can i put my hoka shoes in the washing machine

Can I Put My Hoka Shoes in the Washing Machine?

Last Updated on September 2, 2023

The longevity and performance of your Hoka shoes significantly depend on how you care for them. While they’re designed to withstand rigorous use, Hoka shoes, like any footwear, can still succumb to wear and tear when not properly maintained. Although machine washing might seem like an easy fix, there are several factors to consider before tossing your Hoka shoes into the machine.

Can I Put my Hoka Shoes in the Washing Machine?

Hoka shoes can technically be washed in a washing machine, although it is generally not recommended, due to the potential risk of damaging the shoes’ structure and materials. Machine washing should only be done sparingly and with caution to avoid causing unnecessary wear and tear.

Regular machine washing can degrade the materials of the shoe, leading to reduced performance and a shortened lifespan. If you choose to machine wash your Hoka shoes, ensure you use a gentle cycle, cold water, and place the shoes in a wash bag to protect them from the harsh machine environment.

Let’s look at the preferred methods of cleaning Hoka shoes, including careful machine washing.

Hand Washing Hoka Shoes

Cleaning your Hoka shoes by hand is a gentle approach. It protects the shoe material. Let’s see how to do it.

  1. Gather Your Supplies: Get a basin or sink, warm water, a mild detergent, a soft brush, and clean towels. An old toothbrush works fine too.
  2. Prepare the Cleaning Solution: Fill the basin with warm water. Add a few drops of mild detergent. Mix it until suds form. Avoid harsh cleaners or bleach. They can damage the shoes.
  3. Remove Laces and Insoles: If possible, take out the laces and insoles. Clean them separately for thoroughness.
  4. Pre-Clean the Shoes: Brush off loose dirt and debris before soaking. It makes the cleaning more effective.
  5. Soak and Scrub: Submerge your shoes in the solution. Wait a few minutes. Then use a soft brush to scrub the shoes gently. Pay special attention to the soles. They are usually the dirtiest.
  6. Rinse Thoroughly: Rinse your shoes under clean, running water. Ensure no soap residues are left. They can leave marks.
  7. Pat Dry: Use a clean towel to pat your shoes dry. It removes excess water. It also speeds up the drying process.
  8. Air Dry: Let your shoes air dry in a well-ventilated area. Keep them away from direct sunlight or heat sources. They can shrink or warp the shoes.
  9. Condition (if applicable): If your Hoka shoes have leather parts, use a leather conditioner after drying. It keeps the leather soft. It prevents cracking.
  10. Replace Insoles and Laces: Once everything is dry, put back the insoles and laces.

Hand washing requires time and effort. But, it’s worth it. It keeps your Hoka shoes in top condition for a longer time.

Spot Cleaning Hoka Shoes

Spot cleaning is an effective and quick method for addressing stains or dirt on specific areas of your Hoka shoes. This method is particularly helpful when you’re short on time or dealing with minor dirt issues. Here’s a detailed guide:

  1. Gather Your Supplies: You will need a bowl, warm water, mild detergent, a cloth or sponge, and clean dry towels.
  2. Prepare the Cleaning Solution: In your bowl, mix warm water with a small amount of mild detergent until it forms suds. The concentration should be enough to tackle the stains but not too strong to cause damage.
  3. Remove Loose Dirt: Use a dry brush to remove any loose dirt from the area you’re planning to clean. This will ensure that the dirt doesn’t get rubbed into the fabric during the cleaning process.
  4. Spot Clean: Dip a cloth or sponge into the solution and gently blot the stained or soiled areas. Rub gently and avoid hard scrubbing as it may damage the material. Repeat this process as necessary until the stain is gone.
  5. Rinse: After spot cleaning, it’s important to remove any detergent residue from your shoes. Rinse the cleaned areas with a cloth dampened with clean water.
  6. Dry: Pat the shoes dry with a clean towel. Absorb as much water as possible to expedite the drying process.
  7. Air Dry: Allow your shoes to completely air dry in a well-ventilated area, away from direct sunlight or heat sources. Direct sunlight can fade the color of your shoes, while extreme heat can cause them to shrink or warp.
  8. Assess: Once your shoes are dry, check the cleaned areas. If you still see stains, you might need to repeat the process or consider a more intensive cleaning method.
  9. Freshen Up: Consider using a shoe deodorizer to freshen up your Hoka shoes after they’re completely dry. This will keep them smelling fresh, especially if they’re regularly exposed to sweat.

