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Keeping your shoes clean, it’s easier than you might think!

Now, I’m not one to normally clean my shoes with regularity, however, not too long ago I acquired a pair of super cool 5.10 approach/ parkour shoes. I’m no parkour aficionado, but I do get out to climb a bit, so I was psyched for some new kicks. The downside was that these shoes were white, meaning they would stay white for about 5 minutes after I took them out of the box. Sure enough, after an outing or two, they were downright filthy.

My awesome 5.10 kicks, while a stylish white, turned a dirty grey brown.

In order to bring my shoes back to a state that would at least be appropriate for frequenting a dive bar, I turned to my Nikwax arsenal to get them clean. In order to prepare for the overhaul, I removed the laces and insoles in order to get better access to all parts of the shoe. Good thing too, as you can see the tongue was particularly filthy.

removing the laces makes the shoes easier to clean

Remove the laces and insoles.

The next step was to get the shoes good and wet- like wetting your hands before soaping them up.

wetting your shoes help the cleaning gel to work properly

Get those shoes good and wet!

Then, I grabbed Nikwax Footwear Cleaning Gel and went to town.

Great for all types of footwear!

Nikwax Footwear Cleaning Gel to the rescue!

I scrubbed like a mad person.

Footwear Cleaning Gel gets sudsy!

Scrub your shoes!

Then, I rinsed off the Cleaning Gel suds. I was amazed at how much cleaner they were!

Rinse all the soap off

Sparkly!

Now, these shoes will never be waterproof. As you can see, they have holes all over them and there is no Gore-Tex membrane either. However, in order to help prevent further dirt and mud from corrupting my shoes, I thought, “it couldn’t hurt”! So I grabbed a bottle of Nikwax Nubuck & Suede Proof Spray-On (as the shoes are of the textured leather persuasion). I sprayed the shoes thoroughly and evenly.

Nubuck and Suede Proof waterproofing

I used the spray-on version.

Then, I set the shoes on a protected surface so they could dry. I also put some paper towel (newspaper works too) inside them in order to help them dry faster and soak up any water that got inside. You never want to accelerate the drying of your shoes with heat, as it can damage the uppers, as well as compromise any glued parts.

Dry your shoes with paper towel or newspaper in them

Drying time!

After a couple minutes I checked on them and removed any excess (pooling, etc.).

Make sure to remove all excess product

Dab to remove excess.

I let them dry over night. the next day gave them a little spritz to check the water repellency- They look great!

waterproof suede

Look at that beading action!

Now to go get them filthy again!

Climbing a dog and a beer

Ready for action!

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Back From the Dead: How to Clean Your Ski Jacket

It's... ALIVE!

It’s… ALIVE!

The world is full of frights that the rational mind can’t reconcile with reality: cheese in a can, the zombie apocalypse, that ski jacket you left unwashed, dirt-covered and and reeking at the bottom of your gear closet.

While experts are quite unified in their classification of canned cheese food, zombies and abused ski jackets inhabit a purgatory of confusion. In the words of one zombie expert, “The undead are notoriously difficult to kill.”

But in the words of… well… us: “Old ski jackets are a piece of cake to revive.” Much like the Necronomicon Ex-Mortis, Nikwax can bring your (supposedly) deceased ski jacket back to world of the living. So without further ado, here is how to revive your gear:

  1. For waterproof/breathable hard shells or soft shells without a wicking liner*: place the gear in the washing machine and fill with water at the temperature recommended on the tag (or simply warm- to be safe). Set your cycle to “regular” or “synthetics,” as determined by your washer.
  2. Add Nikwax Tech Wash. In a top-loading machine, add three full caps for 1-3 garments or five full caps for 4-6 garments. In a front loader, it’s best to add no more than two garments with two capfuls of Tech Wash. Special note: If you live in an area with hard water, toss in an extra capful of Tech Wash. If you have an HE machine, use about half the recommended amount so you don’t suds up the place.
  3. Sit back in your zombie bunker with a good book and a glass of wine/beer/hot cocoa as the machine runs its course.
  4. More often than not, this single cycle will be enough to have rebuffed your ski jacket’s near death experience. If the old girl was in really bad shape, you may consider leaving it in the washing machine and running a second cycle. In the second cycle, replace Tech Wash with TX.Direct Wash-In waterproofing.
  5. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions as to whether your garment should be line or tumble dried. Nikwax does not require heat for activation, so you’re good to go either way.
  6. Put your jacket on; admire your kickin’ style in the mirror and grab a crow bar. Get outside and have some fun. Special note: The crow bar is for if you encounter a zombie and has nothing to do with your gear.

So long as zombies have human flesh to feast upon, they will survive. And so it is with your cold weather gear. So long as that coat gets a regular Nikwax bath, it will continue to be the well-working, warmth-giving waterproof undead of your closet.

*Wicking liner: a jacket lining that is intended to soak up your sweat. Usually fuzzy in texture.


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Why white shoes? Why?

Not too long ago I acquired a pair of super cool 5.10 approach/ parkour shoes. Now I’m no parkour aficionado, but I do get out to climb a bit, so I was psyched for some new kicks. The downside was that these shoes were white, meaning they would stay white for about 5 minutes after I took them out of the box. Sure enough, after an outing or two, they were downright filthy.

My awesome 5.10 kicks, while a stylish white, turned a dirty grey brown.

Bleah.

In order to bring my shoes back to a state that would at least be appropriate for frequenting a dive bar, I turned to my Nikwax arsenal. In order to prepare for the overhaul, I removed the laces and insoles in order to get better access to all parts of the shoe. Good thing too, as you can see the tongue was particularly filthy.

removing the laces makes the shoes easier to clean

Remove the laces and insoles.

The next step was to get the shoes good and wet- like wetting your hands before soaping them up.

wetting your shoes help the cleaning gel to work properly

Get those shoes good and wet!

Then, grab Nikwax Footwear Cleaning Gel and go to town.

Great for all types of footwear!

Nikwax Footwear Cleaning Gel to the rescue!

I scrubbed like a mad person.

Footwear Cleaning Gel gets sudsy!

Scrub your shoes!

Rinse off the Cleaning Gel. Look how much whiter they look!

Rinse all the soap off

Sparkly!

Now, these shoes will never be waterproof. As you can see, they have holes all over them and there is no Gore-Tex membrane either. However, in order to help prevent further dirt and mud from corrupting my shoes, I thought, “it couldn’t hurt”! So I grabbed a bottle of Nikwax Nubuck & Suede Proof Spray-On (as the shoes are of the textured leather persuasion). I sprayed the shoes thoroughly and evenly.

Nubuck and Suede Proof waterproofing

I used the spray-on version.

Then, I set the shoes on a protected surface so they could dry. I also put some paper towel (newspaper works too) inside them in order to help them dry faster and soak up any water that got inside. You never want to accelerate the drying of your shoes with heat, as it can damage the uppers, as well as compromise any glued parts.

Dry your shoes with paper towel or newspaper in them

Drying time!

After a couple minutes I checked on them and removed any excess (pooling, etc.).

Make sure to remove all excess product

Dab to remove excess.

I let them dry over night. the next day gave them a little spritz to check the water repellency- They look great!

waterproof suede

Look at that beading action!

Now to go get them filthy again!

Climbing a dog and a beer

Ready for action!