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How to take care of your dance shoes

on April 09, 2020

High quality dance shoes are an investment and dancers are not easy on their footwear. In order to make sure your dance shoes last and stay looking sharp, they need to be cared for properly.

To help you out, we have put together some of the essential tools you'll need to look after your dance shoes as well as how to take care of your shoes - no matter the 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 and free of cracks.
  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 of leather, you should polish them once a 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. This will keep your shoes looking like new!

Suede soles
If your shoes have suede soles, you'll need a suede shoe brush to raise the nap as it will eventually go flat (and possibly hard) from use. 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
For suede shoes, use a clean tooth brush to remove any dirt and a suede shampoo to remove any stains. Make sure that you use suede dressing well in advance of wearing the shoes so that they have time to dry out. Make sure you brush your shoes from front to back after applying the suede dressing. 

Nubuck shoes
Clean your nubuck shoes with a cloth dipped lightly in 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 more delicate than other kinds of dance shoes. Therefore there are a number of important steps to follow: 

  1. Prep: With a soft bristle brush or dry cloth, brush away any dust or dirt. Otherwise you risk rubbing the dirt into the fabric while you're cleaning.
  2. Blot: Dampen a cloth with cold water and blot any stains. Start from the top of the shoe and follow 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.