The cleaning of golf shoes is a daunting task that requires dedication and patience. Your shoe material and cleaning method have a lot to do with how well you make them shine again. The prolonged walking required by golfers leads to rapid deterioration of their footwear. Having them professionally cleaned regularly is a good way to take care of them.
Why Should You Clean Your Golf Shoes?
True golfers have never played a round of golf without cleaning their shoes. The benefits of regularly cleaning your golf shoes are plentiful, especially when they get dirty; dirt makes them look worn out and can cause hygiene issues like bacteria and germs to grow. Cleaning them also allows for less grass to grow in between the laces which causes discomfort when playing golf.
Golf shoes are made of leather and as such, they will develop mold if not cleaned properly. Mold can cause some pretty severe health problems for your feet including athlete’s foot, cellulitis, and fungal infections.
It’s much better if you can use an old toothbrush that will not scratch up your shoes. Then, apply shoe polish with a soft cloth or sponge that will help prevent further damage to your shoes.
What to avoid when cleaning your golf shoes
We’ve all seen the dusty golf shoes lying around the clubhouse at the end of each round. With a little effort, however, you can bring them back to life and keep them looking new.
Here is our step-by-step guide to cleaning golf shoes. So let’s get them clean.
Before we move on to what you should do when cleaning your shoes, let’s review what you shouldn’t do.
- You should read the care label on your shoes to determine if they can be machine washed and to determine if they require any special cleaning techniques.
- You should never machine wash your shoes unless your care label specifies that you can. While these methods will clean your shoes, they will also shorten their life and can damage them.
- Liquid dish soaps should not be used to clean leather or synthetic shoes, since they leave behind an excess of residue that could dry them out and crack them.
- Remove the laces before cleaning.
- When cleaning golf shoes, take off the inner sole if it is not glued to the shoe.
- To dry your shoes, do not expose them to direct sunlight, but rather place them in a shady area or indoors to air-dry.
- Never use a blow-dryer or a heat lamp to dry your shoes. A high temperature can damage the uppers as well as the outsoles.
As you know, every golf shoe is made using different materials and requires specific care. Keep reading to learn about the different types of golf shoes and their materials.
How to clean your golf shoes (General guide)
Step 1: Gentle Wash
You need to first give your shoes a basic gentle wash with a brush before going forward with the steps we mentioned in this article.
For this, we recommend the Boot Buddy.
You can still wash away the dirt & mud without it but it won’t be as easy & efficient. The next thing would be to leave them to dry in a ventilated place to alleviate any bad smell.
Step 2: Use a Suede & Nubuck Kit
First of all, you will need to know what the Suede and Nubuck Kit are.
What is the Suede & Nubuck kit?
Suede and nubuck kit is a kit that will help you to recover shoes to their natural appearance. It enables you to remove different stains, spots, and marks from your shoes. This kit includes an eraser or a rubber and a brush for your golf shoes which will remove any side that can’t be removed using a simple sponge. It is easy to use and beneficial.
What is the Difference Between Nubuck and Suede?
- Suede is made by sanding the inner layer of the leather hide.
- Nubuck is made by sanding the outer layer of the leather hide.
- Along with Nubuck being smoother and less likely to show wear than suede, Nubuck also has another advantage is that it’s made from cowhide (instead of cow skin for Suede) which is tougher, stronger and thicker than suede.
- Nubuck is generally the superior choice for those who want a more durable, functional leather.
How to Use it?
To clean your golf shoes, rub the corner of the Suede & Nubuck kit bar, and rub it gently on your shoes back and forth. This will erase dirt and spots.
If you have stubborn stains that refuse to come out, wet one corner of the bar in water and rub it over your shoes. Let it dry before scrubbing again to remove any remaining water spots.
We recommend Sof Sole, which is a dry cleaning Suede and Nubuck Kit that can clean dirt on your shoes without the use of water or liquids.
Step 3: Leather Softener (if it’s made of leather)
Leather softener is a product made to take care of leather and help it remain nourished and flexible just like a conditioner is for the hair. It’s made from natural ingredients to ensure that it doesn’t damage the leather.
Without it, you might run the risk of the leather losing its moisture and starting to dry up and lose its flexibility. You can also use a leather softener spray which will help you to lose the areas which are tight for you without any damage.
