What is special about sneakers

Shoe fashionProgrammed Sneaker death

You have a favorite pair of sneakers. Not just any slippers, collectibles that you stash for special occasions. For years. And when you wear them, they crumble on your feet. Coincidence?! But don't panic. There are a few tricks you can use to protect your sneakers from confetti transformation.

Nagomo Oji's Air Max 95s caught it. These are cult shoes and, as the sneaker pros put it, Dead Stock. They are no longer produced. They were new, unworn, and 20 years old. And then that: "The structure of the midsole has dissolved, this is a plastic foam and it was completely dusty afterwards." Nagomo Oji can forget his shoes.

After ten years, the shoes get down to business

Plastics react differently to environmental influences such as temperature, humidity and UV radiation, but also simply to time. At some point, sneakers just fall apart. "From the age of ten it starts to come into the risk area and it is usually the case that the midsole becomes porous and crumbly over time," explains Franz Bauer, in the sneaker scene he is known as Schuhmuckl. The sneaker death is material-related.

"The fact that shoes fall apart is more due to inferior goods or the wrong mixture than to environmental influences."
Material expert who wants to remain anonymous

The midsole of a sneaker is usually made of polyurethane or ethylene vinyl acetate. The PU is more stable, but tends to break at lower temperatures. EVA shoes are slipped through faster. Running shoes are particularly hard-wearing if they contain polyamides as a third type of plastic.

Schuhmuckl Franz Bauer knows how to save your sneakers from deterioration: Store the valuable shoes in a shoebox in a cool, dry and dark place. And: "I prefer to buy worn shoes than shoes that are brand new, because the movement apparently retains more plasticizers."