Although its line of footwear features complex state-of-the-art technologies, learning how to clean Hoka shoes does not require rocket science. You can accomplish this task with rags or paper towels, dish soap, and good air circulation to dry them.
Needless to say, the process can be very tedious knowing that each component requires material-specific cleaning products and washing instructions. Plus, you’re probably tired after trail running!
That’s why we are making our cleaning and maintenance tutorials as easy as possible. Check them out:
Table of Contents
- Before cleaning
- Hand-washing (Preferred Method)
- Washing Instructions for Every Footwear Material and Component
- Drying, Storage, and Other Maintenance Tips
- Other Maintenance Tips
The best way to start is by taking out the insoles and shoelaces. This way, you can get into the shoe’s crevices.
A separate tutorial on how to wash laces is provided under the “Material-specific washing instructions” section. Your insoles, on the other hand, can be hand-washed together with your shoes.
Hand-washing (Preferred Method)
Hand-washing may take more time but it is the least harmful cleaning method. Even Hoka discourages users from using washers and dryers as they tend to degrade the materials quickly.
Unless you have no other choice, we strongly suggest that you wash Hoka shoes by hand. Here is a list of supplies you need:
- Paper towels
- An old-but-clean toothbrush
- A basin or bucket of cold water
- Soap; Hoka recommends any of the following:
- Dish soap
- Anti-dandruff shampoo
- Dye-free detergents
For shoes with Goretex, leather, mesh, or other components that require special care, you can tweak the steps below. Please refer to the “Washing instructions for every footwear material and component” for more information on your specific shoe.
Step 1: Clear away the superficial dirt and stains first
Here’s a pro tip from professional runners: Keep a shoe brush in your car. If your shoes get all muddy, you can brush them away before getting into your car.
Otherwise, proceed to wipe away the excess layers of dirt and dust with some paper towels. Using your brush, reach the nooks and crannies of your shoes.
Step 2: Apply soap and work it through the shoes
Feel free to start wetting your shoes at this point. Apply a few drops of your preferred soaping agent onto the shoe. With the toothbrush, spread the lather across the uppers and soles.
To clean white Hokas, you can apply a small blob of whitening toothpaste on the uppers.
While at it, brush and soap your insoles, too.
Step 3: Remove the suds
There are two ways to rinse the lather from your shoes:
- Hoka suggests wiping away the soapy solution using a damp rag.
- Alternatively, you can rinse them with water.
Your shoes can leave them to dry on their own, which takes up to 48 hours to complete. If you don’t have the time for that, jump to the “Drying and storing” section.
Is it safe to put Hokas in the washer? We said it before and we will say it again—washing Hoka shoes using the laundry machine can weaken the materials. Be aware that this may also void the warranty.
Moreover, leather and suede require different cleaning methods to preserve their quality. For the most part, only canvas, nylon, and polyester are machine-washable.
While hand-washing may be ideal, washing all the sneakers that your family members own is time-consuming.
If you have to use the washer, proceed to these steps with caution:
- 1. Once the excess dirt is removed, place your shoes in an old pillowcase or mesh bag without laces and insoles.
- 2. Put it in the washer. Run it on cold water with no spin and use a gentle cycle only.
- 3. After the cycle is completed, get your shoes from the washer and let them air-dry. Do not use the dryer.
Washing Instructions for Every Footwear Material and Component
You can wash your shoelaces along with your soiled training clothes in the washing machine.
Because these thin strips of webbing tend to get lost in the pile, we recommend placing them in a mesh bag or a clean sock. Also, use your laundry detergent and choose cold water in the washer settings.
2. Canvas and other natural materials
The majority of Hoka shoes are fashioned out of synthetics but it’s best not to assume.
If you find some natural fabric components in the shoes, add this step to the hand-washing instruction we provided earlier:
- Mix equal parts of baking soda and warm water in a small container.
- Apply the solution onto the material with the toothbrush
Hoka Bondi 7 shoes and similar models are designed with mesh uppers.
While no additional supplies are needed to get dirt out of mesh shoes, avoid applying excessive force when scrubbing them.
The correct way to clean it is to delicately dab and blot the uppers using a soft-bristled brush.
Take your time no matter how tempting it is to elbow grease your filthy white Hoka Clifton 8.
If you check the tag or product description and found the word “GORE-TEX,” follow these instructions:
- Fill a bucket with lukewarm water and a few drops of bleach-free liquid detergent.
- Submerge the shoes to clean them inside and out.
- Allow them to air dry through it.
- Spray durable water-repellent agent. Do not use waxes as they can make the shoes less breathable.
5. Nubuck and suede
Several Hoka lifestyle and hiking shoes are composed of suede and nubuck—two materials that are susceptible to damage when exposed to water.
If you own one of these, be sure to have a suede brush, as well as suede and nubuck cleaners at home.
- Ideally, these types of leather are fully dried before you commence with the cleaning process. You can do this by blotting the shoes with dry rags to absorb the moisture.
- Next, use a suede brush to draw out the dirt. When brushing, it is important to follow the direction of the grain.
- Apply the specialized nubuck and suede cleaner per the manufacturer’s directions. Then use another dry rag to remove the moisture once more.
Hiking shoes like the Anacapa are constructed out of leather. You can clean them with water and dish soap, following the hand-washing instructions above.
Wipe away the moisture with a clean rag and leave the shoes air-dry. After that, sprinkle them with baking soda to remove the odor.
Drying, Storage, and Other Maintenance Tips
By now, your shoes are drenched and now it’s time to dry them. Below are some of the things you can do to get the moisture out without damaging them:
- Dry your shoes, laces, and insoles separately and assemble them once they are fully dried.
- Choose a shaded area with moderate temperatures. Do not use a dryer, blow dryer, or any heating appliance. If you want to speed things up, you can use a fan.
Per the manufacturer’s recommendations, undo the laces and bring out the tongue. Opening your shoes this way allows the air to pass through and dry all the sweat, oils, and other moisture quicker.
Rest your shoes with their soles flat on the shelf or flooring instead of stacking all your sneakers on top of each other. This method helps maintain the shape of the shoes since their materials do not get pressed and compressed by another pair.
Other Maintenance Tips
Tip 1: Wear a couple of shoes alternatingly each day. As such, each pair is given ample time to dry. Moreover, it prevents them from wearing down quickly.
Tip 2: Once the shoes are dried, feel free to re-apply waterproofing agents if needed.
How often should I clean my Hoka shoes?
Once a month is enough to keep your Hoka shoes clean and stink-free. But if your sneakers are muddy, let the cake dry to leave them to dry and solidify as they are a lot easier to remove. After that, you can start cleaning.
Do Hoka shoes shrink after cleaning?
Yes, some of the shoe components are made of materials that are prone to shrinking such as cotton canvas and other synthetics.
How long do Hokas usually last?
Hoka sneakers can be replaced once the user puts 250 to 500 miles in them. Of course, Some users claim that theirs last longer than that.
Without a doubt, Hoka shoes are highly durable. But keep in mind that their material composition is vulnerable to heat.
That’s why the brand encourages customers to wash their shoes only by hand and leave them to dry. While this may be laborious, it helps protect your running shoes against the damage caused by washers and dryers.
Even though we included machine-washing instructions in the tutorials on how to clean Hoka shoes, this should only be your last resort.
Veronica is our content editor. She is a talent in delivery. Her main work is editing and writing articles that are both informative and simple to follow. She is in charge of synthesizing our understanding of what personal protection equipment (PPE) is needed in each job, how to best apply it, and how to visualize that equipment.