How to Clean Hoka Shoes: Clean Hokas the Right Way

How to Clean Hoka Shoes: Clean Hokas the Right Way

Encountered a muddy trail on your last run and now need to clean your Hoka shoes? Or perhaps it's the daily wear and tear that's led to them looking a little worse for the wear?

Don't worry! It's a common scenario for any shoe lover, but knowing how to wash Hoka shoes effectively can make all the difference. Just imagine sliding your feet not into a smelly, grungy pair, but into fresh, clean shoes with a sparkling insole.

Sounds good, doesn't it?

In this blog, we'll break down the cleaning process, ensuring your beloved Hokas are cared for as they deserve. So, if you're ready to clean your shoes, read on!

What are Hoka Shoes?

If you are unfamiliar with Hoka One One, let's introduce you. It's a sportswear company, stylized as HOKA, recognized worldwide for their innovative approach to running shoes. As a leading footwear company, Hoka was founded in the scenic locale of Annecy, France, in 2009.

Their unique designs and relentless pursuit of comfort and functionality have made them a favorite amongst professional athletes and fitness enthusiasts alike. The running shoes they produce are not only aesthetically pleasing but also engineered for performance and durability.

In 2013, Hoka moved its base to Richmond, California, following its acquisition by Deckers Brands. This move marked a new chapter in Hoka's journey, further solidifying its position in the global footwear market.

All in all, Hoka is a brand that truly stands out in the running shoes category, offering an unrivaled blend of style and performance.

Step-by-Step Guide to Cleaning Hokas

The first thing you want when planning to wash your Hoka shoes is to prepare all the things you need to do it effectively.

Here's a list of items you'll need before you can start cleaning:

  • A soft-bristled brush or toothbrush
  • Mild soap or detergent
  • Water
  • A towel for drying
  • Baking soda (if your shoes are extra smelly)

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Step 1: Disassemble Your Shoes

Hoka shoes are commonly designed with removable insoles and laces to facilitate thorough cleaning. Before immersing your shoes in water, it's imperative to remove the insoles and lace to prevent potential damage. This step allows each component to be cleaned individually ensuring overall freshness.

Step 2: Wash the Laces

Once you've removed the laces and insoles from your Hoka shoes, you can choose to either hand wash them or machine wash them. If you opt for the machine wash, use the cold setting to prevent any potential damage.

Fill a basin with cool water and add a few drops of mild laundry detergent. Then, soak the laces and insoles in the solution and gently scrub them clean. Rinse them thoroughly under cool water until all the soap has been removed.

If you prefer machine washing, place the insoles and laces in a mesh laundry bag to protect them during the wash cycle. Add some laundry detergent and set the machine to a gentle cycle with cool water. After the cycle completes, take out the insoles and laces and let them air dry.

Step 3: Remove Excess Dirt and Debris

Before washing, it is important to first remove any excess dirt and grime from your Hoka shoes using a soft brush. This step is crucial as any remaining dirt or debris could cause stains to become more deeply embedded during the washing process.

Gently scrub your shoes with the brush, paying special attention to any areas with visible stains. However, be careful not to scrub too harshly as this may damage the material of the shoes.

By taking the time to properly remove all dirt and grime before washing, you can help ensure your Hoka shoes come out looking as good as new.

Step 4: Prepare Your Cleaning Solution

Now, it's time to prepare your cleaning solution. In a large basin, mix warm water with a small amount of mild soap or detergent to create a gentle soapy mixture. Ensure the mixture is not overly sudsy - a light lather is sufficient for effectively cleaning your Hoka shoes. 

Step 5: Start Cleaning Your Hoka Running Shoes

Dip a clean, soft brush or cloth into the soapy solution and start gently cleaning your Hoka running shoes. Begin with the upper part of the shoe, making sure to scrub all the dirty areas. Pay special attention to heavily stained or extra grimy spots - you might need to spot-clean these areas for more thorough cleanliness.

Once you're done with the uppers, proceed to clean the soles. Keep dipping your brush or cloth in the soapy solution as needed, ensuring you maintain a good amount of lather to effectively lift off all the dirt.

Step 6: Wipe Clean and Dry

After you wash your Hokas, it's time to wipe them clean and prepare them for drying. Using a dry cloth, gently wipe the shoes to remove any remaining soap or water. It's essential to get your shoes as dry as possible with the cloth to prevent any potential water damage. When it's time to air-dry your shoes, always choose a location away from direct heat.

While it might be tempting to speed up the drying process by placing them near a heater or in direct sunlight, this can actually cause damage to the material and alter the fit of your shoes. Instead, find a cool, well-ventilated space where your shoes can dry naturally.

Remember, the key is to let your shoes air-dry slowly, away from direct sunlight and heat.

Recommended Hoka Shoe Care and Weatherproofing

Shoes Deodorizer

Now that you're done with the cleaning process, here are some additional tips to ensure your Hoka shoes last as long as possible:

  1. Waterproof Spray: To keep your shoes dry and clean, use a waterproof spray on the outer surface of your Hokas. This will form a protective layer, preventing water and dirt from penetrating the material.
  2. Odor Prevention: After you wash the shoe, make sure to clean the insoles using a solution of water and distilled white vinegar, which is a natural deodorizer. Then, sprinkle some baking soda inside the shoes. This common household item absorbs moisture and neutralizes odors, keeping your shoes fresh. You can also get a deodorize spray from Stone & Clark for a quick fix. 
  3. Avoid Bleach: Never use bleach or harsh chemicals when cleaning your Hoka shoes. These can damage the material and color of your shoes, reducing their lifespan.
  4. Storage Considerations: After ensuring the shoes dry thoroughly, store your Hokas in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. This helps maintain their shape and prevents the development of unpleasant odors.
  5. Routine Maintenance: Regularly inspect your shoes for signs of wear and tear. Early detection can prevent minor issues from becoming major problems.

By following these tips, you can protect your shoes and keep them in top shape for many running adventures to come. Always remember, the goal is to ensure you get the most out of your investment in Hoka running shoes.

Can You Wash Hokas in the Washing Machine?

While the best way to clean Hoka sneakers is to hand-wash them, this might not always be feasible due to time constraints.

However, it is crucial to note that you should never put your Hoka shoes in the dryer as the direct heat can damage the shoe material or alter their fit. Similarly, putting Hokas in the washing machine can be risky, especially for models made with delicate materials like suede and nubuck.

For these materials, it is best to use a special suede or nubuck cleaner and a soft brush to gently clean your Hokas.

After washing, make sure to dry your shoes effectively. If time permits, air-dry your shoes in a cool, well-ventilated area away from direct sunlight to prevent damage from heat exposure.

When searching for ways to wash Hokas properly, remember that the goal is to maintain the longevity and effectiveness of your running shoes. This means avoiding practices that could compromise the quality of the material, the shoe's structure, or its fit.

By diligently following the recommended steps to clean and care for your shoes, you can ensure that your Hokas are ready for any running adventure.


In the end, learning how to clean your Hoka running shoes can extend their lifespan and keep them in prime condition for many running adventures.

By following these easy steps, you can ensure the shoes are thoroughly cleaned, properly cared for, and adequately air-dried. It's all about taking the right measures to treat your Hokas with the care they deserve.

Remember, let your shoes air dry in a cool, well-ventilated area, away from direct sunlight, to preserve their quality and fit. By doing so, you can make the most of your investment, ensuring your Hokas stay fresh, clean, and ready for any running challenge.

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