Attention, everyone. Stop buying new golf shoes every time you get mud on them and follow this simple guide to keeping your kicks fresh
It’s that time of year where everything gets covered in mud, so what is the best way for you to clean your golf shoes?
Let’s face it, we all love that feeling of putting on a new pair of golf shoes for the first time. The great news is that there’s a way of having that feeling time and time again … and it’s as simple as cleaning your shoes!
It sounds obvious, but regardless of the state of your game, clean golf shoes will at least make you look confident as you stride to the first tee! But what is the best way to clean your golf shoes, and how can you look after your golf shoes to ensure they last for several seasons to come?
How to clean your golf shoes: At the course
Our top tip for cleaning your golf shoes is a simple one. Stay on top of it!
Make it a part of your regular post-round routine. It’s an awful lot quicker an easier to clean a small amount of dirt off your shoes after each round, versus trying to restore them to a ‘new’ look after they’ve been baked in mud for half a season.
Believe us, the rest of the bar will be OK to hold on for another couple of minutes before hearing your hole-by-hole run through. It will likely extend the life of your precious shoes, too.
Many golf courses now have a pressured air shoe cleaner located near the clubhouse, helping you blow away dirt from your shoes with ease. If you’re able to also use a scrubbing brush and water to clear off any additional dirt, you should be able to keep your shoes looking fresh with relatively minimal effort.
However, do make sure you consider the materials from which your shoes are made. Companies such as FootJoy use high-quality Pittards leather, creating a shoe which is extremely comfortable for the wearer. But while modern leather uppers are extremely durable, a stiff wire brush still has the potential for scratching the surface of the shoe – so steer well clear.
Although a damp towel will make cleaning your shoes even easier, a really good option for keeping your shoes looking great is to use wet wipes. Once you’ve blown the majority of the dirt off the shoe, a wet wipe will enable you to gently clean any remaining mud away, leaving your shoes sparkling. Pick up a packet next time you’re at the supermarket and leave them in your golf bag or car boot.
How to clean your golf shoes: At home
If you’re looking to give your shoes a more thorough clean, then you simply must take them home with you. Before you do, make sure you’ve knocked off the majority of the dry mud at the course. While cleaning golf shoes can create a small amount of mess, you really don’t want to cover your house with the dirt picked up on your last golfing outing.
Once that’s done, the best method remains the one with which we’re all most familiar – hand washing with soap and warm water. We’d recommend part-filling up a washing up bowl, rather than trying to do this in the sink or bath – for cleanliness, more than anything – and equipping yourself with a towel, a soft brush, an old toothbrush, a flannel or smaller towel, and some newspaper.
Firstly, remove the shoelaces from your shoes. If these are fabric (rather than wax), you may want to even pop these in your next clothes wash, or better yet, consider replacing these once a season to really keep your shoes looking fresh. Removing the laces also allows you access to the tongue of your shoes too, an area often overlooked when cleaning.
Once the laces are out, place your shoes in the warm water – the water should barely cover the sole of the shoe, enabling you to keep them in here while cleaning, without totally flooding the insole. Use the brush to work loose any dirt across the shoe, and wipe away with the flannel.
The larger brush will also work across the sole of the shoe to remove any of the remaining mud that wasn’t knocked off outdoors. However, an old toothbrush will help provide a better tool to get into the gaps between the spikes (or ridges on spikeless shoes), helping to get the sole looking brand new again. Additionally, the toothbrush can also be used on the tongue of the shoe, as well as to get into any creases which have been created over time from wearing the shoe.
Once you’ve cleaned away all the dirt and soap residue from both the upper and sole of the shoe, pack the inside with newspaper – or better yet, a shoe tree – to help keep their shape as they dry. Give your shoes a final wipe down with the flannel and set aside to air dry at room temperature.
Wet wipes can also be used when cleaning your shoes indoors, and are a nice final touch to make sure every last bit of dirt is gone.
For those looking to really make their leather golf shoes sparkle, consider using some shoe polish, although make sure to allow your shoes to dry fully before applying.
We’ve heard some more non-traditional recommendations for golf shoe cleaning, including putting them in the washing machine, or even the dishwasher! While this may remove dirt from the shoe, we’d advise sticking to a more traditional method. Not only does it not take an enormous amount of time, but it can be therapeutic.
Furthermore, it prevents the shoes from being totally submerged in water … and will probably be more popular with whomever you share the kitchen appliances…