The average golfer plays 5 rounds of golf per year the total amount of balls hit is an estimate but you get the point… so that means your shoes will collect mud, grass, dirt and other nasty stuff.
I was always a person who 'didn't care' about my shoes until i bought new ones…then i didn't want to hurt them.
I learned the right way and the wrong way to clean shoes from a caddy and golf shoe repairer in my home town of Charleston, SC who gave me some tips on how to look after your golf shoes.
How to clean golf shoes
Rub a small amount of saddle soap or cleaner on your shoe and let it set for a few minutes.
Use a rag (an old shirt, towel, jeans) to rub the dirt and stains out of your shoes. If you have stubborn spots use a brush that is made for cleaning shoes or even broken up grass from the back of your lawn.
Let the shoes air dry completely before you attempt to wear them again or they won't last as long.
Tip: If you are worried about getting water in the shoe from rain or sprinklers etc. then spray some waterproofing on the inside with a can of waterproof/waterproofing spray before you start. That way it will get completely dry and you don't have to worry about any water getting in the shoes.
Step 4: (Optional for those who want added protection)
Apply a waterproofing spray on your boots, this helps with keeping them clean longer and also gives some extra protection from the rain. I use mink oil (not actual mink) and spray it on my shoes regularly, this also keeps the leather soft and adds a nice shine.
Put your golf shoes away in their special shoe bags when you are not wearing them. Keep those babies out of the sun or they'll dry out fast!
Tip: Don't forget to keep your golf shoes clean or you have no one to blame but yourself. They'll last longer and look better if you take care of them. Most quality shoe companies don't replace shoes that are worn out from just use, they expect the owner to avoid damaging them in other ways.
What is the right way to clean your golf shoes
Never put your shoes in the washing machine or scrub them with a brush.
Most people don't realize that your golf shoe is made up of different layers and that you should never mix those layers . If you've got grass stains, mud, etc. in the middle of your shoe it's ok to use the brush and soap water but make sure that you clean them completely before letting them dry.
If you have a saddle soap or cleaner that is made for cleaning shoes that's fine too.
The main point is to be gentle with your shoes and use a brush made for cleaning shoes.
If you take care of your golf shoes they will last longer than those that were just beat around on the course or cleaned improperly.
How often should you clean your golf shoes
That depends on how often you play golf. If you are playing every week and walking a lot i would recommend cleaning them after about 4 rounds of golf or if they look really bad.
If you're not walking much, clean them after the first two rounds or once they start looking dirty. You shouldn't have to clean your shoes more than twice a year if you are taking care of them and playing regularly.
Tips on caring for and cleaning your golf shoes
- Always store them in a shoe bag when you are not wearing them and take care of the leather or suede by applying some mink oil to keep it soft and waterproofed if you would like but don't over do it.
- Keep an eye on your laces, replace cracked ones right away because they will break during the middle of a round and you'll be out there on the course with one shoe untied.
- Avoid using chemical cleaners that are made for cleaning clothes or furniture because they will ruin your shoes fast or take off the color coating.
- If you are wearing dark colored shoes consider using a golf shoe spray that is colored to keep them looking new longer and to make it easier for your caddy or friends to see when you've lost a ball in the long grass.
- Use regular leather care products on your boots regularly, I use mink oil every time I wear them.
- Never use shoe brushes that were also used on the carpet or furniture because it will ruin your shoes fast, not to mention you could be inhaling dust and chemicals from that brush's previous job!
If you take care of your golf shoes they will last longer and look better. If you haven't cleaned them in a long time or never cleaned them, start now to get into the routine of cleaning them before every season starts. A saddle soap cleaner would be my recommendation for all new golfers to avoid damaging their shoes too much and making sure that they don't get chemicals on the inside of the shoes.
I gave you the basics of cleaning your golf shoes and what not to do, but I'm sure that there are hundreds of other ways to keep your golf shoes clean and better looking.
If you have any tips or tricks for keeping them clean share it with us so we can all learn how to clean golf shoes.