How to keep your white sneakers white? Shop *this* style

When you buy a pair of white sneakers, it’s because you love what a bright white shoe can do with an outfit. But, you know what you’re signing up for. Soon, and sometimes much sooner than you’d like, those sneakers will be a shell of their former selves. Less sporty and effortlessly refined, more like what you wear on the way to an event with the right shoes in your bag.

Is it just me or do some shoes get dirty faster? Vincent Rao Jr. of Vince’s Village Cobbler, a shoe repair shop in Soho, says it’s true.

“I’ve noticed that my leather sneakers stay a lot cleaner than my cloth sneakers,” says Rao. “Once fabrics get stained, they’re very hard to paint, hard to clean. Leather is much more durable, and if it gets scratched or damaged, it’s very easy to fix.”

When looking for a white leather sneaker, Rao recommends avoiding patent leather and suede, because those two are the most vulnerable. “They are extremely difficult to clean and are prone to damage,” he says. He opts for genuine calfskin, which he says is the most durable.

If you’re into the chunky sneaker trend, you’re in luck, because Rao says thicker soles make a big difference. “The higher the top of the shoe is off the ground, the safer you are,” he says.

Snow, salt and water are enemies of white sneakers, so keep them stored during the winter. However, he says waterproofing them can help protect them from minor spills.

“If you want to keep [your white sneakers] clean them, and never make them dirty, just put them in the box and keep them in your closet,” he says. “As soon as you start wearing it, it’ll just get dirty and wear out. It should just be expected, especially in a white sneaker.”

Okay, we know better than to, but these white winter sneakers are too good to save for spring. When they inevitably get messy, try this baking soda hack.

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