Saturday, August 14, 2021

5 Ways to Revamp Your Old Kicks


Contributed post by Noah Campbell

Sneaker culture continues to be on the rise. The global sneaker market is predicted to reach $88 billion by 2024, from its $58 billion valuation in 2018. However, sneakers have a heavy carbon footprint, with 23 billion pairs being made and 300 million pairs being thrown away each year. Materials like nylon, synthetic rubber, and plastic are created using energy-intensive processes like injection molding, foaming, and heating. They are then bound together with chemicals that are harmful to the environment.

Fortunately, you can help lower the impact of the sneaker industry on the environment. For one, you can choose to invest in sneakers that you're absolutely sure you want to add to your collection. You can also reach out to a dedicated 
sneaker community to trade or sell your older shoes. You’ll find that the sneaker community is very open and interactive, and will be able to help you with ideas on what else you can do with your shoes if you don’t want to let go of them yet.

Revamping your old sneakers is a great way to refresh them and make them feel brand new. Here are some ways to get you started on revamping your sneakers:

Give them a makeover

Sometimes, all your kicks might need is a refreshing new look. Transform your old shoes into something new. You can redesign and cover up imperfections on your sneakers through custom designs. Aside from being cheaper, this also gives you more control over how the final product looks – do your own color blocking and prints, decoupage some fabric scraps, or put all the glitter you want. The important thing here is that you have fun and create something that you’ll love and be proud of. Plus, it'll be something unique and truly you.

Turn them into denim sandals

Denim is a sturdy and durable fabric, so it’s great for DIY projects and you can easily incorporate sneakers into such a project. You’ll need to remove the soles and use those as the base of your sandals. You’ll need some sewing skills for this one, as it involves measurements and maybe even a sewing machine. You can dye the denim fabric or ink designs on it before or after you’ve finished the sandals.

Repurpose the soles

Soles are made of robust and durable rubber, making them good for arts and crafts projects. A simple one is making upside-down stepping-stones. Just wash the bottom of the shoes well with soap and water, dry overnight, then paint and design it however you like. After the paint has dried, place them sole-side up in your yard and stake them down with anchoring pins. Another idea is to turn them into stamps. Once you’ve washed them properly, cut them up and use the soles to stamp designs on shirts and bags.

Use them as planters

Disinfect your sneakers and start planting in them. Color-coordinate flowers to the shoe, or design the shoes before you put plants in them. You can place them in rows or even hang them on stumps to add some unique elements to your yard. Due to the porous shoe materials, it’s best to just keep them as outside planters and not bring them in.

Deep clean your shoes

If you still like a pair of kicks enough to not want to part with them or repurpose them, then maybe they just need 
a deep clean. Cleaning shoes is perhaps the quickest way to revamp them as it can make them look good as new. But cleaning shoes isn’t a one-size-fits-all process. Fabric shoes should be cleaned by hand with a toothbrush, paper towels, and some dishwashing detergent in warm water. Meanwhile, athletic shoes can be cleaned in the washing machine with heavy-duty detergent like Tide.

We hope this article proves helpful and that you think twice before throwing away your old kicks.


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