It pays to take care of your things. They last longer. When I was a kid, that was easy with your shoes. Just do like Dad — polish your leather shoes and throw your Keds in the washer.
For whatever reason, that doesn’t work as well with the way they make athletic shoes these days. The fabric and mesh of your running shoes gets stiff and seems to wear out even faster.
We went whole-hog and got a handful of Nikwax products to clean and condition shoes. The Footwear Cleaning Gel worked well cleaning running shoes that had been through a trail half (I rinsed them pretty thoroughly first). The mesh, in particular, stayed soft and breathable.
The leather cleaner did well on my leather work boots (this is Texas — everybody with a garden learns the importance of wearing work boots), which I confess to having neglected. After applying the waterproofing wax, I think I will get another year or two out of them.
The sandal wash also did a good job cleaning a pair of men’s leather sandals, which I also waterproofed.
Hey, I think I just one-upped my Dad. I don’t think he ever saw him cleaning his sandals.