Cycling shoes restoration

I have two pairs of Northwave Evolution SBS shoes. My beloved white pair were replaced by a more colourful (lime/blue) set but I damaged those in a road race crash a few years ago so I took one of the ratchets off my white pair to fix them. The white ones were pretty grubby and scuffed and have been sat unused for a couple of years now. They were just too nice to throw away. I’ve been entertaining the idea of a new shoes recently but decided to see if I could restore my white ones first.

I decided to go for a bit of colour after a run of white shoes

First up was bit of research. A simple Google of how to clean cycling shoes revealed a useful GCN video which basically said undo them, take out the insoles and scrub thoroughly with a soft brush in soapy water. So thats what I did. The results were pretty effective.

before and after the scrub

After a good clean I left them on the side to drain the excess water.

I’d forgot I’d fitted brand new cleats to them. What a waste!

Next I stuffed the shoes tightly with newspaper to draw the moisture out. I must have used an entire newspaper. There were about six double pages in each shoe. I then popped them by the radiator to dry overnight.


Next up I did some more research on dealing with leather scuffs. I came across some YouTube videos using Angelus Acrylic Leather Paint to touch up shoes, trainers etc. I found it on eBay for about £7 a bottle delivered and bought some.

used to hide scuffs and marks

My shoe tips were quite beat up, so I decided to apply the paint pretty liberally around the toe area. I used a cotton bud to apply it and literally paint over the scuffs.

Scuffs galore
first coat and the results aren’t bad to be honest

Next up I had to source a new ratchet. Luckily you can buy them as a pair and they are still available as spare parts despite being a few years old now. Everybody uses boa’s these days. I sourced some from Bike24 in Germany for around £20. I think I may have had the last set as they are no longer available on their website now.

Northwave Evolution SBS Ratchet kit

After a couple of days I gave the shoes a second coat of paint around the toe area. I blended it in with the brush supplied and then fitted the new ratchets. Finally, I touched up the black lines with a sharpie pen.

Restoration complete.

brand new ratchets finish the shoes off nicely

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