The Best Way to Clean HOKA Shoes

Hoka shoes have gained immense popularity among athletes and fitness enthusiasts due to their exceptional cushioning and support. Whether you wear them for running, hiking, or daily use, your Hoka shoes will inevitably gather dirt, mud, and debris.

To keep your Hoka shoes in optimal condition and extend their lifespan, regular cleaning is essential.

This article will walk you through the best way to clean Hoka shoes, ensuring they look as good as new ones.

Step-by-Step Guide: How to Clean HOKA Shoes

Here’s the complete guide to cleaning the Hokas in the best way.

Materials Required

Soft-bristled brush or toothbrush

Mild detergent 

A microfiber cloth for drying

Cleaning process

Step 1: Remove Laces and Insoles

Start by removing the laces and insoles from your Hoka shoes. This will enable you to thoroughly clean your shoes and protect the laces from getting tangled or damaged during the cleaning process.

Step 2: Brush Away Loose Dirt

Use a soft-bristled brush to gently remove loose dirt, mud, or debris from your Hoka shoes. Be sure to focus on crevices and seams where dirt can gather. 

This initial brushing effectively cleans the surface without causing any damage to the shoe’s materials.

Step 3: Create a Soapy Solution

Combine a small amount of mild detergent in a container or bowl with cold water. Choose a gentle detergent to avoid any harm to your shoes. Stir until it becomes a soapy mixture.

Mix 1 tablespoon of mild detergent into 1 cup of cold water.

Step 4: Scrub the Shoes

Soak your soft-bristled brush in the soapy mixture. Start gently scrubbing your Hoka shoes, primarily focusing on spots with stains or heavy dirt.

Use a circular motion for tough areas, but be careful not to scrub too hard to avoid damaging the shoe’s surface.

Step 5: Cleaning and Drying

Take a clean towel or a microfiber cloth and immerse it in cold, clean water. Squeeze the towel to remove excess water, ensuring it’s not dripping wet.

Gently pat your shoes with the damp towel to rinse off any remaining soapy residue. Afterward, use a dry towel to blot away any excess water from your shoes.

Then, let your shoes air dry naturally, away from direct heat sources.

Related Article: How To Clean Hoka Tennis Shoes

best way to clean HOKA shoes

Cleaning and Care for Different HOKA Materials

1. Mesh HOKA Shoes:

1. Mesh uppers are breathable and lightweight, yet they can gather dirt fast. To keep them clean, begin by brushing off loose debris with a gentle brush. 

2. Then, mix a mild detergent with water to create a soapy solution. Gently scrub the mesh using a soft brush or cloth, paying attention to stained areas.

3. Rinse the shoes thoroughly with clean water to remove all the soap residue. Moreover, if you are worried about the shoes, then you can remove the remaining soap by using a clean cloth. Just dip the cloth in clean water and start cleaning.

2. Leather HOKA Shoes

1. Leather is a durable material but requires special care to prevent cracking or drying out. Begin by wiping off surface dirt with a clean, damp cloth.

2. For deeper cleaning, use a leather cleaner or a mixture of mild soap and water. Dip a clean cloth into the mixture and start rubbing over the shoes, avoiding excessive moisture. 

3. After cleaning, apply a leather conditioner to keep the leather moisturized. Allow the shoes to air dry naturally.

3. Suede or Nubuck HOKA Shoes

Remove Surface Dirt:

Begin by using a suede brush to gently brush away any loose dirt or debris. Brush in one direction to avoid damaging the fibers.

Spot Cleaning: 

For stains, use a specialized suede or nubuck cleaner. Apply a small amount of the cleaner to a clean, soft cloth and gently rub the stained area in a circular motion.

After cleaning, use a separate clean cloth to blot away excess moisture and dirt.

Restoring Nap: 

Suede and nubuck have a soft, textured surface called the “nap.” After cleaning, restore the nap by brushing the entire shoe with a suede or nubuck brush. Brush gently and uniformly in one direction to maintain the material’s appearance.

Avoid machine washing these shoes, as they are much more susceptible to moisture and can easily be damaged in this cleaning process.


1. Start by removing loose dirt and debris from your Gore-Tex Hoka shoes. Use a soft brush or cloth to gently wipe off the remaining dirt.

2. In a bowl or bucket, mix cold water with a small amount of mild detergent. Then start cleaning the shoes by using a brush. 

3. Once you’ve cleaned them, rinse the shoes thoroughly with cold water to get rid of any soap residue. Make sure there’s no detergent left on the surface or inside the shoes.

As these shoes are waterproof, you can also submerge them in water. 

To do that, in a spacious bowl, mix cold water with a small amount of mild detergent. Submerge your shoes in the soapy solution for about 3–5 minutes.

After soaking, remove your shoes and clean them with the brush. In the last step, gently blot away excess moisture with a clean, dry towel and let your shoes air-dry.

The Best Way to Clean HOKA Shoes in the Washing Machine

Note that HOKA does not recommend machine washing their shoes, as it can damage the glue and fastenings. However, if you choose to machine wash your HOKA shoes, follow these steps carefully to minimize the risk of damage.

1. Before machine washing, remove the shoelaces and insoles from your Hoka shoes. This will ensure better cleaning and protect these parts from damage.

2. Place your Hoka shoes inside a mesh laundry bag. The mesh bag keeps your shoes safe during machine washing and reduces the chance of them getting tangled with other items.

3. Use a small amount of mild liquid detergent and set your washing machine to a gentle cycle with cold water.

For a clearer view, you should select the ‘small’ load size to use less water.

Choose the cool water setting to avoid damaging the shoe materials, and set the spin mode to gentle to minimize the risk of tangling or deforming the shoes during the wash. 

These settings are designed to ensure a gentle and appropriate cleaning process for your delicate shoes.

