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What do you style dunks with?

Sneakerheads know that a fresh pair of kicks can make or break an outfit. Dunks, with their chunky silhouette and vibrant colorways, have become a staple in streetwear fashion. But rocking a clean pair of dunks takes some finesse. You’ve got to keep them creased and scuff-free. So what products do sneakerheads use to style their dunks? Let’s take a look at the essentials for keeping your dunks looking crispy.

Shoe Cleaners

First things first – you’ve got to keep your dunks clean. Canvas sneakers like dunks can get dirty pretty quickly from dust, dirt, mud, and normal wear-and-tear. Using a shoe cleaner specifically formulated for canvas will allow you to give your dunks a deep clean whenever they need it. Jason Markk and Crep Protect are popular options amongst sneakerheads. They make solutions that can tackle stains and discoloration. For normal upkeep, a soft bristle brush and warm water with a tiny bit of gentle soap can work wonders. Be sure to clean dunks somewhat regularly to avoid dirt and stains building up. Don’t overdo it though – frequent cleaning can dry out the canvas.


After cleaning your dunks, you’ll want to shield them from future stains and scuffs with a protector spray. This clear coating forms an invisible barrier against liquids, oil, and dirt. Crep Protect has an excellent protector spray for canvas sneakers. It’ll repel water and oil-based spills so you can wipe them away instead of letting them soak in and stain. You’ll need to reapply every few weeks as the protectant wears off. This is a must-have product to keep white or pale dunks looking icy. Protect your dunks before rocking them to avoid accidents.

Shoe Trees

One of the worst things that can happen to a pair of dunks is creasing. Those sharp folded lines totally ruin the clean silhouette. Sneakerheads know that cedar shoe trees are a game changer for preventing creases while storing your kicks. The wooden shoe trees fill out the inner cavity of the shoe to hold its original shape. This keeps the upper material from folding and creasing at the toe box and along the sides. Make sure to use real cedar wood trees so the cedar can absorb moisture and odor while preserving the shape.

Moisture Absorbers

Speaking of moisture, having wet shoes is another nightmare for keeping dunks crispy. If they get caught in the rain or you wear them without socks, sweat will dampen the inner lining. This moisture needs to be wicked away quickly. Silica gel packets are tiny moisture absorbing packets that can be tossed in your shoes while not wearing them. They’ll pull that dampness out to keep the canvas dry. You can find them sold with new shoes and bags or available for purchase. Don’t forget to replace them regularly so they can keep absorbing.

Suede Eraser

Many popular dunk colorways feature suede paneling on the overlay or special editions will have a full suede upper. Suede requires some extra love to keep the nap fluffy and fibers from matting down. A suede eraser is a must-have for cleaning suede dunks. Lightly rub it over scuffs and stains to lift dirt from the delicate suede surface. Use a suede brush after to restore the fluff. Never use water or soap directly on suede. The proper suede cleaning tools will keep the material buttery.

Shoe Stretchers

If your dunks are feeling a little snug, you can use shoe stretchers to gently loosen up the canvas for a perfect custom fit. Stretchers slide into the shoe and use pressure to expand the width and length incrementally. This allows you to break in your dunks overnight for a comfortable fit come morning. Wooden stretchers are great for canvas shoes like dunks. Slowly stretch in 1/8″ increments at a time to avoid overstretching and damaging the upper.

No-Crease Clip

Here’s a clever little trick for preventing toe box creases while wearing your dunks. A no-crease clip is a plastic device that slides onto the front of the shoe. It uses gentle pressure against the outside of the toe box to keep the canvas from folding and creasing while being worn. Sneakerheads use these temporary clips while breaking in a new pair of kicks to maintain that crisp look for longer. Make sure to remove them after each wear and allow the canvas to rest.

Shoe Display

Any seasoned sneakerhead knows the importance of proper shoe storage. While not worn, your dunks should be displayed on a shoe rack, shelves, or in clear stackable containers. This allows the shoes to stand upright with support inside the toe box. Proper shoe displays prevent the upper from collapsing and creasing while not being worn. It also neatly shows off your footwear collection while keeping them dust-free. Remember to stuff your shoes with a shoe tree, tissue paper, or other filler item before displaying to hold the shape.


Don’t forget about replacing those old insoles inside your dunks. The factory insoles tend to wear out and flatten over time, losing their support and comfort. Replacing them with some fresh cushioned insoles will make your dunks feel brand new. Consider extra padding, arch support, and material like memory foam to make your shoes even more comfortable. Breathable bamboo and anti-microbial options are great for keeping odor down. Pop out the original insole and swap in fresh ones to refresh the interior.

Odor Eliminators

On the topic of odor, keeping your dunks smelling fresh is a must. Canvas shoes and insoles easily hold onto odor from sweat and bacteria buildup. Using odor absorbers in your storage and anti-microbial insoles will help mitigate stink. But when your shoes are really far gone, you’ll need a deep odor eliminator treatment. Things like Lysol Laundry Sanitizer and baking soda can be sprinkled in to absorb really tough odors. Be very gentle and don’t overdo it though to avoid damaging the materials.

Water Repellent Spray

Water can be super damaging to canvas shoes like dunks. Once the canvas gets soaked, it can change the texture and promote rot if it doesn’t dry fully. Treat your dunks to a water repellent spray like Crep Protect to keep the canvas from getting totally drenched in a downpour. The hydrophobic coating will make water bead up and roll off the surface instead of soaking in. Reapply every few wears to maintain effectiveness. Make sure to remove laces first and apply light even coats.

