In his bag, sports shoes are carefully stored in vacuum-packed plastic. They look like they come straight from the manufacturer, but Dan Desormes has just given them a new life.

The man who calls himself the sneaker surgeon (The Kickz Surgeon) cleans and refurbishes pairs of Nike, New Balance, Adidas, but also Dior, Burberry, Dolce

It’s a job alongside your studies, but it’s serious!

His vocation to save shoes was born during the pandemic. “I like to be active and I’m not capable of doing nothing. I just asked my friends to wash their shoes, he says. I put on my music and it helped me relax. »

Satisfied with the result, his relatives suggested that he go into business and he was registered with the Quebec Business Registry. Word of mouth quickly paid off. “Customers appreciated my work and customer service,” he says with humility.

It must be said that Dan takes care of picking up the shoes to be cleaned until their delivery after they have been refurbished (if it is in Greater Montreal). Beforehand, customers must fill out an online form to choose from three services: regular ($30), deep ($40) or surgical ($60). The ultimate service can provide repair of holes, zippers and clasps, and color restoration.

You can pay extra for sole whitening and express service in less than 48 hours. You can also ask Dan to remove bad odors and stains from a cap and restore its shape. Not bad huh ?

“In our economic and ecological context, it is better to clean your shoes than to buy a new pair,” he argues.

Especially when it comes to rare or collectible espadrilles. Dan even had a customer from Quebec who sent him (by delivery!) his Nikes from the collection of the late Kobe Bryant (Lakers basketball superstar who died tragically in a helicopter accident). Another gave him a pair of Jordan 1s worth $2,000.

The young man estimates cleaning around twenty pairs of espadrilles or shoes per week. “It’s the busy season when people want to step out in clean sneakers. »

Dan Desormes, who has always lived in the Parc-Extension district, had just finished an end-of-term study blitz when we met in the studios of the Never Was Average collective located on rue Saint-Hubert, north of the Plaza.

He studies leisure (with a concentration in management) at Concordia University. “I would like to become a sports director at the high school level,” he says. Sport has always been part of my life and I wanted to give back to the youngest. »

Until last year, Dan was a member of the Stingers, the Concordia football team. He occupied the position of DB (defensive back in French). At CEGEP, he defended the colors of the Nomades of Montmorency College.

Dan also played basketball and soccer seriously. Music is another important part of his journey, since he attended Le Plateau primary school and Pierre-Laporte secondary school. “I was in the music program and I played the tuba. It opened my horizons,” he relates.

Last year, Dan also did capsules on Instagram with musicians, including DJ KidCrayola and rapper Jeekay.

Team sports and music are valuable in a child’s education, he emphasizes. It’s about being part of a group and building something together. “I was in the brass section, but the only tuba in the orchestra,” he says, remembering how imposing the instrument was.

He also wishes to underline the importance that physical education teacher Gabriel Torado, at Pierre-Laporte, had in his career. “I was a little rowdy in class and he believed in me. »

“I saw how much a person who cares about your success can make a significant contribution to a student’s journey. »

Conclusion ? While waiting for him to be a mentor in his turn, you should perhaps take advantage of the time when Dan Desormes is still studying to have your favorite sneakers cleaned!

“I’m going to see where life takes me,” says the 25-year-old who can certainly be described as a quiet force.