When it comes to keeping your tactical shoes in top shape, the matter of keeping them clean is paramount. Let's take a closer look at why and how to clean tactical sneakers based on common material type.
There are a few good reasons to keep your tactical shoes clean. For starters, if you wear them as part of the force or for work, dirty shoes just won't meet standards and you risk being reprimanded for bringing down the appearance of your unit. Another reason to keep your shoes clean is that it will help them last longer. When you have a lot of build up of dirt, grease, or mud, it can wear down your shoes faster so you need a replacement pair sooner.
Suede Tactical Shoe Care
When it comes to how to clean tactical sneakers, you should always consider the material of the shoe before you get started. If you have suede tactical sneakers, you will need a few supplies to clean them properly such as a soft bristle brush, clean towels preferably white or light-colored, an eraser, and silicone spray. You will also need warm water and either a gentler dish detergent or a little bit of white vinegar as your cleaning solution. You can also buy a cleaning solution specifically for suede surfaces, but it is not absolutely required to get the job done.
Step 1. Brush away as much mud and dirt as possible using your hand, stomping the sneaker on the ground, or with the soft bristled brush. If you use the brush, make sure you shake the brush loose of any dirt or debris before scrubbing later on.
Step 2. Use the eraser to gently remove any noticeable scuffs.
Step 3. Use the towel and cleaning solution to gently remove more dirt by rubbing it gently over the surface of the shoe. Don't worry if this doesn't take all the dirt or stains out since this is only one step in the entire cleaning process. You want to use a white towel or light-colored towel especially if working with black shoes so you can see how much dirt is actually coming off in the towel.
Step 4. Using the soft bristled brush, start brushing the suede in one direction to loosen up any deeper-seated dirt or debris.
Step 5. Using the cleaning solution, use the damp towel to start focusing on deeper stains by rubbing in a circular motion. If you have oil stains, you will need to use a mixture of cornstarch and water until you form a paste, and then apply it to the stain allowing it to dry before brushing it out with the soft bristle brush.
Step 6. Once you are satisfied with the cleanliness of the surface, you should apply the silicone spray and buff it out with a dry towel.
Leather Tactical Sneaker Care
When it comes to how to clean tactical sneakers, leather ones require a different set of instructions than suede. To clean leather shoes, you will need clean towels preferably cotton, a soft bristled brush, cotton balls or swabs, and shoe wax polish.
Step 1. Remove as much dirt and debris from the surface with the brush. Make sure you use a back and forth motion and don't apply too much pressure.
Step 2. Use a damp towel and warm but not hot water to wipe away any residue or dirt on the surface.
Step 3. Apply polish using a dry towel, preferably a cotton one, and work the polish into small circles over the surface of the leather. Allow the polish to sit for a few minutes after to soak in a bit.
Step 4. Next, scrub the polish into the shoe with a soft bristle brush and wait a few more minutes before wiping off the excess with a dry towel.
Step 5. When the polish you are rubbing off is clear instead of dirty, you will know the process is complete and the shoe is clean. Finally, apply a thin layer of polish and rub it in to restore the shine of the leather.