How To Make New White Shoes Look Worn? 7 Must-Try Methods

While we try to protect our white shoes at all costs, many people make them worn and dirty to follow the trend. If you want to join, this post is for you.

We will show you how to make new white shoes look worn. There are multiple tools to use to achieve this effect. Besides, while doing your job, pay attention to several things so you won’t end up ruining your new shoes.

Now, are you ready to upgrade your footwear? Let’s join us to discover the best way to do it!

How To Make New White Shoes Look Worn?

You can use sandpaper, a washing machine, coffee ground, acetone, bristle, and baking soda to make your bright white shoes look worn. The simplest way is to let your footwear get dirty. We will discuss each method in detail.

Get dirty

White shoes seem more sensitive than other shoe colors. Even a tiny stain will stand out on the white background. Hence, think about adding some stains on the footwear to age it.

You don’t have to prepare any tools for this method. Simply put on your shoes and wear them outside. Indeed, they will get much older after a few days of use.

But please note that the idea is to make your footwear look worn, not darken its colors. Hence, avoid muddy surfaces that will ruin your beautiful shoes.

Scrub with sandpaper

We will sandpaper to scrub things off, leaving a rough surface behind. The more you rub, the more worn your footwear may look.

What makes the sandpaper abrasive is the grit. Makers grade the paper according to the grit’s size.

You can choose the right grade for your job, depending on how rough it is. The grades of sandpaper you can find at hardware stores to scrub on your shoes are:

  • Extra-coarse: 24, 30 and 36 grits
  • Coarse: 40, 50, and 60 grits
  • Medium: 80 grits
  • Fine: 100 and 120 grits
  • Very fine: 150, 180, and 220 grits

Start by placing your footwear on a newspaper to avoid messing up in the workspace. The paper can also prevent dirt on the ground from flying onto your white shoes.

Now, rub the fabric lightly with sandpaper. The sandpaper’s rough texture will change your new shoes’ smooth effect. Try to rub in concentric motions for the best appearance.

How To Make New White Shoes Look Worn? 7 Must-Try Methods

Wash your shoes in the washing machine

Your shoes degrade as you wash them. Shoe experts often recommend buying footwear by hand because it minimizes the damage to the fabric. But if you want to speed up the damage, wash your shoes in the washing machine.

The cycle setting in the machine will scrub off the texture. The harder it is, the more quickly your footwear ages.

Dye with coffee ground.

White shoes will look worn once they change their color. If you want to follow the trend, sacrificing their pure hue is necessary.

The instructions for dyeing shoes with the coffee ground are as follows:

  • Remove the laces on the shoes.
  • Acetone the fabrics. Remember to wear gloves during this step, as the solution must not touch your hands.
  • Sprinkle ground coffee into a tub or bucket and pour hot water into the container.
  • Put your shoes in the water. You can put stones inside to secure your shoes and stick them to the bottom.
  • Take your shoes out after two hours.
  • Re-lace your shoes once they have dried out completely.

Aside from the dying effect, coffee grounds also affect the texture of your shoes. These tiny particles contact the fabric and leave some scratches on it.

Apply acetone

Acetone may dissolve and break down materials like varnish and paint as a solvent. Because of this characteristic is a common ingredient of paint, varnish, and nail polish removers.

Because of the intense effect of acetone on materials, people often use it to clean their shoes. It can work well on multiple types of fabrics. Using them on leather and canvas shoes is fine.

With this thought in mind, you can also use acetone to age your shoes. It will destroy the fiber structure as well as the tanning elements and wear the coating of the shoe material. As the shoe surface ages, cracks and even holes may appear.

Brush the fabric with stiff bristles

You can age your new white shoes by applying some harsh pressure on them. A stiff bristle is what you need for this task.

When cleaning their shoes with stiff bristles, people always try to be as careful as possible. They will ruin the fabric’s texture if the tension is too much. But it’s what you expect to happen.

This method allows you to decide which areas of the footwear get worn out. You can even determine how rough the texture will be.

However, even though you are trying to make your white shoes look worn, you may also encounter some risks using this method. Smooth fabrics, like leather, may tear more severely than you think.

Avoid working on the same spot multiple times when brushing your shoes with a bristle. You will create a big hole in your beautiful shoes.

Apply baking soda

Baking soda is a common ingredient you can find in any household due to its numerous benefits. Aside from cooking, people often use it for cleaning and eliminating odor from their stuff.

Baking soda helps you clean shoes as well. It can dissolve organic and other mild particles on a surface. If you apply the powder on your shoes and scrub them with bristles, the degradation effect will occur faster.

Why Do People Want To Wear Worn White Shoes?

White shoes that look dirty are annoying to most people. However, everything can happen in fashion. Surprisingly, wearing such unattractive shoes may turn out fashionable sometimes.

