A pair of sneakers inevitably gets dirty, breaks, or crumbles to pieces–whether you wear it a lot or not–and that’s why there are now a lot of sneaker restoration services out there. One of them is RG Conopio of @rg_skills. RG has been restoring sneakers since 2014. He learned from the Internet but he also has an attention-to-detail that can’t be taught–giving him a rep as one of the best in the business. We rounded up some guinea pigs to see what a sneaker’s second life looks like.
Burning question #1 Mall-shoe Repair Kiosks: Yay or Nay?
When it comes to leather shoes, trust their process in resoling, restitching, and more but RG advises “pag sa sneaker, auto-pass tayo sa ganyan, kasi minsan di okay yung ginagamit nila. They use superglue na hindi naman intended para sa sneakers. Then hindi rin naman na-prep nang maayos.”
Burning question #2 Can you save yellowing Boost soles?
Yes, by repainting or re-dyeing them white. It can be deep-cleaned (a long process) but “babalik din naman talaga,” RG says.
Burning question #3 Are ready-made shoe cleaners legit?
“Okay sila [ready-mades]. Kapag mag-DIY ka, mahirap na, baka masira mo yung sapatos mo. [For example, you use diluted] dishwashing liquid, pero pang-rubber lang dapat yan. Di siya intended para sa leather or fabric. Gaya ng leather, it needs oil—eh sa dishwashing liquid di ba nauubos yung oil? So natutuyo rin yung leather.”
Burning question #4 Can damaged knit material be repaired?
“Wala pa, even sa US wala akong nakikitang nagre-repair ng ganun... pero pag may himulmol ang blacks, daanan mo lang ng lighter yun!”
The basic service is something you can do at home, but admit it, you’re a lazy bastard. It’s worth it, though because the pro kit includes more than a single brush for more finesse and precision in cleaning, as well as several different liquids to use for different situations. There’s one take-home tip we learned too: don’t be afraid to really spray your kicks wet while cleaning!
DRYING WET PAIRS
Do: Air dry (with own electric fan is optional)
If it smells afterwards, get deodorizing balls. Or good old, uling.
Don't: Stuff with newspapers, put behind the ref...or under the sun
“Masama yun. [Heat exposure] ang cause ng pag-weaken ng adhesive. Madalas pa diyan yung iniiwan sa trunk then paggamit nila ba’t ganun, humiwalay na kaagad? Kahit sabihin mo pang brand new, kasi sobrang init nag-weaken talaga yung glue,” RG warns.
Read the rest of this feature in the February 2018 issue.
Photography Mark Jesalva