Sneaker Myths Debunked: What You Need to Know

Sneakers have become more than just footwear; they're a cultural phenomenon, a fashion statement, and, for many, a serious investment. But with their growing popularity, a lot of myths and misconceptions have popped up around them. Today, we're setting the record straight. Let's debunk some of the most common sneaker myths and give you the real scoop on what you need to know.

Myth 1: "More Expensive Means Better Quality"

Reality: Price doesn't always equal quality. While high-end sneakers often use premium materials and craftsmanship, there are plenty of affordable options that offer great quality too. Brands like New Balance and Nike produce mid-range sneakers with excellent durability and comfort. On the flip side, some expensive sneakers are priced high due to brand prestige and limited availability rather than superior quality.

Pro Tip: Focus on the materials and construction of the sneaker rather than the price tag. Look for features like reinforced stitching, quality leather, and cushioned soles to ensure you're getting good value for your money.

Cleaning sneakers

Myth 2: "All Sneakers Are Machine-Washable"

Reality: Tossing your sneakers in the washing machine might seem convenient, but it's a gamble. Machine washing can damage the glue that holds your sneakers together, cause discoloration, and deform the shoe shape. Most sneaker brands, including Nike and Adidas, recommend hand cleaning for a reason.

Proper Cleaning Method:

  1. Remove Laces and Insoles: Wash laces separately in warm soapy water.
  2. Dry Brush: Use a soft brush to remove loose dirt from the surface.
  3. Spot Clean: Use a specialized sneaker cleaner mixed with water. Scrub gently with a soft brush.
  4. Wipe Down: Wipe away any soap residue with a damp cloth.
  5. Air Dry: Let your sneakers air dry at room temperature, avoiding direct sunlight.

Myth 3: "Wearing the Same Pair Daily is Fine"

Reality: Wearing the same pair of sneakers every day can lead to quicker wear and tear. Your sneakers need time to dry out and recover from daily use. Rotating between different pairs helps extend the life of each pair and keeps them smelling fresher.

Pro Tip: Invest in a few pairs of sneakers and rotate them throughout the week. This not only prolongs the lifespan of each pair but also allows you to showcase different styles.

Wearing Air Jordan 1 High with Lace Lab Laces

Myth 4: "You Don’t Need to Replace Your Insoles"

Reality: Insoles wear out over time and lose their cushioning and support. Replacing them periodically can make a big difference in comfort and extend the life of your sneakers. If you're experiencing foot discomfort, it might be time for new insoles.

Pro Tip: Consider using orthotic insoles for added support and comfort. They're especially beneficial for people with specific foot conditions or those who spend long hours on their feet.

Myth 5: "All White Sneakers Are Impossible to Keep Clean"

Reality: While white sneakers do show dirt more easily, they're not impossible to keep clean. Regular maintenance and using the right cleaning products can keep them looking fresh.

Cleaning White Sneakers:

  1. Use a Protective Spray: Apply a Water & Stain Repellent to prevent stains.
  2. Regular Wipe Downs: Wipe your sneakers with a damp cloth after each wear to remove surface dirt.
  3. Deep Cleaning: Use a specialized sneaker cleaner with a soft brush for a thorough clean. For tougher stains, a mix of baking soda and water can help.

Myth 6: "Sneakerheads Only Care About Limited Editions"

Reality: While limited-edition releases do generate a lot of hype, sneaker culture is diverse. Many sneaker enthusiasts appreciate a wide range of designs, from classic staples to new releases. It's not just about exclusivity but also about personal style and the story behind each sneaker.

Pro Tip: Focus on building a collection that reflects your personal taste and lifestyle. Classic models like the Air Jordan 1, Adidas Stan Smith, and Nike Air Max have timeless appeal and are celebrated within the community.

Myth 7: "Sneakers Don’t Need to Be Conditioned"

Reality: Just like leather shoes, leather sneakers benefit from conditioning. Conditioning helps keep the leather soft and prevents cracking. It's an essential step in maintaining the longevity and appearance of your leather sneakers.

How to Condition Leather Sneakers:

  1. Clean First: Make sure your sneakers are clean before conditioning.
  2. Apply Leather Conditioner: Apply a small amount with a soft cloth and rub it into the leather.
  3. Buff and Dry: Buff with a clean cloth and let the sneakers air dry.
AJ1 High

Myth 8: "Oxidized Soles Can’t Be Restored"

Reality: Oxidized, yellowing soles can be restored to their original white condition with the right products and methods. Products like Angelus Sole Bright are specifically designed to deoxidize and whiten sneaker soles.

How to Deoxidize Soles:

  1. Apply Sole Brightener: Generously apply A Deoxidizer Sole Cream to the yellowed areas using a soft brush.
  2. Wrap in Plastic: Cover the treated areas with plastic wrap to keep the solution from drying out.
  3. Expose to UV Light: Place your sneakers under a UV light or in direct sunlight for 2-3 hours. The UV exposure helps activate the solution.
  4. Wipe Clean: Remove the plastic wrap and wipe off the solution with a damp cloth.
  5. Repeat if Necessary: For stubborn oxidation, you may need to repeat the process.

Myth 9: "You Can Only Clean Sneakers with Specialized Products"

Reality: While specialized sneaker cleaners are highly effective and recommended, you can also use mild household products in a pinch. A mix of water and mild dish soap can work for light cleaning. However, for tougher stains and delicate materials or consistent use, specialized products are your best bet.

Pro Tip: Always spot test any cleaning solution on a small, inconspicuous area before applying it to the entire shoe to ensure it doesn't cause discoloration or damage.

Wrapping It Up

Sneaker myths can lead to improper care and missed opportunities to keep your kicks looking their best. By understanding the reality behind these common misconceptions, you can better maintain your sneakers and enjoy them for years to come. Remember, proper care and attention can go a long way in preserving the life and appearance of your favorite pairs.

For the best selection of laces, cleaning products, and sneaker care essentials, be sure to check out LaceLab. Stay informed, take care of your sneakers, and keep stepping out in style!