How to Clean Xero Shoes: A Step-by-Step Guide to Keeping Your Footwear Looking New

Xero Shoes have become a staple for minimalist shoe enthusiasts, combining comfort with a barefoot feel. How to clean Xero Shoes is a question as vital as knowing how to wear them. In this guide, we’re delving into the best practices for keeping your Xero Shoes in pristine condition, ensuring they last longer and continue to provide the support and comfort they’re renowned for.

Welcome to our in-depth guide on keeping your Xero Shoes in top condition. Xero Shoes, known for their comfort and durability, require regular maintenance to keep them looking and performing their best. In this guide, we’ll cover everything from routine cleaning to tackling tough stains, ensuring that your favorite minimalist shoes stand the test of time and continue to support your adventures every step of the way.

Why It’s Crucial to Keep Your Xero Shoes Clean?

Cleanliness is more than just about appearances; it’s about preserving the functionality and longevity of your footwear. Here’s why maintaining clean Xero Shoes is essential:

  • Longevity: Regular cleaning removes dirt and grime that can degrade the materials of your shoes over time.
  • Hygiene: Shoes can harbor bacteria and fungi. Keeping them clean helps prevent foot odors and potential infections.
  • Performance: Dirt and debris can compromise the grip and flexibility of your shoes, affecting your performance during physical activities.

Materials and Design of Xero Shoes

Xero Shoes are crafted with a variety of materials, each requiring specific care.

  • Eco-Friendly Materials: Many models feature vegan-friendly, natural fibers that are both sustainable and comfortable.
  • Minimalist Design: The barefoot design philosophy means less material, which can translate to more direct contact with environmental factors and a greater need for regular cleaning.
  • Durability: Xero Shoes are engineered to last, featuring a 5,000-mile sole warranty, but proper maintenance is key to reaching that milestone.

Initial Steps Before Cleaning

Before diving into cleaning your Xero Shoes, take some preparatory steps to ensure an effective and safe cleaning process:

  1. Remove excess dirt by gently tapping the shoes together over a trash can or outside.
  2. Gather your cleaning materials: a soft-bristled brush, mild detergent, a bucket of water, a sponge or cloth, and a towel for drying.
  3. Choose a well-ventilated area for cleaning to allow the shoes to dry without developing mildew or odors.

Step-by-Step Xero Shoes Cleaning Methodology

Cleaning your Xero Shoes properly will ensure they last longer and stay comfortable.

For a Quick Refresh:

When your shoes need a light clean, follow these steps:

  • Gently brush off loose dirt.
  • Dampen a cloth with water and a small amount of mild detergent. Gently wipe the shoes down.
  • Place the shoes in a well-ventilated area to air dry.

For a Deep Clean:

For a more thorough clean, especially when dealing with stains or odors:

  • Create a cleaning solution with mild soap and warm water.
  • Use a soft-bristled brush to work the soap solution into the shoe in a circular motion, tackling dirt and stains.
  • Rinse the brush and go over the shoes with clean water to remove any soap residue.
  • Stuff the shoes with a towel to absorb moisture and help maintain their shape as they dry.

Specific Stain Removal

To address specific stains:

  • Grass Stains: Apply a mixture of baking soda and vinegar before brushing.
  • Oil/Grease: Sprinkle cornstarch to absorb the oil, then clean as normal.
  • Ink Stains: Alcohol-based hand sanitizer can be dabbed on gently to break up the ink.

Always spot-test a small, inconspicuous area before treating the entire shoe to ensure the material isn’t damaged.

Deodorizing Your Xero Shoes

  • Natural Solutions: Baking soda can be sprinkled inside the shoe and left overnight, then shaken out before wearing.
  • Commercial Solutions: Opt for eco-friendly sprays that neutralize odors without harsh chemicals.

Machine Washing: An Option or Not?

  • Manufacturer Advice: Manual cleaning is recommended to maintain the structural integrity of your Xero Shoes.
  • Risk of Machine Washing: The machine could distort the shape and damage the soles, compromising your shoes’ longevity and performance.

After-Clean Care

Proper post-cleaning care is crucial:

  • Always ensure your shoes are completely dry before storage.
  • Store in a cool, dry place, and avoid plastic bags. Instead, use a fabric shoe bag or leave them open to the air.

Troubleshooting Common Cleaning Challenges

  • Shrinkage: Wash with cold water and air dry to mitigate shrinking risk.
  • Color Fade: Use gentle cleaners and avoid direct sunlight when drying.
  • Professional Help: For persistent problems, consider a specialized shoe cleaner for assistance.

Routine Care for Xero Shoes

  • Brush off the day’s dust every evening.
  • Address spills and spots immediately to prevent them from setting.
  • Waterproofing sprays can be used for added protection, especially for those who encounter wet conditions regularly.


Maintaining clean Xero Shoes is a rewarding practice that ensures you’ll enjoy the barefoot comfort and health benefits they provide for as long as possible. With a little time and the right care, your shoes will be ready for whatever path you choose to trek.

Call to Action

If you have any tips, experiences, or questions about keeping your Xero Shoes in top-notch condition, be sure to leave a comment below. Let’s help each other keep our footwear fresh and functional!

For additional resources and cleaning recommendations from the manufacturer, visit Xero Shoes Care Instructions.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Machine Washing: It’s possible for some models, but hand washing is safer.
  • Cleaning Frequency: It varies by usage, but a monthly clean is advisable.
  • Colored Shoes Care: Follow the same guidelines but take extra care with harsh chemicals that could cause fading.
  1. How often should I clean my Xero Shoes? Answer: It’s recommended to clean your Xero Shoes after every use, or at least once a week. This will help remove any dirt or debris that can cause damage to the material over time.
  2. Can I machine wash my Xero Shoes? Answer: No, it’s not recommended to machine wash Xero Shoes. The best way to clean them is by hand using a mild soap or detergent and a soft brush or sponge.
  3. Can I use any soap or detergent to clean my Xero Shoes? Answer: No, it’s important to use a mild soap or detergent when cleaning your Xero Shoes. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners, as these can damage the material.
  4. Can I use a hair dryer to speed up the drying process? Answer: No, it’s not recommended to use a hair dryer or other heating device to dry your Xero Shoes. The heat can cause the material to shrink or become misshapen. Instead, simply allow the shoes to air dry completely, away from direct sunlight or other sources of heat.
  5. Can I store my Xero Shoes in a damp or humid area? Answer: No, it’s important to store your Xero Shoes in a cool, dry place. Avoid storing them in a damp or humid area, as this can cause the material to deteriorate or develop mould or mildew.
  6. Can I use the same steps to clean Xero Shoes with a leather upper? Answer: No, the cleaning process for Xero Shoes with a leather upper may be different. It’s best to refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning leather shoes.
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