plan to wear your sneaks inside the house for the rest of your days, you’re going to need to find a system to keep your trainers fighting fit.

Today I’m going to give you a quick low-down on caring for your sneakers over the course of their life; don’t worry, you needn’t worry about anything too complicated: after all, us busy gentlemen don’t have foresight for anything too difficult.

Day One

The flawless sneaker is the ‘wannabie’ sneaker. Spotless trainers look as unflattering as a pair of freshly starched, creased jeans. You’ll need to get some light ‘wear and tear’ going as soon as possible.

Day Sixty

After a couple of months your brand new vans or converse should be reaching warn-in perfection. However, they’ll also be getting to the stage where they’ll need a good clean-up too. Unless you’re sporting suede, you should use a soft, barely-damp brush to get rid of spot dirt and a dry, lint-free cloth to buff and shine.


Day One Hundred Twenty

Stains will begin to show at this point. Give your trainers a once over with specially-formulated cleanser. Throw on a layer of protective spray, available from all good trainer stockists; this’ll help prevent mud and dirt from sticking to your newly revitalised sneaks.

Day Two Hundred

It’s time to break out the febreeze! Foot odour is unpleasant at the best of times, but with your clammy feet, a good odour eater or two is probably more than called for. If you can, replace the in-soles with a new pair; buy appropriate anti-bacterial replacements from your nearest store.

Day Three Hundred

After nearly a year, your trainers should be looking a little worse for wear. Time to bring out the big guns! If you are wearing Converse Chuck Taylors then feel free to give them a mild soak in a tub of water with a non-biological cleanser; it should give you a few hundred days of extra wear if left to air dry in a warm spot overnight. Leather, canvas or mixed fabric trainers won’t respond well to being saturated in water, so restore their shine and lustre with a good polish/brushing. Use a good quality cream or wax and plenty of elbow grease.

Day Four Hundred

Your aglets will no-doubt be splitting in half any day; replace your laces with a matching pair. While local stores won’t have a great selection (unless you’re particularly fond of black and white) there are plenty of locations online that stock everything from ‘bondi blue’ to ‘neon orange’.

If you’re feeling really risqué, try matching a new shade of lace colour to your sneaks. It’ll give your ol’ faithfuls a whole new lease on life!

Day Five Hundred

Your poor aging sneakers are going to start taking on water any month now. Think about breaking in a new pair of trainers whilst you still have your well-worn pair to fall back on.

Sneakers Old

Day Six Hundred

With colours faded, thin soles and creased fabric, your sneakers are not exactly box-fresh any more. It’s time to retire those beauties to the back of the closet for good.

Still, that doesn’t mean you should be taking them to the shoe recycling bank just yet; save the pair for a rainy day – literally! Use your old trainers for mowing the lawn and other outdoor chores.

General Tips

  • Keep your sneakers out of direct sunlight. The UV rays will slowly damage the materials and ‘bleach’ the fabric.
  • Store trainers in their box. What better cool, dry place to keep your footwear than in their original container complete with the little ‘silica gel’ packs to absorb any damp and wads of chemical-free paper shoved in the toe area to prevent creasing. Wrap the boxes up inside plastic bags to prevent insects from eating through the cardboard.
  • Never go ‘barefoot’. By failing to wear socks, you’re roughly halving the lifespan of your sneaks. If you’re not keen on sweaty feet wear sandals instead!

About The Author

Johnathan Bell is the founder, owner and main author of Guy Style Guide, a website dedicated to everyday male fashion, style and grooming. The primary mission? To guide clueless men through the tricky mindfield that is the growing world of male couture. Find him on , Twitter and Tumblr.