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BELOW THE ANKLE


Machine washing trainers – Is it really using your head? A


recent independent survey commissioned by leading British shoe care product manufacturer, Cherry Blossom, uncovered some sordid habits and startling facts


about the UK’s approach to shoe care. Not only did it reveal that over 30% of the population possessed no item of shoe care in their homes whatsoever but that of the 80% of the population that owned a pair of trainers, 40% said they put them in the washing machine to clean them! The results of the poll, carried out by leading


pollsters, OnePoll, were extremely disturbing on a number of counts. Firstly, to discover that over 30% of those polled did not possess anything to maintain the quality or look of their footwear is quite shocking – and the younger the age group the less likely they were to worry about shoe care. In these harsh economic times, soon to get even


harsher, you might have expected shoe care to be a priority, especially for the young with nearly 1 million of them currently unemployed. Can they still afford to simply dispose of their footwear when it is scuffed or unsightly? Or, are they not aware that, in a recent poll of 3,000 managers, 43% said that they were influenced and made judgements in the first few seconds of a candidate entering the room. Would you turn up for a job interview with remains of your breakfast on your shirt and in a crumpled suit? Dull, soiled and unkempt footwear was a real turn-off for those with the power to hire and fire! Then we have the interesting statistics on how


we look after our trainers. With 80% of the population, in all age groups, owning at least one pair, we discovered that the preferred method of cleaning them is the machine wash!


Yet, this is a recipe for destroying them! Firstly, subjecting the trainers to the harsh


regime of a machine wash will simply undermine the constituent parts of the trainer – the stitching, the bonding, the materials and the technical features built into the product. The midsole is the most functional part of the


trainer providing the foot with stability, protecting the arch of the foot and cushioning the harmful impact forces your body is subjected to every time your feet hit the ground, whether it be


materials used to hold the different sections of the trainer together”, says Dave Watkins, Sales Director of Cherry Blossom the oldest and now, the only, UK manufacturer of shoe care products. However, that’s not all. This practice is also


environmentally unfriendly. Not only is it wasteful in terms of the longevity of the trainer, but, by using the washing machine, you are also consuming an inordinate amount of energy and precious water resources. Add all this together and cleaning your trainers this way will be costing you a considerable number of pounds, not pence! “There is a much better, and cheaper, way of


achieving the desired effect”, says Watkins. “We have a range of products to cater for all


kinds of shoes. For white trainers all you have to do is remove any dirt, clean with our Cherry Blossom Premium Foam Cleaner, apply our Sports Whitener evenly on the surface and just allow to dry. It is simple and inexpensive. “Any unpleasant odours from trainers can be


walking or running. It is accepted science that every time your heel strikes the ground it has to absorb an impact force three times your own body weight! “By subjecting the trainers to a machine wash


you stiffen the mid sole and deprive it of those technical properties and undermine its ability to cope with the rigours demanded of it – thus lessening its useful life. Hot water will also play havoc with the stitching and the bonding


negated by using either our fragrant insoles or, when not in use, our remarkably effective “Sneaker Balls” which are available in a number of fragrances. Sneaker Balls are also very effective when used in sports bags and lockers”. “With such a high proportion of the population


owning trainers, many of which will be costing £50 plus, the habit of machine washing them is really an expensive and destructive option”, concludes Watkins.


Further details from Michael Heal: Tel: 0775 157 1936


E: michael.heal@btconnect.com www.cherryblossomshoecare.com


APRIL 2011 • FOOTWEAR TODAY • 19


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