Knowing your family, your holiday gift haul is going to be trash, son. The pockets might be too tapped to get yourself what you really want, but we’ve got it locked for some of the smaller things that you'll actually get some use out of.
Jason Markk Sneaker Wipes
These wipes are perfect for weekend trips when TSA is bugging over your sneaker care kit. Whether it’s festival season, bachelor parties, or just overall stunting out of town, you always want to keep two or three of these handy at all times. One errant spill of food and those icy white kicks can turn into shitkickers if you don’t get the stain taken care of ASAP. When packing space is at a premium for trips, having a pair of kicks to use more than once is essential, and so is keeping them fresh after a rough night out. (Editor's Note: They work great on dress shoes too.)
It may seem obvious but owning an extra pair of laces when going through your shoe cleaning routine is always going to be useful. Even switching up the lace colors on your sneakers will give them a whole new look. Be careful not to OD on the colors though, i.e. using a different colored lace for each shoe. That’s just weird and it looks like you’re trying too hard to stand out. Stand out with the ill wardrobe architecture, not obnoxious accents like mismatching shoelaces.
Companies like Speakeasy have taken their accessory game beyond pins and laces. A new wave now is definitely centered around lace locks to add some steez to an already dope pair of sneaks. Opt for them if you find yourself running out of real estate to make a proper bow. Those midgety looking bows look odd, as does going untied, depending on the outfit you're finessing. Un-tied is alright when you're heading out looking extra casual, but a refined 'fit might require the before mentioned locks. Remember, the devil's in the details.
Don’t fall into the trap of copping $200 sneakers only to insult them by rocking Walmart socks. Do better. The undisputed king of the sock game is Stance, but there are literally thousands of other vendors that you could spend hours e-shopping with before you even commit. Colorful foot mittens are vital if you're going monochromatic with the 'fit. Think contrast when deciding on socks too. If your outfit is neutral, bright socks. If your outfit is brighter than Fruit Stripe gum, go a little more muted with the color combinations.
Miss out on a huge release? A very small consolation prize could be picking them up in pin form. Because it sure beats being a human crying Jordan meme week after week of missed drops. A 1/4 scale sneaker is better than none at all, we guess. Even if sneaker inspired items aren’t your thing, the hunt, purchase of, and hoarding of pins will help satiate the addict in you till your cash flow stops being such an asshole.
Suede Block and Brush
It’s not just the leather that needs some TLC, you’ve got to keep your suede joints looking crisp too. A proper suede block is going to remove any small nicks or gouges and the brush is going to revive that smooth, buttery nap.
Depending on the depth of your rotation, you may go weeks or months without wearing some pairs, so keep ‘em covered in a cloth bag for protection. Ideally suited for long or short term storage, these simple bags also do double duty as travel bags to protect them from those knives and weapons you’ve inevitably got stashed in your luggage.
Jason Markk Repel Spray
As you can probably tell, Mr. Markk has the care game on lock. In addition to his essential cleaning kit and the aforementioned handy wipes, his Repel formula is definitely worth consideration. Whether your precious kicks are facing some weather this season or you’re just hyper-vigilant about keeping them protected from the world (and ketchup), this easy-to-use spray is a must-own.