how to clean hokas

How to Clean Hokas

Hoka One One is a brand renowned for its high-quality athletic shoes that are often favored by runners and outdoor enthusiasts.

These shoes are designed with ample cushioning and innovative technology to provide excellent comfort, support, and stability.

However, like any other pair of shoes, Hokas can get dirty and require cleaning to maintain their performance and appearance.

1.2 Importance of Cleaning Hokas

Keeping your Hokas clean not only helps in maintaining their aesthetic appeal but also extends their lifespan. Accumulated dirt and grime can degrade the shoe materials over time, while sweat and bacteria can cause unpleasant odors. Regular cleaning also ensures that your Hokas remain comfortable and supportive, crucial for preventing injuries and discomfort during physical activities.

Preparing for the Cleaning Process

2.1 Gather the Necessary Supplies

To clean your Hokas, you’ll need a few basic supplies:

  • A soft-bristle brush or an old toothbrush
  • Mild detergent or a specialized shoe cleaner
  • A clean cloth or sponge
  • Warm water
  • Paper towels or newspaper

2.2 Remove the Laces and Insoles

Before you start cleaning, remove the laces and insoles. This allows you to clean all parts of the shoes thoroughly and helps the shoes dry faster post-cleaning.

2.3 Brush Off Excess Dirt and Debris

Brush off any loose dirt or debris on the shoes using a soft-bristle brush. This makes the washing process easier and more effective.

Cleaning the Upper

3.1 Spot Cleaning Stains and Spills

For stubborn stains, create a mixture of warm water and a small amount of mild detergent. Dip a soft brush into the solution and gently scrub the stain until it lifts. Always test a small area first to ensure the solution doesn’t discolor the material.

3.2 Handwashing the Upper

To handwash the upper part of the shoe, dampen a clean cloth or sponge in your soap solution and gently clean the upper surface in circular motions, focusing on heavily soiled areas. Rinse the soap off with a clean, damp cloth.

3.3 Machine Washing the Upper

While it’s generally recommended to clean Hokas by hand, some models may be machine washable. Always check the manufacturer’s instructions first. If machine washing is permitted, use a gentle cycle, cold water, and a mild detergent. Consider placing the shoes in a mesh laundry bag for extra protection.

Cleaning the Midsole and Outsole

4.1 Removing Dirt and Mud

Use a soft brush to remove dry dirt or mud from the midsole and outsole. If the dirt is caked on, you might need to use a bit of warm water.

4.2 Scrubbing the Midsole

To clean the midsole, use the same warm soapy water mixture and a soft brush. Gently scrub the midsole, then wipe off the soap using a clean, damp cloth.

4.3 Cleaning the Outsole

For the outsole, you may need a stiffer brush to remove embedded dirt in the tread. Use soapy water as needed and scrub thoroughly. Rinse with clean water.

Drying and Air-drying Hokas

5.1 Stuffing the Shoes

After cleaning, stuff your Hokas with paper towels or newspaper. This helps absorb excess water and maintain the shoe’s shape as it dries.

5.2 Air-drying vs. Machine Drying

Always air-dry your Hokas. Machine drying can cause the shoes to shrink or warp, damaging them. Leave them in a well-ventilated area away from direct sunlight or heat sources, as these can degrade the shoe materials.

5.3 Proper Drying Techniques

Allow the shoes to dry naturally, and avoid the temptation to use a hairdryer or heater to speed up the process. If the shoes are especially wet, you may need to replace the stuffing a few times. Ensure the shoes are completely dry before wearing them again to prevent the growth of bacteria and mold.

Odor Removal and Freshening

6.1 Dealing with Odorous Hokas

Odor is a common issue with athletic shoes due to sweat and bacteria. If your Hokas have an unpleasant smell, don’t worry, there are ways to freshen them up.

6.2 Using Baking Soda or Dryer Sheets

Sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda inside the shoes and let it sit overnight. The baking soda will absorb the odors, and you can dump it out the next day. Alternatively, you can place a dryer sheet in each shoe overnight to give them a fresh scent.

6.3 Employing Odor-Eliminating Sprays

There are also specialized shoe deodorizing sprays available on the market. These sprays are designed to eliminate odors without damaging the shoe materials. Always follow the instructions on the product.

Maintaining Hokas for Longevity

7.1 Regular Cleaning Routine

Establish a regular cleaning routine for your Hokas. How often you should clean them depends on how frequently you use them and in what conditions. A good rule of thumb is to clean them whenever they start to look dirty or smell bad. Regular cleaning keeps your shoes looking their best and ensures they last as long as possible.

7.2 Storing and Protecting Hokas

Proper storage is key to maintaining your Hokas. Store them in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. If you won’t be using them for a while, consider using a shoe tree to help them keep their shape. Additionally, there are shoe protector sprays that can offer extra protection against water and stains.

7.3 Tips for Extending Shoe Lifespan

Apart from regular cleaning and proper storage, remember to use your Hokas for their intended purpose. Using running shoes for hiking, for example, can wear them out prematurely. Also, try to rotate between a couple of pairs to avoid overusing one pair.


Cleaning your Hoka shoes might seem like a chore, but it’s a vital part of shoe maintenance that shouldn’t be overlooked.

By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can keep your Hokas clean, comfortable, and in great shape for many miles of use. Regular cleaning, proper drying, and storage not only help to preserve your investment but also contribute to your comfort and performance while wearing the shoes.

Whether you’re a casual walker or a dedicated runner, caring for your Hokas correctly can ensure they serve you well in your athletic endeavors.

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