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Why You Need Shoe Trees

You may have noticed we were giving away Angelus Shoe Trees last month. While this is a relatively simple shoe care accessory, to the point that you might skip getting a pair, it’s definitely the MVP if you really cherish your footwear collection.

So let’s talk about the necessities for keeping your footwear nice. Back in the day, every person who owned a decent pair of shoes also owned a shoe horn and some kind of leather conditioner. These items were necessary if you wanted to keep your shoes, which were probably leather, for a long time.  Of course, people have more than one pair of shoes now and they’re made from different materials. While you should still keep some kind of conditioner, water repellent, and cleaner on deck, you can probably do away with the shoe horn. There are other ways to keep your sneakers in good shape—shoe trees.

One of the most important items to use when it comes to shoe care is a shoe tree. These have been around a long time, and for a good reason. A shoe tree is a much needed item that doesn’t get as much notice as it should. Essentially, shoe trees are all about maintaining the integrity of whatever you’re wearing on your feet—be it sneakers, boots, dress shoes, and so on (not sandals though, for obvious reason).

As you may have noticed, the size of your sneaker changes over time. If you wear a pair often, they’re going to get stretched out as the lining slowly breaks down. This isn’t a rapid thing, but having a shoe tree inside when they’re not being worn helps maintain the toe box so it doesn’t crease or indent.

The other way sneakers change, and this might sound strange, is they get smaller. That’s real, smaller! Basically, if leather isn’t actively used it will tighten up; if your shoes are leather, they’ll do the same. This is big for all you for collectors out there. You might be sitting on some heat, but they could get tighter over time. To combat this, you would need to either wear them, condition your leather shoes to the leather supple, or pop in a pair of adjustable Angelus Shoe Trees and maintain the correct size.

(Source: @davidgotkicks)

Angelus Shoe Trees were made with sneakerheads in mind. When they’re not keeping your sneakers in shape, they’re a great tool to have on hand when customizing, painting, or restoring. So if you haven’t done so yet, get a pair. Your sneakers will thank you!

Fear of Customs

Lately, we’ve been seeing a lot of Fear of God inspired customs out there. One of the most notable is the pair of Fear of God cleats that Stefon Diggs, wide receiver Minnesota Vikings wore at Jacksonville two weeks ago. Angelus Direct’s own sponsored artists, the legendary sneaker customizer Mache, was the mastermind behind these cleats. Love it or hate, appropriating another brand’s logo plays a huge part of the aesthetic that has made Fear of God so popular.

(Source: @mache275)

Founded by Jerry Lorenzo in 2012, the brand seemingly came out of a nowhere with a range co-signed by the likes of Kanye and J. Bieber. Lorenzo doesn’t have a formal training in fashion design, but worked in high end retail, and then as a stylist/brand manager for athletes. Somewhere along the way he came out with his own range titled “Collection 1.” While it’s no doubt that FOG has become a hit since its inception, the brand has yet to shake off the conversation around “paying homage,” “taking influence,” or “ripping off” the 80’s/90’s aesthetic that dominates each collection.

(Source: FashionGrunge)

With each collection, Lorenzo has maintained a grunge/80’s metal dude aesthetic that from far away, looks like a cross between a scene in the 1986 short documentary Heavy Metal Parking Lot or alternatively, a Pearl Jam video. Lorenzo states his interest in the 90’s grunge scene, his Christian faith, and a steady dose of hip hop inspired the different pieces in the collection.

One point of contention though, is the use of imagery from the era—like putting a near replica of Metallica’s 1984 “Ride the Lightning” tour shirt on one of his boxy silhouettes. Or while saying something like, “I’m not the biggest Judas Priest fan,” in a GQ interview while admitting to wearing old Priest merch. But that brings it back to seeing the logo used for the F.O.G. x Vans X PacSun collaboration popping up on custom sneaker work.

(Source: UpscaleHype)

In the same way that Lorenzo casually charged upwards of $800 for a vintage concert tee with his logo screen-printed on it, taking the F.O.G. logo and using on a pair of custom sneakers seems appropriate. Take these NMD's that customizer @nano0ks made in the style of F.O.G. as a tribute to Kobe—that's paying homage AND taking influence at it's finest.

(Source: @nano0ks)

The Season For Gift Cards

The holiday season can be hectic time for shopping, which is why online shopping has become such a hit in recent years. But often times waiting on your items to ship, like a pair of sneakers for example, can be equally as a stressful. That's why so many big companies like Nike, Vans, Footlocker now have there own eGift card feature that gives online store credit to the person receiving the gift.

(Source: CNN)

It’s a safe to say that people love giving gift cards. When gift cards hit the market in the mid 1990’s, they were an instant hit, virtually eliminating the gift certificate, or “store credit” model that had been the go-to gift for out of touch dads prior to that. Funny backstory, gift cards were actually introduced by Blockbuster Inc. in 1994, and the cultural of gift giving essentially shifted forever (for better or worse, depending who you ask).

Remember this place?

(Source: MentalFloss)

Gift cards gave the recipient something had not had before, which was the power of choice. While you might have gotten a gift card to a video store, you had the power to choose anything you wanted with your card, be it a video game rental, candy, those awesome pre made buckets of popcorn, all three parts of movie trilogy, whatever you wanted within the limits of your card. Mainly, the gift card allowed customers choice, and that's a pretty good present.

Losing a gift card is a bummer, yes; but it’s not like losing your real life credit card or driver's license. Something like 40% of card recipients have actually fessed up to losing gift cards. So it might be time to move beyond the physical gift card in place of something more convenient.

You don't have to lose this anymore.

