I've gotten some recent messages from some people who want to learn how to paint or customize their shoes as a hobby, or something they just do for themselves.
This video SHOULD answer a lot of the questions a beginner would have about cleaning and painting a sneaker.
Some other questions I get:
1. What paint should I use? Angelus paint. It's specifically meant for leather, sneakers, and sneaker artists.
2. What brushes should I use?
I would start off with getting angular brushes, fillet or round brushes, and multiple sizes of detail brushes.
3. How long does it take to paint my shoes?
Well that depends on you. If you're taping sections off, that can add on time. I don't anymore, but as a beginner I would suggest it so you can at least get familiar with taping off sections so the edges are flush.
4. Where can I buy those cleaning brushes? I purchased mine from Reshoven8r, that came with a kit, but I'm sure you can find some cleaning brushes on Amazon. 5. I've developing creasing in the toe box. What do I do? Personally it doesn't bother me. Sneakers are meant to be worn and a little wear doesn't hurt anybody. But there are "sneaker shields" you can buy to go inside the shoe, that'll protect the toe box from future creasing. Though, I've tried a few different brands and I find them uncomfortable to wear.
Google "sneaker shields" though and see for yourself. You may find that it's the solution you've been looking for.