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How to take care of your dance shoes

Posted on April 04 2017

High quality dance shoes are an investment and dancers are not easy on their footwear. You'll want to make sure that you look after every single pair of dance shoes you invest in so that you get the maximum amount of wear out of them and so they last many years. 

Below we have put together some of the essential tools you'll need to look after your dance shoes and how to take care of your shoes - no matter their material.

  1. Brush
    A suede shoe brush is a must have for all dancers with suede soled shoes.  
  2. Clean Oil
    A shoe oil will help to keep your leather shoes moisturized, which will help them last longer.
  3. Shoe Polish Cloth 
    A clean, high quality shoe polish cloth will help to keep your shoes clean and looking their best.
  4. Water Spray Bottle
    A water spray bottle is important to have on hand so that you can easily spot clean your shoes. 

Below, you'll find cleaning instructions for your dance shoes:

Leather shoes
If your shoes are made out of leather, you should polish them once per week. Use a damp cloth to remove all dirt then use a thin layer of cream or wax polish to preserve and moisturize the leather - which will keep your shoes looking like new!

Suede soles
If your shoes have suede soles than you'll need a suede shoe brush to brush up the nap on the bottom of your shoes. Always brush from toe to heel. You should do this immediately upon noticing if the soles of your shoes have become flat and smooth or have dirt stuck on them. 

Suede shoes
You can use a clean tooth brush to remove any dirt on your suede shoes. Use a suede shampoo to remove any stains. Make sure that you use suede dressing well in advance of when you have to wear them so that they have time to dry out before you need to dance in them. Make sure you brush your shoes from front to back after applying the suede dressing. 

Nubuck shoes
Clean your nubuck shoes with a cloth dipping in light soapy, warm water. Otherwise, follow the instructions for suede shoes. 

Patent leather shoes
If your shoes are made from patent leather, clean them with a damp cloth and apply patent dressing after drying. Shine them regularly with a soft cloth. Never use regular shoe polish on patent leather.

Satin shoes
Satin shoes are generally more delicate than other kinds of dance shoes. Therefore there's a number of important steps to follow: 

  1. Prep: With a soft bristle brush or dry cloth, brush away any dust or dirt. You risk rubbing the dirt into the fabric while you're cleaning if you skip this very important step.
  2. Blot: Dampen a cloth with cold water and blot any stains, starting from the top of the shoe, following the grain of the fabric.
  3. Deep Cleaning: If water isn’t enough to remove the stains from your shoes, try putting a small amount of hand washing liquid onto a damp cloth. Rub the cloth to produce a lather and dab any stains with the soapy cloth. 
  4. Rinse: Immediately rinse the shoe by patting with a clean cloth and cold water to remove any soapy residue.
  5. Dry: Use a hand towel to dab your shoes dry. Rubbing the fabric could cause water marks to stain the shoes, so avoid this at all costs. Similarly, air-drying could result in watermarks so make sure you remove as much moisture as you can with the clean hand towel.


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