Landon, Help! Does The Unstainable White Sneaker Exist?

Photo: Courtesy Michael Kors.
Laura writes: "Help! I recently invested in a pair of all-white sneakers, and I'm so afraid to get them dirty. But, I want to love (and live in) them. How do I keep my all-white sneakers white?"

In recent years, white sneakers have become the cherry topper to the Minimalist Pixie Dream Girl's everyday outfit. You know what I'm talking about. They're sleeker than a sandal and more athleisure than a flat. Hell, I'll even admit to investing in my own pair of Stan Smiths after seeing them on a naked Gisele Bündchen in November 2013's Vogue Paris.

So, it's safe to say I feel your pain, Laura. The last time I bought an all-white skate shoe, I caught myself walking funny up the stairs of the subway — out of fear of dirtying my brand-new kicks. Unfortunately, there's no such thing as an unstainable white sneaker (although there may be an unstainable white shirt), but there are some helpful tips to remember.

The discussion starts with how to shop: Stick to materials that repel dirt and grime. Wipe-able shoes are the easiest to clean — if you see patent leather, snakeskin, or even some type of rubber, you're good to go. The Valin Vachetta Leather Sneaker from Michael Kors is my favorite style. It's pricier than your average casual shoe, but I can guarantee it won't retain memories of an afternoon soccer game or a good kick in the grass. 

That's not to say you have to avoid canvas altogether; Supergas or Keds look so good with denim, we'll forgive the fact that they retain stains like crazy. When wearing this type of white sneak, I make sure I have a Tide To-Go pen with me at all times. Yes, it will make you feel like a dork. But, it fits easily in your bag, and it sure beats tiptoeing through the subway to avoid getting smudgy.

What's my favorite cleaning technique? Hand-washing. Most shoes require you to remove the inner sole when washing, but there's nothing quicker and more effective than wiping the outsole with a damp sponge. And, if your kicks are in need of a deeper clean, use my patented trick: Remove the laces and run the kicks through the dishwasher with a bit of your usual dish detergent. I'm not kidding — your shoes will emerge sparkling. Just make sure you remove them before the heated dry cycle, which can damage the rubber. And, don't wash your dishes at the same time, because that's just gross.

I hope this helps. See you next Saturday.
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