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January 8th, 2010:

Cleaning suede or nubuck shoes - what I've learnt

Etnies Ronin skate shoes (angle profile)
How a boxfresh Ronin should look...

[December 2010 - it's snowy out there! Suede and nubuck HATES snow, and rock salt to boot (natch). So, protect your shoes BEFORE you destroy them! Get some suede or nubuck protector spray, I mention some later in the article, and give your shoes a good treating before you step out! My shoes are still great, and I last protected them almost a year ago. £5 and half an hour will make a big difference.]

I recently went out in some brand new trainers (a pair of Etnies Ronin skate shoes, which are black and white suede/synthetic material mixture with a white trim round the sole). Unsurprisingly, it rained on Saturday evening, and when I came back my shoes were DESTROYED.

Unfortunately, mine weren't quite caked, but were fairly smattered in nasty looking mud. But what to do? Well, after some careful research (and even more careful testing), here's some tips for cleaning these kinds of skate shoes.

Shoes like the Ronins aren't all suede - they have what Etnies describe as an "action leather upper" combined with synthetic, woven sections (for example, the material around the E motif on the side of the shoe is a different fabric). However, in my case, the whole lot was just smothered with nasty, gunky mud.

So, what to do? First things first... read more after the jump.

Tiplet: Force Ejecting stuck DVDs from Macs

Once again, the MBP I (have to) use at work encountered a problem: OSX refused to eject a perfectly good audio CD from an external Lite-On DVD burner. I tried the usual things - dragging the disc icon to the Trash, right-clicking and choosing Eject... Nothing worked.

Fortunately, the MacRumors Guides site had a page with some protips to help eject stuck CDs/DVDs - including a nice drutil command which solved the problem nicely. Once again, the Mac Users community saves the day 🙂