Like many people, I don't like to throw away perfectly useful shoes, especially not Vans that I found second-hand for seven bucks Canadian. This is how I restored them.
The right-foot shoe was my control, and the left-foot shoe was my first test.
Step 1: Materials
You will need:
Your scruffy shoes
A plastic scrubber (or steel wool) -A friend of mine recommended using a toothbrush, but I found that it couldn't scrub hard enough.