I’ll confess, I’m not a sneakerhead but I appreciate a good pair of sneakers and I’m fascinated with the growing sneaker culture in India.
There are a dozen brands for sneaker care products already and several marketplaces to score that rare pair! And, as any self-respecting sneakerhead will tell you, keeping your sneakers dirty or shabby is a crime in the circles.
So, it was the right time that Philips chose to launch its sneaker cleaner in India. The Philips Sneaker Cleaner makes cleaning your sneakers easy and effective.
The Philips Sneaker Cleaner is quite straightforward to use. Just wet the brush with water and soap or use one of the ready-to-use foam washes, switch on the cleaner, and wipe the sneaker as needed. The cleaner comes with three brushes – a hard brush for tough materials like textured rubber or rubber soles, a soft brush which is ideal for mesh and canvas, and a sponge brush for materials like PVC, leather, etc. Once you are done, wipe the sneaker with a clean towel and voila!
Since it’s powered by AA batteries, you can take it along with you on your trip to enjoy clean sneakers no matter where you are. Would a rechargeable battery be better? Maybe. Sometimes batteries are a hassle, especially since this one needs four of those. Thankfully, Philips includes a set in the package to get you started right away.
Let me be honest. If you’re a pro at cleaning sneakers and enjoy the indulgence, like bike owners love their weekend indulgence pampering their rides, the sneaker cleaner doesn’t do anything extra. But, for anyone who gets overwhelmed with the task or doesn’t do a good job at it, the Philips Sneaker Cleaner is a pretty good utility thing. I didn’t even know I needed it, but now that I’ve used it, I definitely prefer it over manual brushing.
For the purpose of my review, I tried cleaning the mesh of an Adidas UltraBoost 22 and the leather on Adidas Stan Smith trainers. At about 350 grams, it's easy to handle and operate. It's quite seamless, and cleaning is effective if slower. I prefer to be patient with my shoes so as to not damage them, so I didn't mind that. But on soles, sometimes I go for quick, fast brushing with a hard brush. You can't do that with this sneaker cleaner.
According to Philips, the brush head does 500 rotations per minute to deliver an effective clean. The Philips Sneaker Cleaner boasts of IPX5 water resistance which is good enough for usage with water around.
At ₹2,549, Philips Sneaker Cleaner is a pretty good buy, even if the product looks trivial at first glance. It's like using an electric toothbrush after years of juggling a regular toothbrush in your mouth. Like I said, it’s a handy - and effective - way to clean your sneakers which might convince you to clean your sneakers more frequently than usual. That’s a win.
If you've got a variety of shoes, you'd usually buy more than one brush anyway. The Philips Sneaker Cleaner packs three brush heads, so that is taken care of.
And by the way, if you’re new to this, you’ll need to pick a good sneaker cleaner – soap or foam – to use for, well, cleaning the sneakers. I mostly use stuff from Sneaky, an upstart in sneaker cleaning from the UK or the very popular Sneaker LAB, the US-based brand. There’s also Crep Protect, one of the biggest brands in this space, but the products are expensive.