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Clean kicks make a big difference – whether you’re rocking Off-White Jordans or Vans. But style isn’t the only reason why people are cleaning their sneakers nowadays. According to the CDC, your footwear can harbor bacteria and diseases, tracking them into your home. And while some people have resorted to using shoe covers, our recommendation for staying vigilant (health and style-wise) is to have the best sneaker wipes at the ready.
Sneakers have become an integral part of our wardrobes as we now wear them everywhere from the supermarket to the office. But being able to wear sneakers everywhere has a caveat: they should look fresh. Sneaker wipes offer an easy solution, allowing you to quickly remove grime, mud and grass stains. And with coronavirus numbers at worrying heights, sneaker wipes do double-duty by removing bacteria from your shoes to keep your home germ-free (keep in mind, like a hand sanitizing wipe, a sneaker wipe won’t completely kill the virus, but it can help prevent the transference of germs). Most of these wipes are also travel-friendly, so you can stash some in your bag, pocket or entryway.
What Are the Best Sneaker Wipes?
Sneaker wipes are a relatively new product, so it can be difficult to discern the best sneaker wipes from the bad. When shopping for the best sneaker wipes, keep these three factors in mind:
Packaging: If you want on-the-go sneaker wipes, go for some that come in individually-wrapped packages. These are great for a quick once-over after a commute, arriving at someone else’s home or getting in the car after shopping. You can also get sneaker wipes in a box or tub, which is good for stashing by the front door to use when you get home.
Materials: Always make sure that sneaker wipes are safe to use with your sneakers’ material. Most of our picks are versatile, working with suede, knit, vinyl and canvas, but others have some restrictions and might damage certain materials.
Formula: The best sneaker wipes should get the job done without too many chemicals. Harsh cleaning wipes can leave harmful chemicals on your hands and create a risk for small kids. So be sure to check that sneaker wipes aren’t over-loaded with chemicals.
1. Sneaker LAB Shoe Wipes
These premium shoe wipes from Sneaker LAB effectively clean almost any material, be it leather, nubuck, canvas or even knit (for the Yeezy fans out there). But despite their cleaning powers, the Sneaker LAB wipes are free of soap or harsh chemicals. Instead, the wipes use bioengineered bacteria (the good kind) to break down and wipe away grime. The pack contains twelve individually-wrapped wipes, which makes these a good choice for slipping in your bag or pocket when leaving the house.
2. SneakerRescue All-Natural Cleaning Wipes
SneakerRescue is, as the name suggests, here to rescue your kicks from dirt, grass stains and mud. Their sneaker wipes come in a small, resealable pack that contains 15 wipes, making them another good choice for keeping handy while out and about. SneakerRescue utilizes a safe, all-natural formula, which means there’s no need to wash your hands after every use or worry about any long-term wear to your sneaker’s fabric. They’re also very versatile, working with suede, mesh, knit and leather, and can even be used on other surfaces such as car seats, bags or outerwear.
3. GOAT Premium Shoe Cleaner Wipes
GOAT’s sneaker wipes use a dual-textured design to combat tougher stains. One side is rougher for scrubbing, and the other side is smooth for wiping away grime (this softer side is also good for delicate nubuck or knit fabrics). The wipes are another great pick for on-the-go sneaker cleaning, as the package includes 24 individually-wrapped wipes. This means you can slip a couple in your bag, a few in the car and have some leftover for the rest of the family. Plus, GOAT’s formula is free of harsh chemicals.
4. Mygezi Sneaker Wipes
If you need to stock up on sneaker wipes for a whole house of sneakerheads, go for this two-pack from Mygezi. You’ll get a total of 60 wipes, packaged in two resealable, pop-up boxes that fit nicely in bags or cars. They’re on the tough side, making them great for serious stains and cleaning the soles of shoes. They work on most fabrics, including knits, mesh and leather, but they can’t be used with suede, and canvas is a bit risky.
5. CleanKicks Shoe Cleaner Wipes
An easy way to stay on top of cleaning and disinfecting your sneakers is to place a tub of sneaker wipes by the front door. We recommend this one from CleanKicks, which packs 30 wipes and does a great job of removing everyday dirt and grass stains. The wipes themselves feature a smooth side as well as a textured side for cleaning tough stains and getting at tricky spots such as between the laces. They work with most fabrics, but we suggest testing a small area of your shoe first to be safe (especially with suede shoes).
6. Crep Protect Wipes
Crep Protect is an established brand in the shoe care market, and these wipes reflect the brand’s expertise. We’re big fans of the packaging with Crep Protect’s shoe wipes, as the twelve individually-wrapped wipes come in a sturdy tin travel case. The wipes are suitable for most fabrics, including leather, vinyl and canvas, and a double-sided design offers two levels of roughness for different jobs. Plus, the wipes boast a nice aroma that’s certainly welcome on athletic shoes.
7. Jason Markk 30-Pack Quick Wipes
Jason Markk has established itself as an upscale source for high-quality sneaker cleaning goods. Their quick wipes are some of the best, featuring a rough side for tough jobs and a smooth side for wiping clean. The packaging is good too with an upright dispenser box and individually-wrapped wipes. The wipes should work on most fabrics (leather, canvas, knit, etc) although they shouldn’t be used with suede or nubuck.