How to Remove Wrinkles from the Air Force 1s - 5 WAYS - Wearably Weird (2023)

There's nothing better than opening up a new pair of perfect, beautiful Air Force 1s. However, after a few wears, you may notice creases forming in these shoes, especially in the toe area. Due to the leather used to make the Air Force 1, wrinkles are inevitable, but all is not lost!

How to Remove Wrinkles from the Air Force 1s - 5 WAYS - Wearably Weird (1)

I am a long time fan and customer of the Nike brand and have owned many pairs of Air Force 1's so I have some great tips to share. Are here4 ways to remove wrinkles from your Air Force 1, mi1 easy way to prevent wrinklesfirst of all.

1. Destroy your Air Force 1 with an iron

Removing wrinkles from your Air Force 1 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 a suede Air Force 1. Let's take a look at how to do it:

You will need the following:

  • a metal
  • Periodical, cardboard or calcetines
  • A cotton cloth or any cotton towel.
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How to Remove Wrinkles from the Air Force 1s - 5 WAYS - Wearably Weird (3)

Step 1: Make sure your Air Force 1s are clean

There's no use trying to get the wrinkles out of your favorite Air Forces if they're not clean.

If you need to make some cosmetic adjustments before downsizing them, it may take some time to clean, wash, and remove any dirt or scratches they may have picked up from use.

Step 2: Remove the laces

If you decided to wash the shoe as mentioned in step 1, you may have already removed the laces. If not, you can remove the laces before beginning the shrinking process.

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

Step 3: fill your Air Force 1 from heel to toe

Once the laces are removed, you can use old newspapers, cardboard, or an old towel to stuff your Air Forces. This will ensure that your shoes stay in shape from heel to toe.

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Try to fill your Air Force as tight as possible, this will help get rid of wrinkles much faster. If you don't have cardboard, newspaper, or old fabric, you can use some socks to get the job done!

Step 4: Dampen a cotton towel or cloth with lukewarm water

Soak the cotton towel in warm water and wring it out until damp. Lay the cloth over the first shoe, completely covering the dented area.

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

Step 5: Turn iron on to medium heat

Set the iron to medium heat. If your iron doesn't 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 lowering your Air Forces since you will be using a cotton towel.

Keep in mind that higher heat would not be ideal for shrinking the shoes, as you could burn the leather, damage it, or discolor it. Wait for your iron to reach the desired temperature.

Step 6: iron your Air Force 1

You are ready to start downloading your first Air Force! Gently press the iron onto the damp cloth without applying too much pressure.

Be sure to lift the iron every minute or two and never leave it in one place too long, as it can burn your shoes.

Ironing the pleats will cause the heat and moisture to combine, causing the Air Forces material to soften and stretch out the pleat. After a few minutes, you can let your first shoe cool down without removing the padding you put inside.

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

Step 7: Leave your air forces full overnight

After ironing the shoes, do not remove the padding until the next morning.

You can wax or polish your shoes to ensure that the leather stays soft and supple, but keeping the padding will ensure that wrinkles don't reappear and that the leather has time to harden.

Step 8 - Repeat as needed

Depending on how severely wrinkled your Air Force 1s are, you may need to iron them several times for the wrinkles to fully disappear.

Note that this method will work best with leather Air Force 1s. If your Air Force 1 has a suede finish, water can damage it. It is advisable to make use of some of the other top-down methods.

For more help with this method, see how it's done here (jumps to 1:09):

2. Get Rid of Wrinkles with Steam

If you're looking for a chamois-friendly way to get your Air Force 1s down, or if you don't have an iron, we've got you covered! Let's see how you can reduce your air force using steam:

You will need the following:

  • a clothes steamer
  • A towel
  • Newspaper, towel or socks to fill your Air Force 1
  • A soft bristle brush

Step 1 – Fill in your Air Forces as tight as possible

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

Using steam to shrink the Air Force 1 is one of the easiest methods, as it can remove wrinkles from any leather, including suede.

Steam can also help you remove dirt or grime from your shoes, protecting and restoring their soft, furry texture.

Step 2: Steam the Air Force Folds

Once your garment steamer is hot enough, you are ready to go. You may need to steam the shoe for a while, brushing it while you do this, as this will stretch the surface of the leather, which looks a lot like your skin when you take a hot shower.

After a few minutes, you will notice the wrinkles diminish and finally disappear!

