For sneaker-obsessed fashionistas who collect vintage Nikes and Jordan exclusives, cleaning and preserving classic kicks is an integral part of the obsession. Nylon, mesh, canvas, leather and even hemp fabrics adorn Nike favorites, and all need special methods of care. But maintaining the fresh, plush look of suede Jordans may require a bit more polish and groom for this sensitive, yet attractive, fabric.
Remove small dirt stains and scuff marks by gently rubbing an emery board against the suede. A soft-bristled toothbrush can also be used to brush away minor stains. If water marks have spotted your sneakers, allow your shoes to dry if they are still wet and gently rub the spots with a soft terrycloth towel to spot clean.
Rub cornmeal into suede sneakers that have oil stains. The floured substance works best with a suede brush to help lift stains from the fabric. A suede cleaning block can be used to remove dried stains. Suede cleaning blocks crumble into small pieces when rubbed against the surface of the sneaker, helping to lift dirt and soil.
Apply a commercial stain remover made for suede shoes, such as a dry foam or spray cleanser, to remove deep-seated, resistant stains. Test the cleanser on a small part of the sneaker before applying the product to a larger part of the surface. Use a terrycloth towel or suede brush to gently rub and clean the treated stain.
Rejuvenate your Jordans with a final brush. The gentle rubbing and brushing of the nap of the suede will raise the hairs of the fabric and restore the condition and look of the fibers.
Invest in a suede cleaning kit for regular maintenance. Most kits include a suede brush and a suede cleaning block so you can upkeep your kicks and maintain a flawless look at all times.
Candace M. Sheppard is a multimedia journalist living in New York City. She has produced original video pieces for CUNY TV and worked as an assistant editor for home fashions trade magazine, LDB Interior Textiles. She is currently co-producing a docu-series about a hip-hop dance subculture in New York City.