What Is the Right Way to Clean Nike Air Force 1 Shoes?

Nike gives general guidelines for proper cleaning for Air Force 1 and other shoes, including steps like removing dirt and other lose grime with a soft-bristled shoe brush or out-of-use toothbrush, using a mild detergent and a soft cloth or sponge to gently scrub the shoes, rinsing with spot-applied warm water and allowing the shoes to air dry. The company specifically discourages using harsh cleaners, such as bleach, and using mechanical cleaning methods like washing in a clothes washer or dry cleaning, drying with heat from a hair dryer or clothes dryer or using harsh chemicals to clean the shoes.

In addition to discouraging cleaning methods that use techniques other than gentle hand washing with a mild detergent, Nike encourages customers to avoid using saddle soap on any leather parts of shoes that experience stretching or lateral movement. They discourage the use of saddle soap on any of their leather shoes that are specifically worn for sports, including basketball shoes such as the Air Force 1. Those who wear their Air Force 1 shoes for street wear only may apply a small amount of saddle soap to the parts of the shoe that are, in Nike’s words, “not subject to excessive stress” due to the product’s tendency to soften leather.