The trend for classic white leather trainers is still going strong. And as you’ll have seen on the style pages of our March issue, the most up-to-date way to wear them this spring is with a floaty, long-sleeved midi dress.
But while we love the combination of comfort and style that these easy-to-wear wardrobe staples offer, we’re less taken with the effort required to keep them at their box-fresh best.
Luckily, we’re got a few tricks up our sleeves to help you fast track your way to dazzlingly white trainers, day-in, day-out. Just follow these seven simple steps.
STEP 1. Remove caked-on mud
If that Sunday afternoon stroll turned out to be muddier than you’d expected – and let’s face it, at this time of year it quite often is – leave the mud to dry then bang your
trainers together to get rid of any large clods. Use the back of an old knife to ease any particularly stubborn mud out of the tread or the side of the sole surrounding the shoe.
STEP 2. Soak the laces
It’s easy to overlook the laces but washing them will make a huge different to how your trainers look. Start by unthreading the laces and leave them to soak in a strong solution of stain remover such as Vanish Gold Oxi Action powder while you get on with cleaning the trainers. When you’ve finished, rinse the laces and hang them up to dry.
STEP 3. Clean the leather
You don’t want to use anything too harsh on leather – wiping the surface of your trainers with a coarser, general purpose e-cloth and a solution of detergent should do the trick, especially if you do this regularly. Don’t be tempted to use a biological laundry detergent, as this could damage the leather; washing up liquid will do. If your trainers are looking particularly grimy, use an old toothbrush to gently scrub away the dirt. Once they’re sparkling again, get rid of the suds by wiping them with a soft cloth soaked in warm water then wrung out.
STEP 4. Scrub the soles
Next, tackle the sides of the soles and the rubber toe cap on each trainer, if there is one. If these are smooth, an e-cloth and a solution of washing up liquid should work fine. If the rubber is textured, use an old toothbrush again, as there may be more of a build-up of grime.
STEP 5. Allow to dry
Open out the trainers’ tongues and allow them to dry naturally. If the insides have got soggy while you were cleaning them, stuff some scrunched-up newspaper inside and leave overnight, then remove and allow the trainers to continue drying.
STEP 6. Spray to keep them white
Once your trainers are white again, spray them with a stain protector such as Scotch Gard Water Repellent Shoe Protector.
STEP 7. Touch up scuffs
If your trainers are scuffed, use a trainer whitener such as Kiwi Sports Trainer Whitener to cover the scratches. You’ll have to reapply this every so often.