Shoe Cleaning and Care Tips from the SKECHERS Shoe Guy

Show your shoes some love by taking good care of them, and they’ll last longer and look better! Here are three easy steps to ensure your shoes will be protected, clean, and long-lasting.

Protect your shoes – I always recommend that you protect a new pair of shoes before wearing them, especially if you’re planning on wearing them in wet weather.  For leather and suede shoes, there are many very good brands of protective “rain and stain” treatments specific to those materials.  For non-leather and fabric shoes, there are fabric-specific spray treatments that offer excellent protection against water and staining.  Suede, especially, needs to be treated so that water will not discolor it.

Clean your shoes – I never recommend machine washing shoes.  Sure, it might get them clean, but the spin cycle and the dryer can damage the shoe and shorten its life.  Instead, there are lots of great products designed to clean and reinvigorate shoes.  Leather and suede shoes and boots get a leather or suede cleaning treatment, and fabric or non leather shoes can be cleaned with mild soap, warm water, and a soft cloth.

Treat your shoes – Sometimes people complain that their shoes wear out quickly, but most of the time you can keep your shoes healthy by giving them a treatment every so often. For leather shoes, I suggest using a leather lotion or mink oil to keep the leather supple. Suede shoes also should be treated and brushed to ensure the finish is always looking its best. It’s always a good idea to rotate wearing your shoes so that you aren’t wearing the same pair every day, week in and week out, as that also shortens the life.

Give your shoes a home – Not surprisingly, one of the best places to keep your shoes is their box. Keeping your shoes in their box is a good way to keep them clean and safe between wearings. If you’re going to store your shoes for a while (like keeping your warm boots for the summer) it’s a good idea to put the shaping forms back into them to keep them looking their best.

Written By Timothy Lakin, SKECHERS USA


  1. says:

    I’ve been surfing online more than 4 hours today, yet I never found any interesting
    article like yours. It is pretty worth enough for me.

    In my view, if all web owners and bloggers made good content as you did, the internet will be much more useful than ever before.

    • SKECHERS says:

      Hi Michael, most non-leather casual shoes can be safely machine washed on the gentle cycle and air-dried. Do not place shoes in dryer. Air dry shoes for 10 to 12 hours to ensure the insoles are fully dry.

  2. Judy A Maloney says:

    My skechers have a white sole (memory foam?). They pick up road ‘dirt’ quickly and recently our church day care laid a black parking lot. Now my skechers are black on the bottom. Please help me get them clean again.

    • SKECHERS says:

      Hi Judy, Most non-leather casual shoes can be safely machine washed on the gentle cycle and air-dried. Do not place shoes in dryer. For shoes with Skechers Memory Foam™ insoles, allow shoes and insoles to air dry for 10 to 12 hours to ensure the insoles are fully dry. You can also try mixing a little baking soda with warm water and rubbing the bottom of the soles with a rag to remove dirt. Hope that helps!

  3. Jalu Sakti says:

    I am glad you gave some alternatives to putting boots in the washing machine. I will admit that I have tried that in the past, and I’m sure my boots didn’t last as long as they should have. One thing that I found really helpful for my boots was polishing them daily (for leather boots). The wax in the polish really helped keep my boots in good condition.

  4. louiselmz says:

    you could try using magic eraser, I use it for everything and it works great. I have even used it on my oven tray you know how sometimes they get stains cooked onto they well yep sure enough magic eraser done the trick. other wise there is a product called instant sneaker cleaner by Waproo that works a treat on that type of soul and no scrubbing involved. I dont know where you are from though i know that i purchased it from Harris Scarf

  5. Ingrid Adams says:

    My Sketchers are suede with satin trim. I need a recommendation on how to clean both in the same operation. Thanks

    • alisaskx says:

      Hi Ingrid! We would recommend following the Suede cleaning instructions in the blog, and try to avoid soaking the satin and rather lightly blotting it with a washcloth and drying with a separate hand towel 🙂

