Hoka shoes are known for their innovative design and cushioning, popular among runners, hikers, and outdoor enthusiasts. Like any sports shoes, these can get dirty, stained, and smelly over time, affecting how they look and perform. Properly cleaning Hoka shoes is important for their appearance and durability, as well as maintaining their support and comfort.
In this guide, we’ll show you different cleaning methods to keep your Hoka shoes in top shape. We’ll cover hand-cleaning methods, specialized solutions, and steps to remove dirt, stains, and odors. This guide will help you care for your Hoka footwear, whether you’re a trail runner or a walker.
What are Hoka shoes?
Hoka shoes are famous for their unique design and great cushioning technology. These shoes are very popular among runners, hikers, and athletes. Hoka shoes stand out for their maximalist cushioning, offering unmatched comfort and impact protection. Hoka shoes have a larger midsole with soft and responsive foam. This design reduces joint and muscle impact, making it preferred for comfortable high-impact activities.
Hoka shoes are for all athletes, with different models for different preferences and terrains. Hoka has shoes for all your road, trail, and endurance needs. Hoka is committed to innovation in materials and construction, prioritizing lightweight and breathable fabrics for your comfort during long hours of activity.
Simple Steps to Clean Your Hoka Shoes
Cleaning Hoka shoes is crucial for performance, longevity, and appearance. Hoka shoes are made for running, hiking, and outdoor activities. They can get dirty and smelly. Here’s a guide on cleaning your Hoka shoes:
Materials You’ll Need
- Hoka Shoes: The shoes you want to clean.
- Soft-Bristled Brush: A soft brush (like a toothbrush or shoe brush) to remove loose dirt and debris.
- Mild Detergent: Use a mild, eco-friendly detergent or a specialized shoe cleaner.
- Warm Water: To mix with the detergent for cleaning.
- Sink or Bucket: For soaking and cleaning the shoes.
- Soft Cloth or Sponge: To scrub and wipe the shoes.
- Old Toothbrush: Great for cleaning the grooves and hard-to-reach areas.
- Towels: To dry the shoes.
- Shoe Inserts or Shoe Trees (optional): To help maintain the shape of the shoes during cleaning and drying.
- Sunshine (optional): Natural sunlight can help eliminate odors and bacteria.
To clean your Hoka shoes effectively, proper preparation is crucial. Remove the shoelaces from your shoes. This step is important to clean every part of the shoe’s upper effectively. Removing the laces prevents them from getting wet while cleaning. Also, it helps clean the tongue, which can accumulate dirt and sweat. Without laces, you can clean more effectively.
Brush Off the Dirt
Now clean the surface dirt and grime on your shoes. Use a soft brush, like an old toothbrush or shoe brush, to gently clean the entire shoe. Watch the outsole for trapped dirt and rocks in the tread. Removing loose debris prevents it from getting stuck in the shoe’s fabric or mesh, making cleaning harder later on. This step prepares for a better cleaning process.
Make a Cleaning Solution
Now, let’s make a cleaning solution after removing the initial dirt. Get a basin, sink, or bucket and fill it with warm water. The temperature should be warm enough to avoid shoe damage, but still effective against stains and grime. Add a bit of detergent or shoe cleaner to the water.
Avoid using too much detergent on your shoes to prevent soap residue. Check the product instructions for the recommended dilution ratio or use a small amount to create a gentle, soapy mixture for cleaning your Hoka shoes without causing damage.
Soak the Shoes
Now, immerse your Hoka shoes in the cleaning solution. Gently dip them in soapy water, making sure they’re not fully submerged to avoid water getting inside the shoe. This step allows warm, soapy water to penetrate the shoe’s fabric or mesh, making it easier to remove dirt and stains later.
Soak the shoes for 15-20 minutes. You can gently agitate the water to activate the detergent. Soaking is important for cleaning as it breaks down dirt and stains, making them easier to scrub later.
Scrub the Shoes
Now, let’s dive into the cleaning process. Take out your Hoka shoes from the soapy water and get ready to scrub them. Use a soft cloth or sponge to gently scrub the shoe’s upper, tongue, and insoles. Scrubbing gently removes dirt and stains.
Avoid applying excessive pressure to prevent damage or color fading. To remove tough stains, use an old toothbrush. The toothbrush’s small bristles effectively target specific areas and crevices. Take your time and cover all areas of the shoe.
Now, remove any remaining soap and dirt after cleaning. Thoroughly rinse shoes under cold water. Rinse both the outside and inside of the shoe to remove soap residue. Check the soapy water for suds, which may indicate leftover detergent on your shoes. Keep rinsing until the water is clear and all soap and dirt are gone. Rinsing is important to prevent residue and skin irritation.
