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Vegan Shoe Care

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Vegan shoes need care too! Regular care keeps the material flexible and increases the lifespan of your animal-friendly shoes. Smooth uppers have similar properties to smooth leather and also need regular moisture to remain elastic and not become brittle. Soiling can often be easily removed with a brush or damp sponge. Textiles such as faux suede or cotton, on the other hand, are more sensitive and removing stains is not always easy. With our care tips it’s sure to work!




Materials such as PU (polyurethane) and microfibre fabrics with a smooth surface can easily be cleaned of coarse dirt with a soft brush and a damp cloth with mild soap. Discolouration or abrasion can be repaired with a vegan shoe polish in the matching colour. Regular care with a vegan shoe polish (approx. once a month) maintains the elasticity of the material. To protect your shoes from moisture and dirt, we recommend treating them with waterproofing spray before wearing them for the first time. Regular waterproofing sprays are not necessarily environmentally friendly, but they can significantly increase the life of your shoes. So whether you use it in moderation or leave it alone is entirely up to you.


Soft upper materials like imitation suede are mostly made of microfibre. But you can also find surfaces made of natural materials like cotton or hemp in our shop. Sports sneakers are often made of nylon, mesh or even neoprene. Fabrics of this type are generally more sensitive to moisture and mechanical impact. Therefore, let damp dirt dry first and then remove it as thoroughly as possible with a soft shoe brush. If this is not enough, you can carefully work a vegan cleaning foam into the fabric with a damp sponge or cloth. If possible, do not soak the material and always pat dry directly to prevent water stains. Stuff the shoes with paper towels or newspaper to dry them and put them in a well-ventilated place. Do not put or lay shoes directly on the heater!

Attention! Work carefully with mesh or neoprene and only use a very soft brush. Hard brushes and coarse sponges can destroy the fabric!


Pinatex is a robust material that can be cleaned with a soft brush or damp cloth. To preserve the material, you should regularly (approx. once a month) apply a colourless or matching shoe polish to keep the material soft and flexible.


Cork is by nature a water-repellent and resistant material. Nevertheless, shoes with cork soles or uppers should not be worn in wet weather. Dirt can be easily removed with a damp cloth and mixture of mild soap and water. Optionally, you can mix water and baking soda to make a cleaning paste. Use a shoe brush or an old toothbrush to remove dirt from the pores of the cork. Cork insoles can also be washed with mild soap and a sponge or cloth. Always allow the material to dry completely afterwards, but do not leave it on the heating or in direct sunlight.

You can treat very stubborn stains carefully with fine sandpaper. But beware, this method removes a layer of the cork and is therefore of course only intended as a last resort.


You can easily clean the soles of your shoes with a brush. Here, too, we recommend a dry treatment to avoid soaking the upper material and the seams or glued parts between the upper material and the soles. Therefore, remove dirt and grime in the tread with a dry brush, and dirt on the sides of the soles rather carefully with a damp cloth, without holding the shoes under running water. For white or coloured sneaker soles, special sneaker cleaners or an environmentally friendly scouring milk are recommended.


Standard commercial waterproofing sprays are not environmentally friendly, that is no secret. In addition to aerosol, most sprays contain a number of substances such as fluorocarbons (PFC), silicone oils, softeners, butane and propane, which are classified as harmful to the environment and health.

However, a waterproofing spray can significantly extend the life of the shoes. The resulting protective layer keeps water and dirt away from the upper material and makes it easier to clean the shoes. Especially for trekking and outdoor shoes, but also for those shoes that used daily, impregnation can be beneficial. Manufacturers of Gore-Tex® also recommend regular impregnation to maintain the breathability of the material. So if you are looking for durability and functionality, you should consider impregnating your shoes. After all, durability means fewer shoes are thrown away. Highly effective impregnation sprays Collonil put a protective membrane around the shoe and thus provide lasting protection against moisture and dirt. Here, of course, sparing use applies in order to keep the environmental impact as low as possible.

For those who want to do without chemicals, AVESU also offers ecological care products. Goodstep products are 100% vegan, water-based and biodegradable. The 2Go Sustainable Waterbased Protector is just as efficient as commercially available impregnating agents and can even safely be used indoors.



Always allow soiling on textile materials to dry first and then treat with as little moisture as possible! This prevents the dirt from spreading and water stains from forming.


We generally advise against washing in the washing machine. Most materials and adhesives in the shoe react sensitively to moisture and heat, in addition to the mechanical stress caused by the rinse cycle. If you do need to wash your shoes, make sure you use a washing net to protect them. Remove laces and insoles and only wash at a cold temperature (30 °C).


Never put shoes directly on the heater to dry! Just like leather shoes, vegan shoes contain adhesives that can be sensitive to heat. Instead, stuff them with paper and put them in a well-ventilated place.


Dented shoes? Especially if you don't wear shoes for a while or your shoe cupboard is full to bursting, shoes can become unattractively deformed. You can keep business shoes or pumps in shape with shoe trees, but softer shoes like sneakers can also be padded with paper.

Tip for travelling: If your suitcase gets really cramped, stuff your shoes with socks or underwear so they'll still be in good shape after your trip!


A waterproofing spray seals the upper material and seams on the shoe and thus keeps moisture out. But it also makes it less easy for dirt to stick to the material. Waterproofing is therefore always a good idea, not only for winter shoes! You will find professional waterproofing spray in our care products.


Whether shoe polish, waterproofing spray or cleaning foam, in our category Vegan Shoe Care you will find various sustainable care products for all needs.