Utilizing optimal control to simulate a model Hamiltonian is an emerging strategy that leverages the intrinsic physics of a device with digital quantum simulation methods. Here we evaluate optimal control for probing the nonequilibrium properties of symmetry-protected topological (SPT) states simulated with superconducting hardware. Assuming a tunable transmon architecture, we cast the evolution of these SPT states as a series of one- and two-site pulse optimization problems that are solved in the presence of leakage constraints. From the generated pulses, we classically simulate the time-dependent melting of the perturbed SPT string order across a six-site model with an average state infidelity of 10−3. The feasibility of these pulses as well as their efficient application indicate that high-fidelity simulations of string order melting are within reach of current quantum computing systems.