For a sneaker collector like me, getting dirt on my shoes is among my biggest worries. Using ordinary soap and water to clean them can often turn a small stain into a larger smudge. There are international shoe care brands like Crep Protect and Jason Markk that I use to keep my sneakers clean but if you don’t travel abroad often enough, it’s difficult to procure these products on a regular basis as they don’t ship to India and aren’t available on sites such as Amazon. So when I stumbled across a new local brand called Vetro Power via Facebook, I immediately ordered a bottle of the “hydro-repellent and stain-resistant coating spray”.
Launched by Mumbai resident Varun Mukhi, who spent five years developing the product, Vetro Power doesn’t clean shoes but prevents them from getting dirty. Once the spray dries, the coating creates a barrier between the surface of your shoes and everything else. I applied the coating on several pairs of sneakers and left them overnight as per the instructions. A couple of weeks ago, I wore a fresh pair of Vetro-coated white sneakers on a night during which there was a short drizzle and found that no major stains had formed on my shoes. I also poured water on them to check if it would slip right off and it did.
A few days after wearing the white sneakers, there were some stains on the upper, but they were notably smaller in size and number than those of the non-coated shoes I wore that same week. The spray however couldn’t save the midsole, which is not surprising given the muckiness of the streets of Mumbai. Vetro Power claims that the coating needs to reapplied every 12 months. This is too optimistic in my opinion. Based on my experience using Crep Protect and a couple of non-branded sprays, most such water-repellent products are good from anywhere between two weeks to three months at best and you should take a call on whether to apply a new coat by just looking at the shoe.
Many water-repellent sprays are widely available at shoe stores across the country but unlike Vetro Power, they don’t claim to be stain proof. At Rs1,575 (including delivery charges and taxes) for a 100ml bottle, it’s not cheap. They recommend using 25ml for standard-size shoes and 50ml for boots, which means you’ll have to buy a lot of bottles if like me you’re a serious sneaker collector. While it’s not the ultimate solution for your shoe care needs, it’s a decent alternative to the pricier, hard-to-obtain international brands. Visit Vetropower.com
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