The #CheyGotKicks Survival Guide to Winter Weather

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The days of sticky humidity are long gone and the nights and mornings are getting very chilly. You know what that means; winter is coming! And with winter comes the sneakerhead’s deadly enemy; really crappy weather. Are you dreading the snow? No? Okay, how about the rain that melts snow buildup, creating slush? Who likes that? Well, that’s just the deadly mixture that will attack and ruin your feet heat. Here are a couple ideas to keep your shoes looking brand new during the rain and snow for these next couple months.

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1. First and foremost, USE SHOE PROTECTOR! It works, people. Every time. My shoe protector of choice is MINT, recently rebranded by Foot Locker and DJ/Sneaker Aficionado Clark Kent. Last year, when the Air Jordan 4 “Toro Bravos” dropped, I decided to make the forbidden sneakerhead move and wear them the very same weekend they released. Worst yet, I wore them in the pouring rain during an outdoor feast in New Bedford where one is surrounded by hundreds of sweaty, belligerently drunk folks carrying drinks that continuously spill over the top. To top it all, if you have these shoes, you know they’re entirely covered in nubuck suede. But fear not, MINT sneaker protector saved the crap out of my kicks. About a half hour before I left the house, I covered my shoes with a thin layer of the coating and I returned home with not a speck on them. Trust me, I was surprised too. But shoe protector will keep the muddy, melting snow from staining your style.

DJ Dsay

2. STAY AWAY from nubuck and suede. It’s a lot easier to clean and restore a pair of leather kicks than to revitalize soiled suede. Let leather be your material of choice during this season of frigid weather, just make sure you don’t scuff those bad boys, ‘cause that’s a whole other ball game.

DJ Dsay

3. MIND YOUR SOLES. Steer clear from icy bottoms during any wet weather. First of all, there’s no way to completely avoid your soles from yellowing, as oxygen combining with the material is the pure reason for it through a process called oxidation. But, things like walking on grass, dirt and moisture DOES NOT help. Moisture mixed with oxygen puts a fast-forward on the oxidation process and those kicks you just got “bout a week agoooo” become victim of shmurda.

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4. When all else fails, invest in a pair of boots. Stay away from Timberlands if you plan on using them fashionably and not practically (unless you invest in some shoe protector, of course.) I have two boots of choice. The Nike ACG Woodside is waterproof, super durable and comes up high enough for me to tuck my pants in to block out the cold and any wet weather that may try to get inside. If you’re thinking about copping a pair of these, keep in mind that they run very small and narrow. My other boot of choice is a pair of Dr. Martens 1460s. Available in a wide range of styles and colors on their site, this boot is extremely rugged and comfortable. Its tough leather is resilient enough to withstand any type of weather and its air-cushioned sole made out of PVC provides a soft bouncy ride. Side-note: these boots only come in UK sizes. Fear not, their site has a great tool to help you identify your size before you hit the checkout button. I’m on the hunt for an all-white pair of these, so if you see ‘em out in these skreets, I’m a UK 7.

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5. If you’ve made the silly mistake of not heeding my advice — trek out in the bad weather in some suede sneakers, or decide to slosh through puddles with your clear bottoms — chances are you’ll need something to give your shoes life again. Jason Markk shoe cleaner will do phenomenal things for your abused footwear. For just $16 you get his super safe and powerful solution and a cleaning brush. All you do is add a little water to the solution, dip the brush into the mixture and give any sneaker material a good scrub and you’re right back at step 1. Happy winter wearing!