Dry the Shoes
Now, let’s dry your Hoka shoes thoroughly. Use a clean towel to gently pat the shoes dry. Avoid wringing or twisting the shoe to prevent damage. Remove as much moisture as possible to speed up drying. Shoe inserts or trees can be helpful now. Put them in the shoes to keep their shape while drying.
Don’t use direct heat sources like radiators, heaters, or hairdryers as they can damage the shoe’s materials. Let your shoes air dry in a well-ventilated area at room temperature. The duration varies based on shoe material and humidity. Be patient and avoid rushing the drying process.
Reassemble and Lace up
After drying, reassemble your Hoka shoes. Put the insoles back in the shoes and lace them up with fresh shoelaces. This step restores your shoes and prepares them for your next adventure. Lacing shoes properly improves support, fit, comfort, and performance.
Odor Control (optional)
To tackle lingering odors in your Hoka shoes, try an optional step after cleaning. Add baking soda to shoes, and leave overnight. Baking soda is great for absorbing and neutralizing odors. The next day, shake out the excess baking soda and your shoes will be fresher. This step is especially helpful if you use Hoka shoes for sweaty sports or activities, as it fight odors and keeps them fresh.
Alternative Methods for Cleaning Your Hoka Shoes
Here are alternative ways to clean your Hoka shoes, based on your preferences and shoe materials:
1. Washing with a Machine
Machine washing Hoka shoes is a convenient and effective way to deep clean them. Remove shoelaces and insoles from shoes. This step prevents tangling or damage to the components during washing.
- To protect your shoes, put them in a laundry bag or pillowcase. The extra layer protects your shoes from getting scuffed or damaged by the washing machine’s motion.
- Choose a gentle cycle and cold water on your washing machine to avoid shrinking or damaging the shoe’s materials.
- Add a bit of detergent to the washing machine. It effectively cleans shoes without being harsh.
- After finishing the cycle, take out the shoes and accessories from the laundry bag or pillowcase. Let them air dry naturally, avoiding heat sources.
Machine washing is best for durable shoes with mesh or synthetic uppers. Avoid using this method for leather shoes as the washing machine can harm them.
2. Wipes for Cleaning
Cleaning wipes are a handy option for quickly cleaning or treating your Hoka shoes. You can buy sneaker cleaning wipes or use baby wipes instead. These wipes are pre-moistened with a safe cleaning solution for most shoe materials.
To clean Hoka shoes, wipe gently with a cleaning wipe. Target visible dirt, stains, and scuff marks. The wipes effectively lift dirt and grime, refreshing shoes easily.
Cleaning wipes are convenient but may not be as thorough as hand-cleaning for tough dirt or stains. They are useful for regular maintenance and keeping your shoes presentable between cleanings.
3. Hydrogen Peroxide for Whitening
To whiten stained or discolored white Hoka shoes, hydrogen peroxide can help. To use this method:
- Mix hydrogen peroxide and water in a bowl. The mixture should be diluted to protect the shoe’s materials.
- Dampen cloth or sponge with hydrogen peroxide and water.
- Gently scrub the white parts of your Hoka shoes, focusing on stains or discoloration. Hydrogen peroxide whitens material as a bleach alternative.
- Rinse the shoes well with water to remove any leftover hydrogen peroxide.
- Let the shoes air dry. Avoid direct heat sources to prevent material deterioration.
Hydrogen peroxide can whiten white shoes, but be cautious using it on colored shoes as it may cause fading or discoloration. Test a small area of the shoe with hydrogen peroxide before applying it to the entire shoe to check for any color damage.
4. Freeze to Remove Odors
To remove persistent odors from your Hoka shoes, try the freezing method. It can help neutralize unwanted smells. Here’s how it works:
- Put your shoes in a sealed plastic bag. This step is important to prevent odors from spreading to other items in your freezer.
- Freeze the bagged shoes overnight. The freezer’s cold temperatures kill odor-causing bacteria and fungi.
- Remove the shoes from the freezer the next day. As they thaw, ice crystals may form on the surface. Use a dry cloth to remove any moisture.
- Air out your shoes in fresh air and sunlight to eliminate odors. Sunlight kills bacteria and removes odors.
Freezing is great for removing tough odors from shoes used for intense activities. Note that it may not work for all odors or stains. Regular maintenance and cleaning are important to prevent shoe odors.
How Often Should I Clean My Hoka Shoes?
The cleaning frequency for Hoka shoes depends on factors like usage frequency and conditions. It’s best to clean your Hoka shoes regularly for performance and longevity.
For everyday wear, cleaning them every few weeks or once a month is enough. Regular cleaning prevents dirt, dust, and sweat buildup on shoes, keeping them comfortable and odor-free.
