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How To Get Creases Out Of Air Force 1s – 5 WAYS

Nothing beats unboxing a new pair of beautiful and perfect Air Force 1s. However, after a few wears, you may notice creases forming on these sneakers, mainly in the toebox area. Due to the leather used for manufacturing Air Force 1s creases are inevitable, but all hope isn’t lost!

How to get creases out of air force 1s

I am a long term fan and customer of the Nike brand and I have owned many pairs of Air Force 1s, so I have some good tips to share. Here are 4 ways you can get creases out of your Air Force 1s, and 1 easy way to prevent them creasing in the first place.

1. Get Creases Out Of Your Air Force 1s With An Iron

Removing creases from your Air Force 1s using the iron method is one of the most popular ways and is used by most people. However, I do not advise you to use this method if you have suede Air Force 1s. Let’s take a look at how to do it:

You will need the following:

  • An iron
  • Newspaper, cardboard, or socks
  • A cotton washcloth or any cotton towel
Air Force 1s and socks.
An iron and a cotton washcloth.

Step 1: Make Sure Your Air Force 1s Are Clean

It’s no use trying to remove the creases from your favorite pair of Air Forces if they aren’t clean. 

If you need to do some cosmetic tweaks before decreasing them, you can take some time to wipe them, wash them, and remove any dirt or scuffs they might have picked up from being worn.

Step 2: Remove The Laces

If you decided to wash your sneaker, as mentioned in step 1, you might already have removed the laces. If not, you can remove your laces before starting with the decreasing process. 

Removing the laces will make your job much easier, as Air Forces are known to become more elastic once their laces have been removed.

Step 3: Stuff Your Air Force 1s From Heel To Toebox

Once your laces are removed, you can use old newspaper, cardboard, or an old towel to stuff your Air Forces. This will ensure your sneakers remain in shape, from their heel to the toe box. 

Air Force 1s stuffed with socks.

Try to stuff your Air Forces as tightly as possible, as it will help to get rid of creases much quicker. If you don’t have cardboard, newspaper, or old cloth, you can use a few socks to get the job done!

Step 4: Wet A Cotton Towel Or Cloth With Warm Water

Soak your cotton towel in lukewarm water, and wring it out until it’s damp. Lay your cloth over your first shoe, completely covering the creased area. 

The main purpose of placing a towel between your Air Force and the iron is to prevent your iron from burning your sneaker. The iron method could be risky, so the towel will act as a buffer.

Step 5: Turn Your Iron On Medium Heat

Set your iron to medium heat. If your iron does not have a medium heat setting, you can set it between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Some irons also have a cotton setting, which would be ideal for decreasing your Air Forces, as you’ll be using a cotton towel. 

Keep in mind that higher heat would not be ideal in decreasing your sneakers, as you could potentially burn the leather, damaging it or causing it to discolor. Wait for your iron to achieve the desired temperature.

Step 6: Iron Your Air Force 1s

You are now ready to start decreasing your first Air Force! Gently press the iron down on your damp cloth without applying too much pressure. 

Make sure to lift your iron every minute or two, and never leave it in the same spot for too long, as it could burn your sneakers. 

Ironing the creases will cause the heat and moisture to combine, which will cause the material of your Air Forces to soften, stretching out the crease. After a few minutes, you can leave your first sneaker to cool without removing the stuffing you have placed inside. 

Repeat this step with your second Air Force 1 sneaker as well.

Step 7: Leave Your Air Forces With Stuffing Overnight

After you have ironed your shoes, do not remove the stuffing until the next morning. 

You may apply wax or shine on your shoes to ensure the leather remains soft and flexible, but keeping the stuffing in them will ensure the creases won’t reappear, and the leather will have time to set.

Step 8: Repeat As Needed

Depending on how severely creased your Air Force 1s are, you may need to iron them a few times for the creases to disappear completely. 

Keep in mind that this method will work best for leather Air Force 1s. If your Air Force 1s have a suede finish, the water could cause damage to the suede. It is advised to make use of some of the other decreasing methods.

For more help with this method, watch how it’s done here (skip ahead to 1:09):

2. Get Creases Out With Steam

If you’re looking for a suede-friendly way to decrease your air force 1s, or you don’t have an iron, we have you covered! Let’s look at how you can decrease your Air Force using steam:

You will need the following:

  • A clothes steamer
  • A towel
  • Newspaper, towel, or socks to stuff your Air Force 1s
  • A soft-bristled brush

Step 1: Stuff Your Air Forces As Tightly As Possible

Using your newspaper, socks, or towel, stuff your air forces as tightly as possible. This will keep the leather in place and allow the steam to do its job. 

Using steam to decrease your Air Force 1s is one of the easiest methods, as it could get the creases out of any leather, including suede. 