Leather Conditioner

Some dunk releases like the SB Dunk Lows feature premium leather paneling. Keeping leather fresh and conditioned is important to prevent cracking and drying out. Use a leather conditioner specifically for smooth leather to moisturize and protect the leather panels. Apply a thin layer working it into the grain, let it absorb, then buff gently with a microfiber cloth. Using conditioner every few months will prevent the leather from becoming brittle and cracked over time.

Replacement Laces

Swapping out the factory round laces for some fresh replacement laces can entirely change the look of your dunks. It’s an easy and affordable way to customize your shoes and make them feel new again. Brands like Slickies Laces offer tons of colors and material options in the exact sizing needed for dunks. Match the laces to the tongue or go for a contrast shade. Cotton, nylon, waxed, and speckled laces give different textures too.

Insole Decals

While you’ve got those insoles out, why not give them a makeover too? Insole decals let you add graphics and logos to customize the insole print. From simple solid colors to unique streetwear branding, decals give your feet a little secret stash of style. They go on easily, stick flat, and stay put. Boost morale with some smiley faces, add your name, or flex with brand logos. Insole decals are a fun way to make your dunks your own.

Shoe Deodorizers

Keeping your dunks smelling fresh can be a challenge, especially during sweaty summers. Using a shoe deodorizer spray or powder will help eliminate odors and prevent them from returning. Sprays like Lumi Outdoors disposable deodorizer kill bacteria and neutralize shoe odor with natural enzymes for a light fresh scent. Or sprinkle in powders like Dr. Scholl’s Odor Destroyers, which uses zeolite beads to trap odor molecules. Pop one in each shoe when not wearing.

Toe Box Protectors

The toe box on dunks tends to crease quickly since it bends while walking. Toe box protectors are sleeves that slide over the front of the shoe to keep the canvas upper from folding and creasing. Made from semi-rigid acrylic, they hold the shape of the toe box to prevent damage to the pristine materials. Only wear them for breaking in to avoid making the canvas too rigid. They’ll maintain that crisp box shape though!


If you’ve got stubborn creases or wrinkles in the upper of your dunks, you can try lightly ironing them out. Set your iron to low/synthetic and place a cloth over the canvas. Don’t directly iron the material. Gently apply pressure and move quickly to smooth the texture without damaging it. You can also use this trick to flatten crunched collars or tails. Only use an iron on canvas/synthetic as other materials like suede and leather will burn.

Collar Stretcher

The collar around your ankles can get stretched out and deformed over time. A collar stretcher is a tool made of plastic or wood that inserts down into the shoe’s opening and applies gentle outward pressure. This stretches and reforms the opening back to its original shape. Slowly turn the extenders to stretch in 1/8″ increments at a time, holding for a few hours before sizing up. Only use on canvas or synthetic shoes, not leather.

UV Protection Spray

Don’t forget that UV rays can also damage your dunks, causing the colors to fade and materials to dry out over time. Using a UV protection spray formulated for canvas and synthetics will create an invisible barrier to block UV rays. Brands like Crep Protect and Jason Markk make sprays that will maintain the vivid color and prevent fading, yellowing, and other sun damage. Reapply every few wears for ongoing protection.

Dress Shoe Polish

Here’s a neat hack – use dress shoe polish to touch up scuffs on your dunks. The waxy paste polish comes in tones to match suede and leather. For canvas, neutral colors work. Rub it gently over any scuffed spots to minimize their appearance and blend into the surrounding material. Then buff to a subtle shine. Polish nourishes the fibers and provides waterproofing too. Keep some neutral and black polish handy for disguising scuffs on your dunks.

Suede Protection Spray

As mentioned earlier, suede dunks require some extra TLC. After cleaning, use a suede protector spray to create an invisible shield against moisture and stains. The hydrophobic barrier allows liquid to bead up and roll off without absorbing into the suede. This prevents ugly water marks and damage to the delicate material. Re-spray every 1-2 weeks to maintain the water repellency and refresh the protective coating as needed. Keep those dunk suedes pristine.


There you have it – the essential products for keeping your dunks looking crispy and stylish. Follow this sneakerhead approved guide to styling care and you’ll be rocking heat on your feet daily. From keeping the canvas clean and crease-free to preventing scuffs and odor, use these pro tips and tricks to take your dunk game to the next level. Sturdy shoe trees, suede brushes, moisture absorbers, and more will have your dunks looking fresh.

Product Use
Shoe Cleaners Deep clean canvas, suede, and leather
Protectors Shield upper from stains and dirt
Shoe Trees Hold shape and prevent creasing
Moisture Absorbers Remove dampness and dry out shoes
Suede Eraser Lift dirt from suede
Shoe Stretchers Loosen up snug canvas
No-Crease Clips Prevent toe box creasing
Shoe Displays Store properly and prevent creasing
Insoles Replace worn insoles for fresh cushioning
Odor Eliminators Remove tough odors and bacteria
Water Repellent Spray Make canvas water resistant
Leather Conditioner Moisturize and protect leather
Replacement Laces Customize look with new laces
Insole Decals Customize insole print
Shoe Deodorizers Eliminate odors and bacteria
Toe Box Protectors Prevent creasing during break-in
Iron Smooth out creases and wrinkles
Collar Stretcher Reform stretched ankle opening
UV Protection Spray Block sun damage
Shoe Polish Hide scuffs
Suede Protector Create repellent shield