How to Remove Creases and Wrinkles From Shoes

The bad news about wearing your shoes: You’re going to crease them. The good news: You don’t have to settle for a shoe crease. You can make them disappear.

Last updated: September 22, 2022
6 min read
How to Remove Creases and Wrinkles From Shoes
Time Required
15 min


  • Newspaper
  • Shoe polish or conditioner


  • Iron
  • Cloth
  • Blow dryer
  • Shoe tree
  • Microwave-safe dish

There is something special about a pristine pair of shoes. But maintaining that out-of-the-box appearance — clean, no scuff marks, no creases — is a dirty job.

Shoes belong on your feet. And when you wear your shoes, you're eventually going to crease or wrinkle them. The good news is that you don’t have to settle for a shoe crease. Follow these hacks to make your shoe creases disappear.

How to Remove Shoe Creases With Heat

1.Use an Iron

How to Remove Creases and Wrinkles From Shoes

By far the most popular way to take a crease out of a shoe, using an iron is also the riskiest. There are two keys to using an iron:

  1. Stuff the shoe so it maintains its shape, from the heel to the toe box. Packing the shoes as tight as possible will help straighten out the creases. Old paper, such as newspaper, works best, but cardboard or even a few of your socks are great backups as well.
  2. Always use a buffer between the iron and the shoe. Putting a hot iron directly on your shoe can irreparably damage it. Don't burn your shoes!

To use an iron, try the following:

  • Dampen a cloth, such as a washcloth.
  • Lay it directly over the crease (it’s OK to fold it over).
  • Turn on your iron to between 60–80 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Iron over the towel in 10-second increments.
  • Check the crease between intervals to avoid damage to the shoe.
  • When crease is gone, stop ironing, but leave the shoe stuffed until it cools.

Ironing a crease to remove it works thanks to the combination of heat and moisture, which softens the shoe material to stretch out the crease. The towel defuses the heat from the iron to keep the materials of your shoe safe from accidentally causing scorch marks.

This tactic works best on leather shoes. You can use it on suede shoes, but wring out the towel as much as possible first. Water and suede aren’t an ideal combination.

2.Steam Your Shoes

This strategy works best on leather shoes and only requires a cloth, like a washcloth or towel, and a microwave.

  1. Wet the towel and wring it out so it’s just damp.
  2. Put the towel in a heat-resistant dish, such as Pyrex.
  3. Heat it in the microwave, on high, for 30 seconds.
  4. Rub the warm, steamy towel over the crease to heat up the leather.
  5. Insert a shoe tree to keep your shoe's shape while it cools.

You may have to heat up the towel more than once to get the job done.

3.Try Blow-Drying

How to Remove Creases and Wrinkles From Shoes

If you don’t have an iron, a blow-dryer can work as well, especially for leather shoes. To maintain the shape of the shoe, while you’re working, use cedar shoe trees. They won’t get hot inside the shoe.

To use a blow-dryer:

  • Turn it on at the low heat setting.
  • Hold it 8–10 inches away from the shoe.
  • Pass the dryer over the shoe a few times and then set it down.
  • With your finger, rub the warm leather up against the shoe tree.
  • Repeat as needed until the crease is gone.

With this method, you’ll want to keep the shoe tree in place while the sneaker cools.

Since you’re applying direct heat to the shoe leather, it's a good idea to follow up this process with shoe polish or conditioner. Heat can dry out leather, and a conditioning treatment will ensure your sneakers look their best now that the crease or wrinkle is gone.

How to Remove Shoe Creases Without Heat

Not every shoe crease solution requires heat. Heat has the potential to damage your shoe if you’re not careful, and it's a little rougher on non-leather shoes. For this reason, you might want to try to remove the crease or wrinkle another way. Here are a couple heatless options.

1.Condition Them

How to Remove Creases and Wrinkles From Shoes

When it comes to leather sneakers, you can ditch the heat and use a special conditioner or oil to get out those creases. Before you begin, test the product on a small, discreet part of the shoe. You want to make sure there’s no discoloration. You’ll also need to polish/condition the entire shoe to keep up a consistent appearance.

Apply the product to the entire shoe, spending a little extra time on the crease, massaging the oil/conditioner in. Once you’re done, you may want to pop in a shoe tree to maintain the shape of the shoe while it dries.

How to Remove Creases and Wrinkles From Shoes

2.Invest in Shoe Trees

How to Remove Creases and Wrinkles From Shoes

If you’re going for a super-simple strategy to get rid of that crease, you can use a shoe tree on its own. It may not work as fast, but stretching your shoe back to its natural shape with the help of a shoe tree can eliminate a crease. If you use cedar shoe trees, they’ll pull double duty and eliminate shoe odor as well.

Popular Ways to Prevent Sneaker Creases

Buy new shoes. At risk of stating the obvious, one way to avoid the problem of creased shoes is to buy new ones!

Find shoes that fit. Make sure your shoes fit properly. Shoes that are too big crease more since there’s extra space between the foot and the shoe.

Buy shoes made of quality materials. Quality matters when it comes to your shoes. Those made with lesser-quality materials are more susceptible to creasing as well.

All Shoes Crease

Unfortunately, all shoes — sneakers, boots, etc. — are probably going to crease at some point. That's because when you wear them, you move in them. The natural movement of your foot bends your shoe, causing it to crease over time. If your shoe didn’t move with your foot, you’d be pretty uncomfortable.

The movement causes the material in the shoe to compress, which can cause an unsightly crease or wrinkle. Leather, canvas, suede — they’re all at risk. Take heart, a crease on any shoe is perfectly normal if you wear your Nike sneakers enough.

How to Remove Creases and Wrinkles From Shoes

Keeping Shoes Looking Like New

Regularly cleaning your shoes and addressing creases as they appear are great ways to extend the life of your favorite sneakers. You’ll also keep them looking like new longer. That fresh, out-of-the-box look is what we all want, especially when you’re rockin’ that special pair, like your Jordans, that everyone is already envying.