How to Protect Canvas Shoes

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Larry Bird wore canvas shoes, and Mister Rogers did too. People love canvas shoes for lots of reasons; they're an inexpensive, durable and versatile alternative to leather. While canvas is tough, it's not indestructible, and it is more susceptible to water than other materials. Keeping your shoes clean and dry will extend their life and maintain their coloring.

Normal Use

Apply a canvas-waterproofing treatment before wearing your shoes. Canvas can repel a small amount of water, but walking in rain or puddles will cause the water to soak through to your foot.

Wear absorbent socks. Sweat soaks into canvas, and keeping your canvas shoes dry will help prolong their life.

Change your socks daily, or after heavy activity.

Loosen your laces before removing your shoes. Pulling your feet out of tight shoes can put stress on the seams.

Remove your shoes with your hands, not with your other foot. Stepping on a heel and slipping the foot out of the shoe can stretch the canvas. In Converse Chuck Taylors or similarly styled shoes, doing this repeatedly can cause the rubber sole to fall apart.

Remove any dirt with a fine-bristled brush, such as a toothbrush.

Washing And Drying

Soak a clean sponge, then wring it to remove the excess water.

Place a few drops of dish soap on the sponge and rub it around to create a lather.

Scrub the shoes with the sponge. Use the toothbrush to scrub away at tough or especially dirty spots.

Rinse the sponge and wipe away any excess soap residue from the shoes.

Blot the surface of the shoes with one of the hand towels.

Stuff a hand towel in each shoe.

Turn on a floor fan and place the shoes in front of it to speed drying.