Once the wash cycle is complete, remove the shoes from the washing machine and let them air dry. Do not put the shoes in the dryer, as this could damage the materials.

Suggested Reading: Can I Wash My HOKAs in the Washing Machine?

a picture of clean Hoka shoe

How to Maintain Your HOKA Shoes

1. Clean your shoes regularly

Maintaining your Hoka tennis shoes is as simple as creating a regular cleaning routine. This not only keeps your shoes looking sharp but also extends their lifespan.

After a day of wear, take a moment to gently wipe off any visible dirt or debris with a soft cloth or brush. This quick routine not only helps prevent dirt from accumulating but also keeps your shoes looking clean and presentable.

While a daily wipe-down is great for regular upkeep, it’s also beneficial to schedule a more thorough cleaning every few weeks.

2. Storing the Shoes 

Proper storage is crucial for preserving the condition of your Hoka shoes. Always store them in a cool, dry place. Avoid leaving them in direct sunlight or humid environments, as both can adversely affect the shoe materials.

Moreover, use shoetrees or newspapers to maintain the shape of the shoes while storing them. Both shoe trees and newspapers serve as practical tools for preserving the shape and condition of your shoes during storage. 

Shoe trees are more effective at maintaining shape, while a newspaper is a budget-friendly option that also helps with moisture absorption. Depending on your preference and the value of your shoes, you can choose the option that best suits your needs.

3. Proper Drying

After cleaning or if your shoes get wet, allow them to dry naturally in a room with a moderate temperature. Avoid direct heat from sources like heaters or sunlight, as they can distort or deform the materials.

4. Using Waterproofing spray

Using waterproofing spray on your Hoka shoes can be highly beneficial in maintaining their condition and performance, especially if they are designed for outdoor activities or made with materials like Gore-Tex.

It helps in maintaining the shoes in many ways, such as protection from moisture, stain resistance, breathability maintenance, etc.

Related Article: How to Clean Hoka Bondi 7 Shoes


Q1. Do I need to remove the insoles when cleaning my Hoka shoes?

It’s a good practice to remove the insoles when cleaning your Hoka shoes. Insoles can trap moisture and odors over time, and removing them while cleaning helps you tackle any dampness or odors inside the shoes more effectively.

This also ensures that both your shoes and insoles get a thorough cleaning and proper drying. After taking out the insoles, you can clean them separately if necessary to maintain their cushioning and prolong their lifespan.

Once both the shoes and insoles are clean and completely dry, you can put the insoles back in for a fresh and comfortable wearing experience.

Q2. Can I wash my HOKA insoles?

Yes, you can wash your Hoka insoles. After removing the insoles from your shoes, you can use a soft-bristled toothbrush or a gentle scrubbing brush to remove dirt and grime. 

You can also create a cleaning solution by mixing a few drops of dishwashing soap or laundry detergent with cool water, then dip the brush in the solution and gently scrub the insoles. 

After cleaning, it’s a good practice to stuff the shoes with newspaper to help them maintain their shape during the drying process.

Ensure that both the insoles and the shoes are allowed to air dry naturally, away from direct heat and sunlight. This process helps maintain the cleanliness and comfort of your Hoka shoes.

Q3. How do you get the smell out of HOKA shoes?

Use an Odor-Fighting Agent: After cleaning your shoes, you can introduce an odor-fighting agent like baking soda or a dryer sheet. These substances help absorb and neutralize odors.

Use Vinegar: Mixing white vinegar with water and spraying it inside the shoes can be an effective way to combat odor. Vinegar’s natural antibacterial properties help kill odor-causing bacteria.

Use Soap: Placing a bar of soap inside each shoe and leaving it overnight can help eliminate odors. Soap not only kills bacteria but also absorbs and replaces unpleasant odors with a clean, soapy scent.

Use Sunshine: Drying out excess moisture in your shoes by placing them in direct sunlight for a few hours can help prevent odor buildup. Sunlight also has antibacterial properties that can reduce odors.

Wear Socks: Wearing moisture-absorbing socks is an excellent preventive measure. Socks help absorb sweat and moisture produced by your feet, reducing the chances of odor developing inside your shoes.

It’s important to consider the material of your Hoka shoes and choose methods that are safe and suitable for that material. Also, regular shoe cleaning and good shoe hygiene practices can go a long way in preventing odor buildup.

Q4. Can you replace HOKA insoles?

Yes, you can replace Hoka insoles. Hoka shoes often come with removable insoles, making it convenient to replace them when needed. 

If you find that your insoles have worn out or lost their cushioning and support, you can easily purchase replacement insoles that are compatible with your Hoka shoe model. 

When choosing replacement insoles, it is important to consider factors such as arch support, cushioning, and fit. It is also recommended to choose insoles that are designed for running or sports activities to ensure they can withstand the impact of running.

These replacement insoles can be found at shoe stores, online retailers, or directly from Hoka.


Cleaning your Hoka shoes is an important part of maintaining their quality and extending their lifespan. The best way to clean Hoka shoes involves a few simple yet effective steps:

First, remove the laces and insoles from your shoes. Next, you can hand wash your shoes using a soft-bristled toothbrush and a mixture of cool water combined with dishwashing soap.

If you prefer machine washing, use a mesh washing bag and opt for the gentle cycle. 

After cleaning, it’s essential to stuff your shoes with newspaper. This helps maintain their shape during the drying process. 

Allow your shoes to air dry naturally. Use an odor-fighting agent like baking soda or a dryer sheet to get rid of any unpleasant smells.

Remember, regular cleaning and maintenance can help prevent odor buildup and prolong the life of your shoes. By following these guidelines, you can keep your Hoka shoes in top-notch condition, ready to take on your next adventure

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