Nothing’s worse than when your favorite pair of sneakers start to show signs of the dreaded dull and droop. They don’t shine as brightly as they once did, and you can just feel it – the end is near. Well, Clean Sneaker Care heads Don Dudley and Darryl Blanding promise to resuscitate those tired kicks and give them a second shot at life.
Available for house calls or convenient pick-up/drop-off arrangements, Clean Sneaker Care offers everything from a light clean to a deep cleaning with midsole repaint, water and stain repellent, insole deodorizer and lace swap. “We’re very meticulous in our processes but also in our aesthetic,” says creative director Dudley. “If you’re going to invest into a nice pair of shoes, an expensive pair of shoes – which can get obviously really pricey – you also want to take care of them.”
A couple years ago, director of operations Blanding found himself looking for a way to generate a second stream of income. He says he wondered, “What can I do with my hands to provide for my family if I ever lost my job?” Because both guys share a passion for sneakers, Clean Sneaker Care was the obvious answer. Blanding says, “We pushed and pushed and now we’re here.”
For them, it’s about more than just clean sneakers; it’s about strengthening the bonds between sneakerheads. Catch them at one of their regular Clean Sneaker Care & Social pop-ups at barbershops, sneaker boutiques and elsewhere around town. Take advantage of their services, get involved in the Sneaker Talks or just soak in the culture.
The next one is Oct. 5 at Union Barber in Birmingham. Dudley says, “Even if you’re not getting your shoes cleaned that day, it’s fun to just be around when you have an interest in shoes. So, we get people from the sneaker community who come out just to hang out with us.”