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Truth be known. Vans shoes, constructed mostly of rubber and cotton, often fail to last dedicated skaters more than one season. Maybe you bought them for their trendy look and have no intention of riding pavement. Still, representing the skateboard culture doesn't come without a cost. Luckily, Vans updates its seasonal colors but maintains the shoe's traditional style. If you're wary your color won't make next year's cut or if you covet the comfort of broken-in kicks, tread lightly and take precautions to maintain tip-top sneaks.
Keep Them Clean
Feel free to mark the arrival of spring by purchasing a new pair of Vans sneakers, but wait to break them out until after mud season is over. Dirt and mud penetrate the uppers, turning a cute pink pair into a gnarly brown. Tromping through mud puddles ruins the cotton canvas uppers. Mud saturates deep into the footbed. When the concrete drys and the summer sun blazes, don your precious kicks. In dry weather, any accumulation of dirt brushes easily off the soles and the uppers.
Treat the Uppers
Waterproofing the canvas provides a shield of armor to this low-performance cotton fabric. The added layer allows water and mud to bead up and roll off the canvas. Waterproof sprays and gels go on quickly and dry overnight, getting you back into your kicks in no time. If you bail off your board and land in a puddle, shoes treated with a barrier will never show the incriminating evidence.
Avoid Heat Exposure
On hot summer days, nothing feels better than freeing your sweaty feet after a skate sesh. But before tossing on your flip-flops, store your Vans properly to avoid baking them in a stifling car. Exposing your sneaks to the dashboard or trunk heat breaks down the materials in the shoe. The heat causes sole delamination (split layers) and warping, as well as color fade. Throw your Vans in your backpack instead and take them along for the ride. Ruined kicks, because of lazy disregard, puts a damper on the day.
No Foot Dragging
For the true skater chick who loves the sensitivity of a vulcanized sole, protecting your Vans is not just for looks. To ensure lasting shoe performance, just say no to foot drag. Foot dragging, the most basic way to slow down your board, eats the soles off your sneaks. Worse yet, dragging the toe or heel rapidly deteriorates the shoe in one area. If you can't avoid foot dragging, use the mid-sole of your shoe to dump speed. The rubber is the thickest in this area, assuring the pavement won't munch up the sole.