Although leather softener is the first step for taking care of your golf shoes, it will give moisture to your shoe’s leather which will help it last longer.
Step 4: Shoe Cream
The shoe cream is meant to dampen and wet the shoes to stop cracking. It is also used to cover the scratches on your shoes by simply applying shoe cream to them. You can purchase shoe creams of any color. They fall under numerous shades like black, brown, and white that will match your shoes.
It also includes a brush along with it to apply it easily. Shoe cream recovers your shoe’s original color. Some shoe cream also contains different ingredients like wax etc., so that water and stain marks don’t appear on the boots.
When Should You Use Shoe Cream?
Every time you clean your shoes, you want to clean them thoroughly, so you will also like to use your shoe creams.
You can also apply shoe cream every year at least once if you store them. If you use your golf shoes monthly, you will need to clean them every month.
When preparing your shoes, apply a small amount of the shoe cream, and clean your shoes with a brush. After removing all the dust from the shoes, apply a tiny amount of Saphir shoe cream.
Then wait for 5 minutes then blend the cream into the boots using a horsehair brush. After doing it, use a clean cloth and remove extra cream from the shoes.
You might not see the extra layer, but there will be some that the shoe won’t absorb, so it is necessary to rub the shoe with a clean cloth. After doing all this, leave your shoe for 10 to 20 minutes. This shoe cream will help in increasing your shoe health.
Step 5: Shoe Whitener (if it’s white)
Shoe whitener helps to recover all the whiteness of your golf shoes. It is a type of whitening agent that makes your shoe look brighter. This step will recover the color of your golf shoe and make it look more vibrant. Use a shoe cream with a similar color to your shoes.
But with a shoe whitener, you need to focus more on the toe area. Like if there is any crack on the shoe, apply it there and with a brush, brush your shoes in every room. It is a type of watery mixture then it will dry. It also makes your shoe look new.
Remove the dirt from the shoes, then shake the shoe whitener bottle before using it. Apply the whitener on the sponge, and then rub the sponge on the boots everywhere. The last step is to dry the shoes.
Step 6: Seal the Shoes
Sealing the shoes means covering the shoes with a protective layer using spray or shoe protectors.
You can apply a shoe protector on the top of your shoes.
This shoe step seal is mainly recommended in winters to ensure that your golf shoe remains waterproof. Suppose you use a golf shoe in the rains and it becomes wet, then you can apply this shoe step seal on top of your shoes and make it waterproof once again.
Wax and shine spray is recommended by our experts, e.g, Shoe Protector Gold standard. Just spray on your shoes by keeping the bouquet at a distance of 30 cm.
Step 7: Change the Laces
Laces may put hurdles while washing the golf shoe, and naturally, there is a lot of dust present behind them, which is difficult to clean. So it is better that you take out the laces before washing the shoes. After taking out the laces, wash the golf shoes thoroughly to leave no dirt behind. The next thing that you will need to do is to clean the laces. No one will put muddy lace on a washed shoe. So either pass the lace, or you can change the laces also.
If your golf shoes are black and the laces are also black, you can use white lace from (Crep Protect Laces) with them because the black and white combination always looks good. Crep Protect Laces consists of every color laces of high quality. So wear shiny clean laces from your newly washed golf shoes and win all the games you play around.
Step 8: Use a Shoe Tree
Before diving into the method of shoe trees, you should know what a shoe tree is and what its purpose is.
What is a Shoe Tree?
These plastic and wood-made gadgets are used to hang the shoes so that when your boots are wet, they reduce their wetness. You may have seen these shoe trees in many local or brand shops because they are conscious about the quality of their shoes until they are sold. So if you are worried about dampness or smell in your shoes, then there are no worries because shoe trees are there to help you.
When you have washed your shoes and do not know what to do next, and when your boots are moist or wet, then hang them on shoe trees in a place where there are no worries about falling.
After placing the best shoe tree, take your damp shoe and hang your shoes in it until they are soaked or dried. It is recommended that you do not straightly put wet golf shoes in these wood shoe trees. Instead, wait for almost 20 to 40 minutes, and hang them in the tree.
Many people are worried about whether their shoes may get stretched while using a shoe tree. If you have bought a shoe tree that perfectly fits your golf shoe size, then there is no need to be worried about it.
