The first shoe with the visible air pocket, the Nike Air Max 1’s, are a must-have pair of sneakers in your closet. The sneaker was designed by Nike’s architect turned sneaker designer,  Tinker Hatfield, who created a distinctive design that has stayed appealing over the years since 1987.

Owning a pair of Nike Air Max shoes not only makes a statement about yourself, but about the shoe’s history too, so it’s essential to keep your pair clean. There’s a few basic steps to the process and if you invest in the right products to take care of your pair of sneakers, it won’t be hard keeping them in box-fresh condition.sneaker-cleaner-nike-air-max

First step is to remove the laces so you can get the entire upper of the shoe clean. Before you begin cleaning your pair of Nike Air Max sneakers, spray the laces with some Sneaker LAB Sneaker Cleaner and soak them in some warm water. Rinse in a bowl of clean water and repeat the wash if they’re still dirty. Alternatively, you can also place them in a laundry bag and put them through a machine wash cycle with your next load of laundry. Let them hang out to dry while you get the shoe looking fresh again.



Spray the sneaker cleaner onto the sneaker. Some Air Max shoes feature  different materials such as mesh, nubuck and suede which require a more careful treatment for this step. Although the Sneaker LAB Sneaker Cleaner is a non-soap based solution, it’s still important to be gentle when working with these materials. Make sure you apply just the right amount and don’t saturate these areas of the shoe with sneaker cleaner.


Take the Sneaker LAB Premium Brush and dip the sneaker brush into clean water, tap off any excess moisture and begin scrubbing the shoe. You will only need to use a small amount of water for this, no need to get your brush too wet. If you’re working with suede, it’s better to skip this step all together and work with a dry

Begin gently scrubbing everywhere over the sneaker until a foam rises.


Depending on the dirty or stained area, continue this process until all the dirt is lifted away. It may take a few applications to get ingrained dirt and stains off the sneaker. It’s important to take into account what materials you’re working with for this step. Mesh is soft, so the Sneaker LAB Shoe Brush is perfect for this material as the recycled bristles are not too hard on the shoe.


For best results, grab a Sneaker LAB Sneaker Wipe and give your shoe a quick wipe to make sure all the dirt has been cleaned off the shoe. These shoe cleaning wipes can be taken with you for those times of emergency stains while you’re out.sneaker-lab-microfiber-shoe-care-towel

Use a Sneaker LAB Microfiber Towel or a soft cloth to wipe off the any foam or moisture on your sneakers. They should be looking as good as new again!

Now that your Nike Air Max sneakers are clean, you’ll want to give them a refresh too.


Take out the insoles of your Nike Air Max shoes. Spray them with odor protector as well as inside your shoe. If your sneaker has a glued-in insole – don’t remove them, just spray the Sneaker LAB Odor Protector in the shoe.


Leave your shoes to dry. White rubber soles yellow permanently if you let them dry in the sun. Many people make the mistake of speeding up the drying process by leaving their sneakers to air dry in the sun – don’t be that person.  Your sneakers don’t need to tan.


To prevent a discolored, stained look – and to make your cleaning session easier for next time – the next step is to protect them. Once your sneakers are dry, spray on a good amount of Sneaker LAB Sneaker Protector onto the Nike Air Max 1 sneaker. Again, keep in mind the materials that make up the shoe. If suede or nubuck, be sure not to saturate those areas of the shoe.


Your Nike Air Max cleaning session is now complete and all you need to do is rethread your sneakers. If your laces are looking a bit old and frayed, be sure to get your hands on new sneaker laces to complete the pristine new look of your pair of Air Max’s.

To shop our Sneaker LAB products, click here.

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