Boxing is among the most affordable sports when it comes to gear and accessories, as you won’t need special attire that costs a fortune. A pair of Ringside boxing shoes, some quality gloves, a bag and a dual-station stand are everything you need to start training and improve your punching techniques. You can wear a plain shirt, and your MMA training shorts as you don’t need anything else to start boxing.
However, if you want to keep your training sessions within a reasonable budget, you’ll need to learn how to properly look after your boxing gear. Shirts, socks, and shorts should be washed in the washing machine after each training session to keep them clean and free of bacteria or bad smells. But, when it comes to shoes, things are a little trickier.
If you want to prolong the life of your boxing shoes, you need to know that different materials require different cleaning techniques. Keep in mind that your boots will be susceptible to some wear and tear, especially after a couple of intense workout sessions, so here is everything you need to know about properly cleaning and looking after them.
Invest in more than one pair
No pair of boots will last you a lifetime, especially if you train regularly, so make sure to have a spare.
Although it might seem strange, the best way to keep your boxing budget to a minimum is to invest in two-three pair of quality shoes. They might cost you more in the beginning but will help you improve your performances, protect your feet, and last longer. Wearing them alternatively will reduce tearing and will offer enough time for them to rest and dry properly in-between training sessions.
Here is how to look after each pair of shoes, depending on their material:
Nylon and canvas mesh shoes
The most important feature of these boxing shoes is the fact that they are breathable. They allow maximum air ventilation and will absorb extra moisture, keeping your feet cool and dry during your workout, no matter how intense it becomes.
They are also flexible and lightweight, ensuring increased freedom of movement for your legs and feet. If you’re a newbie in the field, these shoes might be the right choice for you as they are also affordable and quite easy to look after.
One of the first rules of looking after mesh and canvas boxing shoes is to allow them to dry naturally after each training session. You may want to keep them in a special nylon bag inside your gym bag to avoid bacteria and odor transfer.
You won’t need any expensive maintenance solutions either. All you have to do is use a clean, soft piece of cloth to gently scrub the upper part of each shoe. Use mild soap and cold water and avoid harsh chemicals and bleach. After thoroughly cleaning each part of the shoe, allow them to dry naturally, without placing them onto a direct source of heat.
You should repeat the process after each training session to prevent bacteria from forming that could lead to nasty toe and nail infections, as well as strong odors. While canvas shoes can be safely washed in a washing machine, boots made of mesh should be mainly washed by hand to prolong their lifespan.
If you want to wash mesh shoes in the washing machine, make sure to select a quick cleaning cycle using warm water instead of hot. Don’t tumble dry your boxing boots either and allow them to dry on their own.
Depending on the quality of the brand you chose, as well as the intensity of your boxing workout routines, we suggest you avoid cleaning them in the washing machine more than once every two-three weeks.
If you want to get rid of the odors or bacteria, you can apply special protection sprays on the surface of the insoles. Opt for those made with natural ingredients if you want to prevent skin allergies and look after the environment as well.
Suede is a great fabric to manufacture boxing shoes as it is lightweight, durable, and breathable at the same time. It’s more resistant than regular mesh or canvas and can withstand wearing and tearing for longer. However, suede is also prone to scratches, scuffs, and stains, which could be hard to remove or restore unless you use specific cleaning agents.
Unlike mesh and canvas, suede is less flexible, meaning it will maintain its original shape for longer. This also adds protection to your feet and absorbs shocks better, decreasing the risk of injuries and accidents.
In order to clean your suede boxing shoes efficiently, you first need to apply a waterproof spray to protect them from extra moisture and potential stains. Allow the spray to settle for a couple of minutes and, using a soft brush, start brushing each of the shoes. You can remove stains with specific suede stain eraser products, so avoid homemade and DIY solutions that might damage the surface in the long term.
General maintenance should be done after each training session, while thorough cleaning should be done every other week.
Try using a clean, soft cloth soaked in water to clean the outside of the shoe. Use a soft sponge or a dry piece of cloth to remove excess water while keeping the shoes moist. Put papers inside the shoes to maintain their original shape while drying and allow them to dry overnight or far from any direct source of heat. After the shoes are completely dry, use a special suede brush to finish.
Cleaning suede shoes might be a bit difficult as the surface can be easily stained or scratched if you’re not paying attention. You should never put your shoes in the washing machine, no matter how gentle the cleaning cycle. Water and detergents will damage the suede in the long term and will brush off the porous top layer, leading to an unhealthy shine.
Use special leather care and suede products bought from specialized stores to prevent odors, bacteria, and stains.
Leather is the most durable material used to manufacture boxing shoes and provides increased protection for your heels, ankles, and toes. It is a popular choice for professional boxers as they need the rugged construction of leather and enough flexibility to move their feet freely.
Although easier to clean and look after than suede, leather shoes still require professional care to remove or prevent stains, grease, and build up.
Leather is prone to cracks, so you must remember to use soft cleaning agents and apply a moisturizing cream after cleaning them.
After several uses, get a damp piece of cloth to wipe down the exterior of your leather shoes. Apply a mild cleaning agent (soap or liquid detergent) and make sure to remove it completely. Use a conditioner whenever you can, before rinsing. As with all other types of shoes, let them dry away from direct sunlight or heat sources.
Although leather boots are designed to withstand tear, wear, dust, and water, you should avoid washing them in the washing machine.