Some big fashion brands started the trend. Then, other people found it unique to put on such items and decided to follow them.

Where did the trend start?

Balenciaga has introduced a dirty pair of sneakers. The company’s advertisement featured an image of some worn-out shoes that seemed as if they had endured a natural disaster like a mudslide.

Balenciaga isn’t the first brand to delve into the realm of damaged footwear. Besides, a few years ago, Gucci and Vetements released monogrammed sneakers priced at $890 with scrawled designs and cost nearly $1,500.

The idea of worn-out shoes

One of the first things someone sees about another person’s appearance is their shoes, so the idea of the filthy sneaker is interesting.

On the surface, it makes sense that somebody with carefully-maintained shoes would be neat and have time to ensure that their footwear is always clean.

The trend of wearing worn-out and dirty shoes appears to be saying that shiny shoes are out and worn-out soles are all in.

What To Wear With Worn-Out White Shoes?

White shoes can match almost any style, whether you are working, walking down the street, or hiking. Things get easier when they become worn out because you don’t have to worry about them getting dirty.

Often, white shoes are well-liked items in street and sports styles. This idea works even better for worn-out footwear because they are unsuitable for serious events.

Street style

People like to age their white sneakers rather than boots or other kinds of shoes. Hence, you can consider wearing your worn-out white shoes in cases where you use sneakers.

Mixing white shoes with jeans is an excellent choice. This combination looks nice regardless of the type of top you wear.

Sports style

It’s fantastic to wear those fashionable shoes to play sports or go hiking. They go well with almost any sporting outfit.

Try shorts if you like something comfortable for a hard-working day. These items also complement the unique look of your shoes.

Can You Recover Your Worn-Out White Shoes?

Yes, but this task is not simple, and you can’t recover the entire appearance of your shoes. The following tips will help.

Take your shoes to the shoe repairer.

The simplest choice is probably to get your shoes fixed professionally. Yet, it may also be expensive, and you can fix some of these on your own.

It’s much better to fix your shoes than to throw them away. They will sit in dumps for years and waste many resources.

Cover the scratches

Worn-out shoes have scratches. To recover your footwear, consider covering the scratches. It works best for leather shoes.

The right method depends on how severe the scratches are. If they are minor, you can try these steps:

  • Clean white shoes.
  • Apply petroleum jelly on the fabric to fill the scratches.
  • Apply white vinegar to hide the scratches.
  • Fill the scratches using a recoloring balm or a leather market.
  • Heat your shoes using a hair dryer to repair the scratches.
  • Rub olive oil to shine your shoes.

If the scratches are deeper, the instructions will be as follows:

  • Use tiny scissors or sandpaper to remove any loose material.
  • Clean your shoes.
  • Use a leather cream polish to cover up the damage.
  • Apply cream polish in circular motions.
  • Wipe any extra cream and let the shoe air dry.
  • Apply more layers of cream polish if necessary.


1. How do I scuff new shoes?

There are several ways to scuff new shoes, such as:

  • Wearing the shoes as often as possible
  • Scruffing the surface with sandpaper
  • Using an industrial bristle for rougher surfaces
  • Grinding a hacksaw following the shoe’s contours
  • Applying acetone to break down the dye

2. How can I make new leather shoes look old?

Rubbing a pebble against leather is the simplest way to degrade footwear made of leather. The stone you use should be big and have a smooth surface.

Now, rub the stone against the shoe until you see scuff marks on the surface to achieve a distressed look.

3. How can I dip-dye shoes?

You can dip-dye your shoes using different methods. We recommend this guide because of its simplicity.

  • Apply vaseline on the shoe’s outside rims to prevent the dye from dyeing the shoe’s rubber sole.
  • Put the dye in a container and mix it with hot water and salt.
  • Soak the whole front of the shoes by dipping one or both of them into the diluted solution.
  • Repeat the process to get the ombre appearance, immersing a smaller portion of the footwear into the dye every time.
  • Spread the dye evenly using a cloth or a toothbrush.
  • Allow the shoes to air dry.

4. How should I break into new shoes?

Here are some easy methods for breaking into your new shoes:

  • Wear your shoes around
  • Put them in your freezer
  • Expose them to the sunshine to heat them
  • Massage them to extend specific areas
  • Insert shoe cushions, inner soles, and gel pads inside the shoes

This video will show you more hacks on breaking into your new shoes:

5. How long do new shoes need to break in?

The break-in time lasts between three and four weeks, depending on the type, sole, material, and personal preferences for how your footwear should feel.


You can apply some pressure on your new shoes to age them. Some household stuff, like baking soda, acetone, and bristles, will speed up the process.

Worn-out white shoes are trendy. But the key is to mix them with the right items to make them look their best.

Hopefully, you will find this article helpful. For any further information, please feel free to ask. Thank you for reading!

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