The steam can also help you get dirt or grime off your shoes while protecting and restoring the furry and soft texture.

Step 2: Steam The Creases Of Your Air Forces

Once you’ve got your clothes steamer steaming sufficiently, you’re good to go. You may need to steam your sneakers for a while, brushing while steaming, as it will dilate the surface of the leather, which is very similar to your skin when you take a hot shower. 

After a few minutes, you will notice the creases becoming less and, ultimately, disappearing!

Step 3: Wipe Air Forces With A Dry Towel And Leave Overnight

After steaming your sneakers, you’ll notice they may become damp or wet, depending on how long you have steamed them. 

Take a dry and clean towel and remove any excess moisture, but let the stuffing remain inside. Leave your air forces overnight, as the stuffing will help the leather to remain in place, and take the stuffing out in the morning.

3. How To Get Creases Out Of Your Air Force 1s Using A Heat Gun

You’ll be fond of this method if you have a heat gun. Heat guns can be used on smooth leather and suede Air Forces, and while they should be used with caution, they are highly effective. Let’s look at how you can successfully decrease your Air Forces using a heat gun:

You will need the following:

  • A heat gun
  • A towel
  • Stuffing materials

Step 1: Stuff Your Air Forces

When you’re using a heat gun to decrease your Air Force, stuffing becomes even more crucial. You don’t have to stuff your entire shoe but remain focused on the creased toe box area.

Step 2: Wet Your Towel And Cover The Creased Area

Wet a towel with warm water and cover the creased area completely. Let your wet towel sit on the shoe for about 10 minutes to allow the leather to soften and become more elastic.

Step 3: Use Your Heat Gun To Get Rid Of The Creases

Hold your heat gun about 6 inches from the towel and apply the heat. Continue with this and repeat with your second shoe. 

After a few minutes, the heat gun will take effect and cause your sneakers to look brand new!

4. Using Leather Oil To Get Creases Out

If you’re concerned about using heat on your prestigious Air Force 1s, you’ll be happy to hear there are other ways to get rid of creases, no heat needed! 

You will need the following:

  • Leather-friendly oil or a leather conditioner
  • A clean cloth
  • Stuffing materials
Leather conditioner and a clean cloth.

Step 1: Clean Any Dirt Or Grime From Your Air Forces 

Because we’ll be working with leather oil, ensuring your air forces are clean from any dirt or debris becomes crucial. The dirt may spread due to the leather oil, making your air forces appear dirty.

Step 2: Stuff Your Air Forces

Although you won’t be using heat for the leather oil method, it is important to stuff your air forces, such as worth the other methods. 

Because leather oil will soften the leather of your Air Forces, it will be hard for them to retain their shape if they are not stuffed before the leather is applied.

Step 3: Remove Your Laces

Remember that your laces do not have to be removed for this method, but if you want to apply the leather oil onto your entire sneaker, it will be easier when the laces are removed. 

Step 4: Apply The Leather Oil Onto Your Air Forces

Leather oil is specially designed to help shoe wearers to remove creases from leather shoes, including your Air Force 1s, and the sooner you act with this method, the more effective it will become. 

Leather oil works by softening the parts of your Air Forces you apply it to, resulting in the creases loosening and ultimately disappearing. Take your dry and clean cloth to apply the leather oil to the creased areas, but don’t be scared to use it on your entire sneaker.

Remember that less is more when you use leather oil on your air forces. You can always add some more when you don’t apply enough.

Step 5: Rub The Leather Oil Repeatedly

Using circular motions, rub your leather oil all over the creased parts of your air forces. When you have covered all the creased areas, remove any excess oil. You can use the same cloth for the entire process.

Step 6: Allow Your Air Forces To Absorb The Oil Completely

Leave your sneakers to dry for about 24 hours. After 24 hours, you can check on your Air Forces, and the creases should be lighter if they are not completely gone. You may now take out the stuffing and wear your Air Forces without creases again.

5. Prevent Creasing In Your Air Force 1s By Stuffing Them

A super easy way to prevent creases in the first place (or stop your current creases getting worse) is to stuff your Air Force 1s when they aren’t in use.

Air Force 1s stuffed to prevent creases.

Stuffing the sneakers in the toe box area will push the leather up until it becomes flat. This will help counter the damage done by walking, and the natural movement of your feet.

Personally I like to stuff my Air Force 1s with balled up socks when they aren’t in use. Simply take a couple of pairs of balled up socks and wedge them right down into the toe boxes of your sneakers, until the leather feels taught and flat on top. If you make a habit of this you’ll seriously reduce the creasing.


Getting rid of awful creases on your Air Forces could be difficult, especially if you wear them daily. However, there are many methods you can use that require heat and no heat, and all of them are effective. If you follow the steps correctly, you’ll rid your Air Force 1s of creases in no time.

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