Spot cleaning is a crucial skill in maintaining your Hoka shoes, as it allows you to quickly address spills or stains before they set and become harder to remove. Remember, the sooner you can clean a stain, the better the results will be.

Machine Washing Hoka Shoes

Machine washing can be a last resort method for cleaning your Hoka shoes. While not generally recommended due to potential damage to the shoe’s structure and materials, it can be performed with caution under specific circumstances. Here’s an extended guide:

  1. Check the Manufacturer’s Instructions: First and foremost, check any care instructions provided by Hoka. Certain models may be more or less suitable for machine washing.
  2. Preparation: Start by removing any loose dirt or debris from the shoes using a dry brush. Unlace your shoes and remove the insoles, if they’re removable. These elements can be washed separately to ensure a comprehensive clean.
  3. Use a Wash Bag: If you have a mesh wash bag (often used for delicate items), consider placing your shoes inside for extra protection during the wash. This can help prevent them from being tossed around too vigorously.
  4. Prepare the Machine: Set your washing machine to a gentle cycle, which will subject your shoes to less agitation. Cold water is recommended to prevent any potential damage from heat.
  5. Detergent Choice: Use a mild detergent for washing. Avoid any bleach-based products or fabric softeners as they can damage the material of your shoes.
  6. Balance the Load: If you’re not using a wash bag, it’s a good idea to add some towels into the machine to balance the load and provide some extra cushioning for your shoes.
  7. Start the Cycle: Once you’ve checked all these steps, you can start the wash cycle.
  8. Air Dry: After washing, never put your shoes in the dryer as heat can warp them. Instead, let your shoes air dry in a well-ventilated area, but not in direct sunlight.
  9. Stuff Your Shoes: To help your shoes retain their shape while drying, consider stuffing them with paper towels or white cloth. This can also help absorb excess water from the inside.
  10. Replace Insoles and Laces: Once the shoes and the insoles are completely dry, you can replace the insoles and thread the laces back in.

While machine washing can be handy, it should be used sparingly to prevent damaging your Hoka shoes. Always refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for the best care practices.


Will washing my Hoka shoes affect their performance or durability?

Yes, the way you wash your Hoka shoes can have an impact on their performance and durability. Regular, gentle cleaning can help maintain the functionality of your shoes, extending their lifespan and keeping them in optimal condition. However, improper or excessive washing, especially machine washing, can compromise their structure and cause premature wear and tear. It’s crucial to use the right cleaning methods to ensure your Hoka shoes remain at peak performance for as long as possible.

How often should I wash my Hoka shoes?

The frequency of washing your Hoka shoes depends on how often and in what conditions you use them. If you wear your shoes daily for high-intensity workouts or in muddy environments, you might need to clean them more often – perhaps every two weeks. If your usage is less frequent or intense, a monthly cleaning could be enough. However, remember that over-washing, particularly machine washing, can cause unnecessary wear and tear.

Can I wash my Hoka shoes with other clothes or should I wash them separately?

To prevent color bleeding and potential damage to both your Hoka shoes and your clothes, it’s best to wash them separately. If you’re machine washing your shoes, you can add some towels to balance the load and provide extra cushioning. However, remember that machine washing should be done sparingly and using a gentle cycle.

Can I wash my Hoka shoes if they have leather or suede accents?

If your Hoka shoes have leather or suede accents, you should avoid machine washing. These materials require special care to maintain their appearance and integrity. Instead, consider using cleaning methods specific to leather or suede, like specialized cleaning solutions and brushes. Always follow the manufacturer’s care instructions for shoes with these materials.


While machine washing Hoka shoes is possible, it’s not the most recommended method due to the potential for damage. Hand washing or spot cleaning can be gentle and more effective in maintaining the shoes’ longevity. Always dry your shoes properly to avoid mold and unpleasant odors. Ultimately, proper care and cleaning can greatly enhance the durability and performance of your Hoka shoes.