You want to know the elephant in the room for all sneakerheads alike? The grails we just spent boatloads of cash on, have a shelf life! Yes, that is the truth. From personal experience, no matter how exclusive or sought after or expensive the latest pair you were able to cop is, depending on several factors, sneakers go through a deterioration process. Slowing down that process is key, and it’s even possible to sort of “freeze” the condition in time sort of speak, but just like anything else, eventually the materials tend to give out. Whether it’s the sole coming unglued or icy bottoms starting to yellow, or just general wear and tear from heavy use, sneakerheads all face a similar dilemma: Now that I’ve spent all this money, how can I get the most value out of this purchase? That’s where making sure you are following proper handling and care instructions goes a long way, as well as considering extending the shelf life of your purchase by leveraging restoration and cleaning services. This is where Cleankicks LI, a Long Island NY based company has excelled as they provide an array of services focused around the maintenance and extension of the shelf life of your kicks.
Cleankicks LI has been around for three years and operates out of their storefront location on the North Shore of Long Island, New York. The company specializes in sneaker restorations, customizations and cleanings. In addition, and also importantly, they also offer a hand-picked selection of sneakers, and always have in stock unique, vintage items including clothing and accessories. You can also check them out on their IG, @cleankicks_li, and on their website at www.cleankicksli.com. A lot of their business also just derives from satisfied customers that have gone through their services and spread the word. What’s also great is that customers all over the world can ship their shoes to Cleankicks LI for any of their services, and they will ship them back to you for free within the US!
Sneaker cleaning at the core is tedious and also a task that does require the right mix of products, knowledge of the materials being cleaned and overall right cleaning process to ensure the integrity of the materials, colors and design are kept intact. Cleankicks LI is a standout here. Not only are the before and after results just remarkable, but the service has a super-fast turnaround on cleanings, typically 1-3 days depending on how busy the cleaning folks at the company are. They also take special care and allow the shoes to fully dry after cleaning before rendering the job complete and returning the kicks to their owners. That provides us a lot of peace of mind. See an example below for yourself:
Focusing on sneaker restoration for a moment, this process provides you the opportunity to flex your 20-year-old pair like you just purchased them yesterday. Did your sole come apart due to either just age, bad air quality conditions where they have been kept, or any other reason? Try sneaker reglues, professionally glued back and restored like new. (piece of advice, DO NOT EVER use Crazy Glue on your sneakers!) Generally, reglues at Cleankicks LI are done by appointment, and the turnaround is 1-2 weeks, a small waiting period to get back that pair you lost!
Sneaker customizations have also become popular over the last few years. With tons of experience behind them, Cleankicks LI can handle that project as well. Depending on what you're looking for, turnaround time can be as little as a week or up to a month. Feel free to get creative here, they are certainly up for the challenge.
One service where Cleankicks LI also stands out and that hits home for us personally is the un-yellowing of soles. Yellowing on icy soles is an issue sneakerheads have been complaining about for as long as we can remember, and unfortunately, this tends to also happen to one of our favorite sneakers, the Jordan 11 silhouette. Beautiful icy soles start to yellow over time in many cases, again based on numerous factors like oxidation and air quality, and overall wear and tear. Some folks actually see this yellowing as a badge of honor, but frankly there is nothing like those icy soles out of the box. Cleankicks LI can also help in this area. They have a custom made “ice” box and put your shoes through numerous sessions and over 30 hours of treatment to get your soles back to being ICY! See some before and after’s below:
As sneakerheads, we might have been overlooking this option for way too long. Companies like Cleankicks LI are now available to us to help maximize the value and shelf life of our kicks. We can already take certain steps to accomplish this on our own, so we asked Cleankicks LI to share an important tip or two that we could pass along to our community and readers of this article. They adamantly stated, “Simple keep them out the box and on display, I know sounds crazy right! I have over 50 pairs of shoes 10 plus years old and every shoe is out the box to let them breathe! Remember sneakers, like humans, need oxygen so the materials can breathe. Another quick tip, mink oil does wonders on OG’s” So there you have it folks, let’s get back to restoring our kicks and not be so quick to shell out hundreds and hundreds on new ones all the time.
WE NOW HAVE OPTIONS, thanks to Cleankicks LI, an Uncle Eddi3’s Certified Favorite Brand!