How to Get Through Winter in Any Type of Sneaker

Shoe in Snow
Shoes in snow.
Rex Shutterstock

If you’re the kind of person who would rather wear sneakers instead of boots throughout the majority of winter, it’s a good idea to make sure you’re going about it the right way.

Salt and snow can ruin sensitive materials, turning your once-favorite kicks into thrift store fodder before you even have a chance to look down and prevent it.

And while materials such as knit may not seem the most suitable for winter wear — and truth be told, they’re not — it can still be done comfortably if you take the proper precautions.

Suit up your sneakers for the remainder of the season with our ideas below.

1. Suede: Crep Protect Rain and Stain Shoe Spray

Nike Air Max 1 Wheat Flax Nike Air Max 1 “Wheat” aka “Flax” Nike

For delicate suedes and nubuck material, you’ll want to seek out a repellant protector such as this spray from Crep Protect. Water beads right off of the coating, and it’s also effective for keeping dirt from damaging your precious pairs.

Crep Protect Rain and Stain Shoe Spray Crep Protect Rain and Stain Shoe Spray. Nordstrom

2. Knit: Chup Vivienda Socks

Adidas Ultra Boost Lux Adidas Ultra Boost Lux Sneakersnstuff

While they may not be the most practical choice, knitted sneakers such as Yeezys can still be worn in cold winter weather — if you wear the right socks. The key here is to opt for a warm cotton blend or wool construction with plenty of coverage, such as this colorful style from Japanese label Chup.

Chup Vivienda Socks Chup Vivienda Socks Huckberry

3. Leather: Frye Weatherproof Leather Cream

Sean Wotherspoon x Nike Air Max 1/97 Need Supply Co. Launch Vintage “Metallic” Air Jordan 1s from 1985 on display. Riley Jones

Cold, dry temperatures can do a number on materials like leather, rendering your beautifully broken-in shoes into brittle beaters — just take a look at the vintage Air Jordans above. Take a proactive approach with a leather conditioner, such as this weatherproofing cream by boot specialist Frye.

Frye Leather Cream Frye Weatherproof Leather Cream Frye

4. Synthetic: Jason Markk Quick Wipes

Off-White x Nike Air Max 97 Off-White x Nike Air Max 97 “The Ten” Nike

Chances are, not all of the sneakers in your closet are built with delicate materials. If you have shoes built with synthetics, such as the Off-White x Nike Air Max 97 pictured here, sometimes all it takes is a quick brush with a wipe to restore the shine. You’ll want to keep these at an arm’s reach for on-the-go spot cleaning.

Jason Marrk Quick Wipes Jason Markk Quick Wipes Nordstrom