Step 3 – Wipe the airforces with a dry towel and leave them overnight

After steaming your shoes, you will notice that they can get damp or wet depending on how long you have steamed them.

Take a clean, dry towel and wring out any excess moisture, but allow the filling to remain inside. Leave your airforces overnight as the padding will help the leather stay in place and remove the padding in the morning.

3. How to remove wrinkles from your Air Force 1 with a heat gun

You will like this method if you have a heat gun. Heat guns can be used on smooth leather and Air Force suede, and while they must be used with caution, they are highly effective. Let's see how you can successfully reduce your Air Forces using a hot air gun:

You will need the following:

  • a heat gun
  • A towel
  • filler materials

Step 1: Fill in your Air Forces

When you use a heat gun to reduce your air force, padding becomes even more crucial. You don't have to fill the entire shoe, but focus on the wrinkled toe area.

Step 2 – Wet your towel and cover the dented area

Wet a towel with warm water and completely cover the wrinkled area. Let the 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 Wrinkles

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

After a few minutes, the heat gun will activate and make your sneakers look like new!

4. Using Leather Oil to Remove Wrinkles

If you're worried about using heat on your prestigious Air Force 1, you'll be happy to know that there are other ways to get rid of wrinkles—no heat required!

You will need the following:

  • Leather compatible oil or a leather conditioner
  • a clean cloth
  • filler materials
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Step 1 – Clean Any Dirt or Grime from Your Air Force

Since we'll be working with leather oil, it's crucial to make sure your airforces are clean of any dirt or debris. Dirt can spread due to leather oil, making your airforces look dirty.

Step 2: Fill in your Air Forces

Although you don't use heat for the leather oil method, it is important to fill your air forces as well as the other methods.

Since leather oil will soften Air Force leather, it will be difficult for them to hold their shape if not filled before applying the leather.

Step 3: Take off the laces

Remember that you don't need to remove the laces for this method, but if you want to apply the leather oil to the entire shoe, it will be easier once you remove the laces.

Step 4 - Apply Leather Oil to Your Air Forces

Leather Oil was specially developed to help shoe wearers remove wrinkles from leather shoes, including Air Force 1s, and the sooner you take action with this method, the more effective it will be.

Leather oil works by softening the parts of the Aircraft you apply it to, causing wrinkles to loosen and eventually disappear. Take your clean, dry cloth to apply the leather oil to the scratched areas, but don't be afraid to rub it all over the shoe.

Remember that less is more when using leather oil in your air forces. You can always add a little more when you don't apply enough.

Step 5: Rub Leather Oil Repeatedly

Using circular motions, rub leather oil into all the wrinkled parts of your air forces. After covering all the wrinkled areas, remove the excess oil. You can use the same cloth for the entire process.

Step 6 – Allow Your Air Forces To Fully Absorb The Oil

Let the shoes dry for about 24 hours. After 24 hours you can check your Air Forces and the creases should be lighter if not completely gone. Now you can remove the padding and wear your Air Forces wrinkle-free again.

5. Avoid wrinkles in your Air Force 1 by stuffing them

A super easy way to prevent wrinkles in the first place (or prevent existing wrinkles from getting worse) is to inflate the Air Force 1 when you're not wearing it.

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Padding the shoes in the toe area will push the leather up until it lies flat. This will help combat damage caused by walking and the natural movement of the foot.

Personally, I like to fill my Air Force 1 with rolled up socks when I'm not wearing them. Simply take a rolled up pair of socks and slip them directly onto the toes of your sneakers until the leather feels stretched and flat on top. If you make it a habit, you will seriously reduce the crease.


Getting rid of the hideous creases on your Air Forces can be difficult, especially if you wear them daily. However, there are many methods you can use that require heat and non-heat, and they are all effective. If you follow the steps correctly, you will get your Air Force 1 wrinkle-free in no time.

For more AF1 content, check out:

How much does the Air Force weigh? (Are they heavy to wear?)

Are Air Force 1s big? ULTIMATE Guide (Photos)

Are Air Force 1s good for wide feet? FAQ Guide

How to Crack into Air Force 1s FAST (7 Ways)

Are Air Force 1 shoes comfortable? A review with photos.

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Lorna is a shoe nerd and the founder of Wearably Weird. She created a YouTube channel in 2021 for other shoe fans dedicated to in-depth shoe reviews and information. She has a fashion media qualification (awarded in 2011).

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