Guide for cleaning Leather Golf Shoes
We tend to look down on the fact that a pair of leather shoes need extra care and attention than ones made from another material such as canvas. The problem with this is every time you clean your leather-studded golf shoes, they seem to lose their initial appeal as if it was just some old tired shoe in the dust!
Here is how you should clean them:
Step 1: Using an old toothbrush, gently clean the sole and spikes of your shoes after every game.
Step 2: Rinse the shoe gently with a mild soap and water mixture. Make sure you don’t use liquid dish soap, avoid using too much soap, and be careful about getting your shoes too wet. Make sure you remove soap residue.
Step 3: Next, let the shoe air dry at room temperature for a couple of hours.
Step 4: Now, you can apply a leather cream and shoe polish to maintain the shine.
Note: Make sure to inspect your shoes between rounds for rips, gouges, and deteriorated soles, heels, or toes. If your shoes are damaged, have them repaired as soon as possible.
Guide for cleaning Mesh Golf Shoes
Mesh golf shoes are terrific for the golfer that gets tired of the discomfort from non-mesh uppers. Mesh is more breathable and easier to clean, plus they look trendy too!
Mesh shoes can be cleaned similarly to synthetic shoes, but with a few distinctions. Here’s how:
Step 1: Remove dirt and stains from mesh shoes by soaking them in warm water with mild dish soap and a soft-bristled brush.
Step 2: After each use, wipe them thoroughly with a soft cloth to remove soap.
Step 3: Let them air dry for several hours away from direct sunlight and heat.
Alternatively, mesh shoes can also be washed in the washing machine if the shoe’s care label permits.
The following instructions will show you how to clean them with a machine:
Step 1: If your mesh shoes are removable, you should remove the shoelaces and inner soles before you wash them in the washing machine.
Step 2: Prevent damage to your shoes by placing them in a washing bag before you wash them.
Step 3: When washing, use cold water and a gentle or delicate cycle in the washing machine.
Step 4: Allow the shoes to dry for several hours at room temperature after removing them from the mesh bag.
Guide for cleaning Canvas Golf Shoes
Numerous brands of canvas golf shoes have appeared in recent years, giving golfers the comfort of a casual shoe. Here are some instructions for cleaning canvas golf shoes:
Step 1: Pour warm water in a sink or bucket and add a spoonful of liquid laundry detergent.
Step 2: Set the shoelaces aside after removing them from the shoes.
Step 3: Rub the shoes gently with a toothbrush and soft bristles to remove dirt and stains.
Step 4: For a couple of seconds, dip the shoes in water or use a small amount of water from the sink to rinse them.
Step 5: If the shoes are wet, use a towel to dry them and remove excess water.
Step 6: Place the shoes in a dry place under room temperature and stuff them with paper towels or newspaper to dry. Don’t use plastic shoe trees as they can’t absorb the water.
Step 7: Use your brush to gently scrub the laces until all dirt and stains are removed.
Step 8: If your laces are not dry after a few hours, gently wring them out in a towel and let them air dry at room temperature for some time.
To prolong the life of your golf shoes, be sure not to use a hairdryer or any other external heat source.
Guide for cleaning Synthetic Golf Shoes
Cleaning synthetic golf shoes is not difficult, but it does require a bit of preparation and some patience.
Here are the steps you need to take:
Step 1: Remove all the debris that has built up on the shoes over time.
This includes dirt, dust, leaves, and other pieces of grass.
Step 2: Wipe down the entire shoe with a clean cloth to remove any residual dirt or dust.
Step 3: If there is a stain on the shoe, use a mild soap and water mixture to try to remove it.
Be sure to rinse off the soap completely before putting the shoes back on.
Step 4: Let the shoes air-dry completely before storing them away.
Cleaning White Golf Shoes
Keeping white golf shoes clean and in new condition can be a challenge.
Every time you hit the golf course, you need to bring a cleaning product with you to clean them.
To keep your shoes white, we recommend using Golf White Shoe Whitener.
The sponge applicator can be used to apply a small quantity of the whitener directly to any discolored area of your shoe, and you’ll see a noticeable difference instantly.
When you play, you should carry your shoe whitener with you so you can apply it whenever you feel the need.
Frequently Asked Questions
How often should you clean your golf shoes?
Every time you wear your shoes, make sure they are cleaned.