  6. Karin Castellanos says:

    Hi Skechers team. Well I love your shoes they are so comfortable and very light. However, I hate that they leave your feet very smelly. I have washed the shoes in a gently cycle, air dry them (not in the dryer). Use odor balls, foot spray, foot powder, but nothing works. 😦 I like to travel and use Skechers shoes but once they start to smell I have to throw them away. I use the ones with the memory foam and have bought the gel ones too. I am a size 7.5 and keep buying them being that I am a Skechers fan. But it is really getting to be very costly. I will love to see if there is a way that Skechers can compensate or accommodate a pair or two to a Skechers fanatic! Thank you Skechers Team!!!

  7. Mertis says:

    Wishing this site offered a real solution to the odor causing problem which probably lies in the memory foam composition. Perhaps the design team could come up with some sort of barrier other than making customers feel they are not taking care of their shoes properly. Many people including myself have tried the tips and they are not effective at controlling the stench. No more skechers for me until a new design is launched and advertised as such.

    • SKECHERS says:

      Hi there! Thank you for reaching out to us about this. We will definitely pass along your suggestion! If you haven’t already, we suggest using an activated charcoal solution as it is the best odor-absorbing material! Hope this helps 🙂

    • Applemany says:

      It is a well known solution of sports players to put smelly shoes in a freezer bag – closed- and put them In the Freezerv overnight say 8-10 hours. Apparently the odour disappears. It worked with a pair of leather sandels of mine but after another summer the smell returned!

    • Jean Bigelow says:

      I agree. I have worn Skechers for over 10 years and recommended them to everyone. I love the way the new GoWalks and others with Memory Foam feel, but I cannot stand the smell. I have tried everything. What a waste of money. I have 2 pairs purchased this year and I may toss them in the garbage.

      • SKECHERS says:

        Hi Jean, Thank you for reaching out! Usually baking soda or activated charcoal solution is best to remove the odor-causing agents, as that absorbs and nullifies anything causing a smell. If sealing them in an airtight bag containing an odor-absorbing material is not enough to absorb the smell, you may want to try using a second or third treatment – activated charcoal really is the best odor-absorbing material, it’s what they use in industrial cleanups. Hope this helps!

  8. Jacquie says:

    I have just bought a pair of white women’s Empire – Take Charge memory foam shoes, and they mark easily. I would like to know the best way to care for and clean them. Many thanks

    • SKECHERS says:

      Hi Cindy! Depending on how long ago the grease was spilled on the shoes, it might be difficult to clean off. However, we found that using starch and glycerin can sometimes help. Sprinkle starch on the stain and then use a rag dipped in glycerin to clean the area. Hope this helps 🙂

  9. For suede cleaning services and dry cleaning contact American Dry Cleaning Company London.

    American Dry Cleaning Company provides cleaning service for a range of a suede, sheepskin, and leather garments and items, including; coats, jackets, suits, waistcoats, skirts, trousers, gloves, sheepskin rugs, motorcycle leathers and handbags.

  10. sean brady says:

    I have a pair of Go Golf Focus golf shoes (black), they are very comfortable. I believe they are synthetic, how do you suggest I clean them? Do I need to waterproof them as well? Thanks.

    • SKECHERS says:

      Hi Sean, We do not recommend machine washing. We suggest the following steps for any minor cleaning to our shoes:

      1. Remove excess dirt from the upper and outsole by using a small brush or towel.
      2. Create a soapy mixture by combining warm water and a small amount (a few drops) laundry detergent.
      3. Dip the brush or cloth into the soapy mixture. Wipe down the affected area. Apply a small amount of clean, warm water with the brush or cloth and brush/wipe off the excess soap.
      4. Allow shoes to air dry.

      You may want to apply a protectant such as Skechers Water Proofer Spray to protect the shoes from water and stains before wearing in wet conditions

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