Photo by Matus Hatala on Unsplash

How To Clean Basketball Shoes

Let’s face it, nobody just buys basketball shoes to stare at them in the box and admire them. No! When you put on those New Balance KAWHI’s, we bet you want to feel as “fly” as Kawhi Leonard himself feels when he steps on the court in them.

But you know, when you step out in those super-fly kicks, you are surely going to get dirt on them one way or another.

This leads us to a specific question we are pretty sure all sneakerheads have regardless of what brand of shoes they wear; how do you clean basketball shoes?

Well, you want to find out? Come along then!

How To Clean Basketball Shoes
Photo by Matus Hatala on Unsplash

How To Keep Basketball Shoes Clean

1. Routinely Clean Them

Pretty obvious, isn’t it? Your shoes aren’t going to get themselves cleaned unless manufacturers find a way to make self-cleaning basketball shoes (Nike, we are counting on you for this one, lol).

So, to keep your basketball shoes clean, we advise that you have a cleaning routine for your shoes. That is, you clean all your sneakers at certain intervals, whether they have been worn in the recent past or not. Yes! They deserve that much attention!

However, it will also help if you make it a habit to always do some slight cleaning just after taking them off.

Now, when we say “clean”, it is important to note that the whole idea of cleaning your shoes isn’t just about making it look good visually, it is an all-round shoe-care.

A clean looking shoe on the outside, which is gross and smelly on the inside is a messy shoe nonetheless.

This could even hinder the performance of your shoes, and could even cause infection for your feet. It’s a vicious cycle, people!

Now, cleaning your basketball shoes is a process that requires patience, so, follow the steps carefully:

a. First, Take The Laces Off

This allows you to have more cleaning access, especially to the tongue of the shoe.

And when you take out the laces, ensure to wash them, too. Now, don’t just chuck them in the washing machine, that’ll just leave them in a tangled mess.

Simply soak them in warm water and add a small amount of cleaning solution before gently massaging them between your hands, until all the dirt dissolves.

b. Remove Stones Stuck To The Tread Of The Soles

You don’t have to bother about this if you use your basketball shoes to hoop in indoor courts. There should be no stones there, unless said court is badly maintained.

If you are more of an outdoor player or you wear your footies for leisure — as do a lot of people out there — grab some toothpicks and get to work!

c. The Insoles Matter, Too

Take out the insoles and wash them with a soft shoe brush and warm soapy water.

d. Work on the body

Remember, your basketball shoes are your babies, and as such, should be treated with maximum care.

Therefore, you cannot just toss them in a washing machine, you will end up with damaged babies.

Just imagine the look on Michael Jordan’s face when he learns you use a washing machine to clean your Air Jordans.

Instead, mix some mild laundry detergent in warm water and proceed to lightly scrub your shoes with a soft-bristled brush.

How To Clean Basketball Shoes
Photo by Jack daniel from Pexels

e. Clean Your Shoe Off

Avoid loading up your shoe with water when trying to rinse sod of your shoes. Instead, soak up a soft cloth, squeeze out all the water, then proceed to wipe away the soap sods on your shoes.

Repeat this step until your shoe is completely free of sods.

f. Air Dry Your Shoes, Insoles, And Laces

Avoid using heaters or blow dryers to dry your shoes; they will do major damage to them.

Take them out and leave them to air dry naturally. Try not to leave them directly under the gaze of the hot sun, though.

2. Store Your Shoes Properly

The temptation to put your shoes back in their box or in an airtight bag after they have been washed can be very strong.

Alas, this is the wrong move to make! Shoes are like people, too, they need to breathe.

In order, to avoid your shoes stinking up, you will need to place there in a dry area where there is adequate airflow.

Also, placing your shoes in plastic bags can cause them to bend a little out of shape and you surely won’t want that to happen to your favorite babies.

Some Very Useful Tips To Help You Always Keep Your Basketball Shoes In Good Condition

1. Toothpaste Works Magic!

Using toothpaste on the white soles of your shoes after cleaning them makes them really shine. Yes! Just like your teeth!

It may sound silly, but perhaps you need to just try it out for yourself and see.

P.S: only used toothpaste on white soles.

Reebok Men's Royal BB4500 HI2, Black/Solid Teal/True Grey/White, 9 M US

Click here to check these out and buy on Amazon.

2. Be Proactive

In situations where your shoes get stained, don’t just wait till the next cleaning routine before you get rid of the stain.

There are stubborn stains that just won’t wash off if you let them stay for a long time.

So, to avoid such permanent stains, clean your shoes as soon as you notice those types of stain.

3. Don’t Wear Out Your Shoes

You know that cycle of getting new pairs of basketball shoes and totally abandoning the ones you owned prior to those? Break it!

Yes, you want to show off your new kicks, but don’t let vanity cloud your judgement. Have substitute shoes — and actually wear them, too — so that you don’t end up overusing the new pair causing them to deteriorate really quickly.

4. No Washing Machine!

Trust us, we understand very well how convenient it is to use a washing machine to do laundry.

But again, trust us, that is not an advisable way to clean your basketball shoes.

A washing machine could ruin your shoes, and worse still, will end up not doing as good a job at getting your basketball shoes clean as when you use a damp cloth, warm water, and some laundry detergent.

5. Don’t Be In A Rush

Try not to be in a hurry when you clean your basketball shoes. Take your time.

When you are in a rush, that is when you may be tempted to use a washing machine, or blow dry them because you don’t have the patience to wait for them to air dry.

This is why we advised earlier that you have a routine for cleaning your shoes. It always helps.

5. Stick To Its Function

Now, if you are actually a basketball player and you have got shoes for the court, stick to using them for that. Do not wear them outside the court. Don’t taint the sanctity of those babies by taking random strolls in them.

Using your b-ball shoes only when you’re on the court helps keep them in pristine shape because there is less exposure to dust, dirt, and harsh sunlight, which combined (or independently even), can cause the color of your shoes to fade.

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