If you want them to shine, you should clean their surface as well as their insides.
Get into every crevice!
Remember that golfers wear out their shoes pretty quickly due to constant usage, so if it takes longer than 5 minutes after each round, then make sure there isn’t too much that you missed cleaning around the shoe.
How to improve the lifespan of your golf shoe?
Do not wear them out or allow them to get wet because moisture can damage leather material inside the shoe.
Lastly, clean them regularly so they remain in good shape.
You can use shoe trees after you are done with the rounds; it will keep them in shape.
When shoe trees are installed, your shoes will stay in good shape.
The toes won’t curl, and the leather won’t crack (We recommend cedar shoe trees.)
If your shoes are wet, don’t use shoe trees; they won’t soak up the water.
You should always make sure that the size of a pair of golf shoes you buy is right because if it is not, then there will be extra pressure on your toes, which can cause injury and discomfort. In addition, you will have a shoe with an improper fit, which will affect its lifespan.
Can you clean yak leather shoes?
Yak leather shoes are not suitable for the purpose of cleaning because they are very durable and hard to clean. You should clean them with shoe polish.
The stained area can be cleaned with a soft cloth soaked in soapy water.
Is it possible to clean Sketchers golf shoes?
Yes, you can.
It is a well-known brand and has been in the market for many years now.
Depending on the material of your Sketchers golf shoes, you can wash them using any of the methods listed above.
However, we suggest that you read the shoe’s label for the brand’s specific washing instructions.
Is it safe to apply shoe cleaner on golf shoes?
The best way to keep your golf shoes clean is by using a product that will leave no residues on the shoe.
We suggest you try a shoe cleaner that does not contain any petroleum-based ingredients because these ingredients can cause damage to the leather and rubber parts of the shoes.
Can we put Golf Shoes in a Washing Machine?
Yes! You can wash golf shoes in a washing machine as you do with your clothes. It will clean every inch of your shoe from inside and outside. Many people use tissue paper for drying out shoes which is ultimately a wrong move. Use a simple towel to dry the inner side of the shoe and soak them in the sunlight or through the shoe tree. There is no need to put shoes in a dryer.
Can we get rid of the smell by freezing a golf shoe?
There is no need to freeze a golf shoe to get rid of the smell. However, this method can be used for cleaning but is not recommended by experts. You can use a shoe tree to deodorize them, or you can use a spray also. There is a DIY hack used mainly in southern countries, and that is, if you put your smelly or wet golf shoes in bright sunlight, then all the smell will be removed, and bacteria will be killed naturally.
What will be the best and easiest method for cleaning golf shoes?
The easiest method for cleaning a golf shoe is by washing them with soap and a sponge; after washing, service it with a leather conditioner so that if any smell is still there, it will be removed in no time. Later on, please wait for a while and then hang them on a shoe tree or dry them in the sunlight.
Choosing the right golf shoes is extremely important.
It helps you stay on your feet when playing the game.
In fact, it is one of the most important things to have a good swing and maintain your stance during the game.
If your golf shoes are clean and look as classy as your entire outfit, you feel more confident while hitting the hole. Another reason to keep the shoes clean is that they are expensive.
This is an investment that you expect to last a long time.
You must know how to clean golf shoes properly if you wish to get the most out of your investment. Otherwise, your shoes might end up wearing out sooner than expected.
We hope our step-by-step guide about “how to clean golf shoes” helped you clean your golf pairs.
If you have any questions about the golf shoes, ask us in the comment section.
We will be happy to resolve any confusion or query!
Andy Starr is a golf writer with Apple Mountain Golf.
He’s been playing the game for more than 10 years and has a passion for it.
Andy also enjoys reviewing golf shoes and other equipment, which he posts on his blog.
When he’s not writing or playing golf, Andy can be found spending time with his wife and two young children.
When he was just out of college, he decided to turn his passion for the sport into a career and began writing about golf for Apple Mountain Golf.
Since then, Starr has become one of the most respected golf writers in the industry.
He has a gift for making complex topics easy to understand, and his articles are always filled with insights and tips that can help readers improve their game.
In addition to his work as a writer, Starr is also a highly regarded golf instructor.
He has taught at some of the biggest clubs in the country, and his students have gone on to win championships at all levels.
Whether he’s teaching or writing,