They carry you through all conditions – over dusty trails, across muddy parking lots and even through the occasional deep puddle. New Balance sneakers are an everyday shoe for many people, and that means they take a beating. Cleaning your New Balance shoes properly extends their life and ensures that you're always ready for your next adventure, no matter how messy it may be.
Preparing New Balance Sneakers
New Balance does not recommend that its sneakers go through the washing machine. Because you're not going to submerge them in water and agitate all the dried dirt and debris out of the crevices on the bottom and sides of the shoes, try to get as much of that debris out manually as possible. If your shoes are currently wet and muddy, carefully wipe away mud with a dry paper towel or baby wipes and let the shoes air dry. It's generally easier to get dirt off your sneakers when the dirt is dry and brittle.
Once shoes are dry, clap the soles together to loosen any dirt. Use an old toothbrush or paintbrush to get rid of as much debris as possible. Take out the laces and removable insoles before washing the shoes.
Washing Synthetic New Balance Sneakers
Most of the sneakers New Balance makes are comprised of synthetic materials like rubber, foam and mesh, and can be washed in the same way. Put the shoes' laces and insoles in a mesh laundry bag and wash them in cool water with mild detergent in the washing machine, or soak them in soapy water and scrub them by hand. Let laces and insoles air dry. (If you've added any special inserts to make your New Balance sneakers more comfortable or supportive, they may have special washing instructions; check the manufacturer's directions.)
To wash the shoes themselves, mix a squirt of laundry detergent or dish detergent into a bowl of water. Dip the toothbrush or paintbrush into the slightly soapy water and scrub all over the inside and outside of the shoes. If any stubborn stains linger, put a little detergent on the brush and scrub those spots gently. Use a cloth dipped in clean water to wipe away any soap residue.
If the shoes are still dirty, New Balance recommends using a silicone-based shoe cleaner. Gently scrubbing the shoes with a damp Magic Eraser sponge could also sand away any stains or stubborn debris, especially from the white rubber midsoles used in many kinds of New Balance sneakers. Stuff newspaper into shoes and let them air dry, which will probably take at least 24 hours. Never put sneakers in a dryer.
Washing Leather or Suede Sneakers
Cleaning New Balance sneakers made with leather or suede requires the use of a product made especially for cleaning these materials. Never use water or dish soap on leather or suede shoes. Choose a cleaning kit that includes a special brush, which is a crucial tool if you're going to work stains out of leather or suede without leaving gouges in the material.
Caring for New Balance Sneakers
Like all brands of sneakers, your freshly-scrubbed New Balance shoes won't stay clean and odor-free for long. Make a habit of doing some light cleaning whenever the shoes get dirty, instead of letting weeks worth of dirt build up. Brush dried debris off the shoes before you put them on and wipe away any mud or wet grass before it can dry and stain the material.
Extend the life of your sneakers by caring for them carefully between wears. Don't leave them in the back of your car, where they may be exposed to direct sunlight and extreme temperatures; these conditions can cause flexible sneaker materials to become brittle. Untie them and remove shoes by hand instead of toeing or kicking them off, which can damage the shoes' heels. Keep sachets of activated charcoal in empty sneakers to absorb odors.