How To Save Your Old School Kicks

Written by Jess Burg:

The lovely Jess Burg comes at us with another excellent guest post. How to save your old school kicks. I know that I didn’t know any of these tricks aside from tossing them in the washing machine (which can yield mixed and unwanted results.) Enjoy and show Jess some love!

Thrifting is the cheapest way to find one-of-a-kind old school sneakers. The only problem is that typically they don’t hold up as long. It’s always a sad day when you come to terms with letting go of a pair of beloved kicks. In my days of purchasing old sneakers made in the 80’s and 90’s many of the same terminal issues seem to occur. In one case, the sole of the shoe had fallen off entirely. With many older shoes, the foamy midsole begins to crack and fall apart a little bit at a time. This is why I have done some internet research in an effort to learn any tricks to salvaging and restoring sneakers.

If you find an old pair of Nikes or New Balances that look like they were an awesome pair of shoes it may not be inconceivable to bring them back. It is possible to restore sneakers to an almost “good as new” condition.

Look at how this sneaker head was able to transform these Newbies from “beater” to “beast”. If you are willing to put in the effort you must have patients and be willing to think outside the box.

In case you need some help thinking outside the box, there is a sneaker restoration kit that comes in a box. JGoods Sneaker Restoration Kits, equipped with most of the tools you will need to restore old kicks on a superficial level. It comes with a restoration guide, which I know I would love to page through. This kit is priced at $35.

The kit includes:

The JGoods™ Guide to Sneaker Restoration

  • 12” by 12” white towel
  • Stiff Poly Scrub Brush
  • Melamine Foam Pad
  • JGoods Finish Remover
  • White and Black JGoods Leather Paint
  • One High Quality Paint Brush
  • Cotton Swabs
  • Scourer Sponge

Check out this pair of Jordans from niketalk.yuku.com. This guy restored them using some unconventional sneaker cleaning methods.

Before: Notice the Yellow tint the mesh and soles. After: Wow!

He used Barkeeper’s Friend on the tongue and upper mesh. Black Magic Tire Wet was used to bring out a little more shine on the patent leather. Armor All was used on the rest of the shoe to remove any spots of dirt and maintain plastic material. Finally, Sea Glow with the special blue coloration was used to make dull, yellowed (supposedly ‘white’) plastics snow-white again on the soles.

Cost: $5                                     Cost: $6            Cost: 4 Oz MiniPack (with scuff pad) $15.95

Hopefully this will help you restore some of those thrift treasure finds to as-good-as-new. Us here in the upper-Midwest understand how bad of a beating our kicks can take from the snow, slush, and salty conditions.

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One response to “How To Save Your Old School Kicks

  1. The best part about J-Goods is that they’re local Minneapolitans. I’m always surprised that you don’t see their kits at the cash wrap of every vintage shop and thrift store in the city. Good post!.

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