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Revitalize Your Air Force 1s: 5 Pro Tips to Remove Creases

Author: Joshua DaniherTime: 2024-01-02 20:40:00

Table of Contents

Introduction to Removing Creases from Air Force 1s

Air Force 1s, the classic Nike sneaker model made famous by basketball legend Michael Jordan, have become a staple fashion item for streetwear enthusiasts around the world. However, their sleek leather finish makes them prone to unsightly creasing with wear, damaging their clean aesthetic.

In this comprehensive guide, we provide step-by-step instructions on restoring beat-up Air Force 1s by removing creases and bringing them back to a like-new condition. With some basic supplies and these key techniques, you’ll have your Air Force 1s looking crisp and fresh again in no time.

Overview of the Air Force 1 Crease Removal Process

The crease removal process for Air Force 1s involves several key steps: First, you’ll prepare your workspace and iron to ensure you have ample room and the proper heat setting. Next, you’ll fill the toe boxes of the sneakers with packing material like towels or paper to provide support and fill out creases when ironing. With the sneakers properly filled out, you can then iron over them with a towel and water method that allows you to apply moist heat to relax and smooth the leather. This may take several passes to fully remove stubborn creases. We’ll also provide pro tips for things like using steam, toe box shapers, leaving fillers in overnight, and preventative solutions like toe shields to stop creases from forming in the first place.

Preparing Your Workspace and Iron for Crease Removal

To start the Air Force 1 crease removal process, you’ll first want to set up an appropriate workspace. An ironing board works perfectly, but any flat surface like a table or countertop will also do the job. Just make sure you have ample space to move around.

Next, plug in your iron and turn the heat setting as high as it will go, towards the 'cotton/linen' side if your iron uses fabric settings. Let the iron preheat while you prepare the sneakers themselves.

Safely stowing away any items that could be damaged by the heat of the iron is also a good precautionary measure before beginning the crease removal process.

Packing the Toe Boxes of Your Air Force 1s

With your workspace set up, you can now shift your focus to preparing the Air Force 1 sneakers themselves for ironing out creases by filling and packing the toe boxes.

Materials for Filling and Packing the Toe Boxes

For filling the toe boxes prior to ironing, you’ll want a soft, heat-safe material like towels, rags, socks or even an old t-shirt. While some people recommend paper, it's best avoided as it can potentially catch fire from the heat of the iron. The filling material doesn't need to be too dense or padded. The goal is to provide just enough support to fill out the toe box interior and restore the original shape of Air Force 1s.

Technique for Packing the Toe Boxes

To properly fill the toe boxes in preparation for ironing, simply insert your chosen packing material, pressing it firmly into the toes and sides of the sneakers. The goal is to create a completely solid feel, indicating full support fillout of the creased areas. Some people recommend removing the shoelaces at this point, but keeping them threaded in the sneakers can actually help hold the filler material securely in place and maintain the shape of the toe box during ironing.

Ironing Out Creases in Air Force 1s

With your workspace prepped and Air Force 1s filled out, it’s finally time to tackle ironing out those pesky creases for a smooth, crisp look.

Moist Heat Towel Method for Crease Removal

To safely apply heat from the iron to the Air Force 1 leather without risk of burns or damage, you’ll want to use a towel dampened with water as a protective buffer layer. This moist heat helps to gently relax and smooth out the creased leather. Make sure to use a towel that is a similar color to your Air Force 1s to prevent any dye transfer. Give the towel a quick test on the heel interior if you’re unsure of bleeding. After wetting down the towel and wringing out any excess dripping moisture, lay it over the creased area you wish to iron out. Applying heat through the damp towel for 5-10 seconds at a time, lift and reposition as needed to work through stubborn creases.

Ironing Technique for Crease Removal

When running the hot iron over the damp towel laid atop your Air Force 1s, use only the pointed front tip and keep it moving in slow, steady passes to avoid damaging heat buildup in one spot. Work in small sections, allowing previous sections to fully dry before overlapping iron passes to prevent moisture buildup. Target especially stubborn crease spots with repeated heat applications through fresh towel pieces as needed. Take care not to press down hard and crush the carefully filled toe box interior. The moist heat does the work – the iron just needs to gently and gradually smooth surface creases over time.

Pro Tips and Suggestions for Best Crease Removal Results

With practice, you’ll get the towel and iron technique down for erasing creases from your favorite pair of Air Force 1s. But we have a few more advanced pro tips that can help take your crease removal results to the next level.

Use a Steamer Iron Function

If your iron has onboard steam functionality, use it! The penetrating moist heat of steam is perfect for softening and smoothing out creased leather. Even without steam, a shot of water sprayed in front of passes can emulate this.

Fully Pack Entire Sneaker

For best support shape and crease removal, filling just the toe box can allow packed material to shift during ironing. Packing the entire sneaker interior leaves no room for fillers to move.

Cardboard Toe Box Shapers

For extra toe box support, use the cardboard inserts included with new sneakers. Combined with packing material, they create a perfect filled shape to iron over.

Leave Fillers In Overnight

For extremely stubborn creases, leave the packed filling inside sneakers for several days allowing time to naturally smooth and regain form.

Toe Box Shields

Adhesive gel shields applied inside toe boxes can prevent creases from forming in the first place and are a great protective supplement to filling and ironing.


Getting pesky creases out of Air Force 1s might seem daunting, but with some basic supplies, our step-by-step tutorial, and a little practice, you can have them looking fresh and crisp again.

Just remember to always use caution when applying heat, work in small sections, allow proper dry times between passes, and implement some of our expert-recommended tips for things like steam, fillers and shields.


Q: What materials can I use to fill the toe box?
A: You can use towels, socks, old t-shirts, or other cloth materials. Avoid using paper.

Q: Should I take the laces out before ironing?
A: It's recommended to keep the laces in to help hold the filler material in place during ironing.

Q: How can I avoid burn marks on the leather?
A: Use a damp towel between the iron and sneaker. The towel helps transfer heat without direct contact.

Q: How long should I iron each area?
A: Iron each area for 5-10 seconds at a time before moving the towel to a new spot.

Q: What if creases still slightly remain afterwards?
A: Some light creasing may remain on very worn sneakers. The key is regaining the original shape.

Q: Can I leave the filler in my sneakers overnight?
A: Yes, leaving it for a couple days can help shoes regain shape if very creased.

Q: Will toe box shields prevent all creases?
A: They reduce creasing but can't prevent it entirely during wear.

Q: What temperature should I set the iron to?
A: Use the highest cotton/linen setting. This ensures enough heat to smooth leathers.

Q: Can I iron on any flat surface or do I need an ironing board?
A: You can use any stable, heat-resistant surface with enough room to move around.

Q: Should I avoid getting too close to the rubber soles when ironing?
A: Yes, focus ironing on leather areas. Rubber can melt more easily from the heat.