For intense activities like running, hiking, or trail running, clean your Hoka shoes more often. These activities make your shoes dirtier and sweatier. It’s good to clean your Hoka shoes after each use. This preserves their appearance and maintains the integrity of the materials and cushioning that make Hoka shoes comfortable.
If your Hoka shoes have been through tough conditions, like muddy trails or rainy hikes, clean them promptly. Neglected mud and moisture can cause lasting damage. Rinse off mud and dirt, air dry before storing or wearing again.
Can I Clean my Hoka Shoes in Washing machine?
Washing Hoka shoes in a machine can be convenient, but be cautious and follow guidelines to avoid damage. The safety of using a washing machine for Hoka shoes depends on their materials and construction.
Always check the care label and manufacturer’s cleaning instructions for your Hoka shoe model. Certain Hoka shoes can be machine washed, as indicated on the label. If your shoes are machine washable, proceed with caution to avoid damage.
To wash machine-washable Hoka shoes, follow these steps:
- Remove shoelaces and insoles for a thorough cleaning.
- Put the shoes, including the laces and insoles, in a laundry bag or pillowcase to keep them safe while washing.
- Clean your shoes with a gentle cycle using cold water and mild detergent. Avoid harsh detergents or bleach.
- After finishing the cycle, take out the shoes from the laundry bag or pillowcase.
If your Hoka shoes aren’t labeled as machine washable, it’s best not to use a washing machine. The washing machine can damage the shoe’s materials, adhesive, and structure, causing premature wear.
Can I machine wash my Hoka shoes?
You can machine wash Hoka shoes, but check the care label and Hoka’s recommendations for your specific model. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for machine washable items. To clean shoes, remove laces and insoles, put them in a laundry bag or pillowcase, and wash them with cold water and mild detergent. Note that this method may not work for all shoe types, particularly those with leather uppers.
Safe to bleach Hoka shoes?
No, it’s not recommended to bleach Hoka shoes. Bleach can harm materials, cause discoloration, and weaken shoe structure. Instead, use milder cleaning methods like soapy water, hydrogen peroxide for whitening white shoes, or specialized shoe cleaning products.
Clean Hoka shoes after each run or hike?
You don’t have to clean your Hoka shoes after every run or hike, but it’s a good idea to clean them regularly, especially if they get dirty or sweaty. Cleaning maintains shoe performance, prevents odors, and extends lifespan. Clean them every few weeks or when visibly needed.
Can I dry my Hoka shoes in the dryer?
Avoid drying Hoka shoes in a dryer or with direct heat sources like radiators or heaters. Heat can damage shoes, causing them to lose shape or melt certain parts. Let your shoes air dry and use inserts to maintain their shape.
Safe to pressure wash Hoka shoes?
Avoid pressure washing Hoka shoes. High-pressure water can damage the shoe’s interior and protective coatings. Use gentle cleaning methods like hand washing with soap and water.
Should I avoid getting my Hoka shoes wet?
It’s not necessary to always keep your Hoka shoes dry, but it’s best to avoid prolonged exposure to water and wet conditions. Waterproof Hoka shoes are available for wet environments. If your shoes get wet, let them air dry completely to prevent mold and odor.
Can I use a hairdryer to dry faster?
Don’t use a hairdryer to dry your Hoka shoes. Using a hairdryer can damage shoes, causing them to lose shape and structure. It’s best to let them air dry at room temperature for longevity.
Do I need to clean the insoles of my Hoka shoes?
Cleaning Hoka shoe insoles is recommended. Insoles absorb sweat and odors, causing unpleasant smells. To clean them, remove them from the shoes, wipe them with a damp cloth, and air dry them. Sprinkle baking soda to remove odors.
How should I store my Hoka shoes to maintain their shape?
Properly storing Hoka shoes maintains their shape. Use shoe trees or inserts to maintain the shape of your shoes when not in use. Don’t stack heavy objects on your shoes, as it can deform them. Store them in a cool, dry place away from sunlight to prevent fading and damage.
Can I wash my orthopedic insoles or custom inserts in a washing machine?
Using washing machines for orthopedic insoles or custom inserts is not recommended. High agitation in a washing machine can harm specialized inserts, changing their shape or compromising their support. Clean them by hand with a damp cloth and mild detergent or follow care instructions from your orthopedic specialist.
Cleaning Hoka shoes is vital for their performance and durability, not just for looks. With this guide, keep your Hoka shoes in top shape for running, hiking, and outdoor adventures.
Regular cleaning keeps your footwear clean, fresh, and lasting longer. Whether you clean your Hoka shoes gently or use specialized methods, the result is the same: well-maintained shoes that look great and provide the cushioning and support you need.