(Source: ThanksMrPostman)

We like to stay ahead of the curb, so we have an eGift card feature of our own. With the Angelus Direct eGift Card, you can get a $10, $25, $50, or $100 and forward the info to your friends and family, so no shipping time, no wrong gifts, no need to hit up the return counter.


Typically, Week 13 in the NFL means the Regular Season is starting to wrap up. But this season, Week 13 is all about custom cleats because of the #MyCauseMyCleats campaign. Throughout the week, hundreds of players will be wearing custom cleats throughout the week’s games. Seeing as how custom cleats are becoming a topic of controversial for owners, players, and commissioners alike, a few hundred players wearing customs seems like it would be a headache. But the other unique thing going on is that this campaign is fully backed by the NFL higher ups because it raises awareness.

(Source: @signaturecutz)
If you keep up with NFL, you know custom cleats are usually not in line with typical uniform regulation practices. The cool thing is that the players wearing custom cleats to show their commitment and dedication to various causes that they feel strongly about. Many of these clauses are associated with charitable organizations that could use some love. While, it’s not entirely clear if players or teams will be donating money to their chosen causes, it’s still a big win bringing awareness to the field.

(Source: @packers)

For customizers, this was also a big win too. For the handful of lucky sneaker customizers chosen to work on this project, this meant using their work to raise awareness. While plenty of customizers were tapped for this campaign, we’re pretty proud of our sponsored artists for participating, even if some of them have had their work out on the gridiron before (hint: most of them have).

(Source: Raiders)

Longtime Angelus Direct sponsored artist DeJesus Custom Footwear Inc. did these Play 4 Keeps customs for Detroit Lions’ tight end Eric Ebron.

(Source: @dejesuscustoms)

One of our most recent sponsors _theheymann_ did made these customs Stephon Gilmore, cornerback for the Buffalo Bills. They were made to raise awareness for Alzheimer's.

(Source: @_theheymann_)

Dez Customs did these New York First Responder custom cleats for Nick Mangold of the @nyjets.

(Source: @dezcustomz)

Our dude Billy who runs True Blue Customs has been doing cleats for awhile, so it’s pretty clear why Tyler Eifert of the Cincinnati Bengals picked him to do these incredible @warriorwishes cleats to raise awareness for veterans.

(Source: @truebluecustoms)

We can’t forget Dan Gamache, better known as Mache Custom Kicks. Mache is no stranger to creating custom cleats, and might have done the most customs for this campaign.

(Source: @mache275)

Keep an eye out for these cleats throughout the week. Did you make a pair? Tag us at #angelusdirect #MyCauseMyCleats.

Best Sneaker Cleaner? Right Here at Angelus Direct.

Picture this: you’re camped out for the Air Jordan IX Space Jam. You’ve made it inside past the crowds of people and cop a pair. Remember, these are iconic because they’re a retro for Michael Jordan’s “retirement” sneaker after he left the NBA the first time in 1993.
(Source: Sneakernews)
So of course, you want to keep these sneakers perfect. You go home and put them on the shelf, but keep them in the box so the elements don’t mess them up. When you finally decide to wear your IX’s, they’re as crisp as the day you bought them. You wear them out, your boys compliment you, you snap a picture for your followers, etc. On the way home, someone steps on them—or worse, you step into a spot of mud. What do you do? 
If you’re into sneakers, customs, retros or otherwise, you probably know the struggle of keeping your footwear clean. Back when sneaker culture was starting to take off, OG sneakerheads were trying to handle dirt, mud, stains, and all the other inconveniences that mess up a good pair of shoes with detergent, water, and a toothbrush.
(Source: TheShoeGame)
This is isn’t back in the day though, and we’ve moved beyond these methods. Nowadays, there are so many different niche sneaker cleaners, choosing the best one can be overwhelming. But at Angelus Direct, we specialize in turning sneakers into something special and part of that is making premium sneaker cleaner and shoe care products.
Since there’s so much on the market, we’ve tried to simplify the cleaning process with three kits. Two of them are tried-and-true classics, and one is a new cleaner that makes everything that much easier without skimping on the quality that’s earned us over 100K five-star reviews.
When you’re looking for a shoe cleaning product, determine what you need is always best before hand. For general sneaker cleaning, our Easy Cleaner Combo Kit has been the MVP time and again.
Easy Cleaner is cleaning unique solution that works well on sidewalls and soles, but can still handle suede and nubuck. With one of cleaning brushes and a microfiber towel, this is perfect for daily upkeep.
If there’s more suede on your sneakers, like these Air Jordan XI’s, then you’re going to need a slightly different approach to cleaning them. That’s good, because we have something for that too.
Our Suede Cleaner Kit is a little more involved than the sneaker cleaner, but if you’ve ever tried to deal with stains on suede or nubuck, you know that it can tough to bring your shoes back to life.
The trick is having a specialized suede cleaning block that is made for that material only. This way you can work into the stain without changing the texture or color of the material itself. But you need to protect that newly cleaned pair, and Mink Oil is an industry tested standard for protecting shoes. Don’t let any of these other gimmicky sneaker protection companies fool you, Angelus Brand Mink Oil has done the job for decades (literally decades). The Mink Oil - Aerosol makes applying a protective layer to your sneakers even easier.
Lastly, we recently dropped a new cleaner eliminates the mess and does the same hard-working job on your sneakers as Easy Cleaner. Our Foam-Tex Cleaning Kit has everything a sneakerhead needs without having to use water or a bowl.
Essentially, this shoe cleaner comes out as a foam, so you just need to scrub and wipe down and your sneakers are good to go.
When it comes sneaker cleaner, shoe cleaner, and shoe care products, choose Angelus Brand!