How to Care for Sperry Top-Sider Shoes


According to the Sperry Top-Sider website, this shoe was invented because of a cocker spaniel named Prince. It seems that Prince was outside frolicking in the snow when his owner noticed that Prince was" remarkably stable" even at full speed on the snow and ice. Prince's owner was Paul Sperry and the idea for Sperry Top-Siders sprouted in his brain while watching his dog back in 1935. Anyone who has been sailing or fishing knows that this shoe is great for traction near water. Yet even if you do not sail or fish, the Sperry Top-Sider is easy-to-care-for, attractive and comfortable shoe to own.

Things You'll Need

  • Shoe brush for leather shoes
  • Damp cloth
  • Cream leather conditioner
  • Rubber or wire shoe brush
  • Suede or nubuck shoe cleaner
  • Washing machine
  • Detergent

Finished Leather Shoes

Step 1

Remove the shoelaces.

Step 2

Remove loose dirt on the shoes by brushing the shoe with a quality shoe brush designed for leather shoes. Remember to get all the crevices where dirt can hide. Use a damp cloth to remove any remaining dirt.

Step 3

Apply a cream leather shoe conditioner to keep the leather from dulling and cracking. Replace shoelaces when the shoe is done.

Step 4

Remove the shoelaces from the shoes.

Step 5

Use a rubber or wire brush, that is made for brushed leather or suede shoes, and remove all the loose dirt from the shoes.

Step 6

Spray the shoes with a suede/nubuck shoe cleaner and let dry. Replace the shoelaces when the shoes are done.

Step 7: Brushed Leather and/or Suede Shoes

Step 8

Remove the shoelaces from your shoes.

Step 9

Run cold water into washing machine. Add detergent then the shoes with some like colored towels. Wash normally, running the spin cycle twice to remove excess water on the shoes.

Step 10

Remove the shoes from the washer and let air dry. Replace shoelaces when shoes are done drying.

Step 11: Canvas and/or Mesh Shoes

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Tips & Warnings

  • To dry a wet pair of Sperry Top-Siders, place crumpled paper inside each shoe. Do not over-stuff. Let dry in a place where air can flow freely around the shoes, not in a closet.
  • The Sperry Top-Sider website is user-friendly; just click on "contact us" and the options for costumer service contacts appear.
  • You can wash the shoelaces by putting them in a pillowcase and then tying a knot in the pillowcase. Throw the pillowcase in with a like colored load of laundry. Remove the pillowcase from washer. Hang the shoelaces to dry.


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