How to Stop Shoes From Smelling?

It’s inevitable that your shoes will start to smell after wearing them for a while. Sweat, bacteria, and dirt build up inside shoes and cause unpleasant odors. While you can’t prevent your shoes from ever smelling, there are ways to keep the stench under control. With some simple habits and maintenance, you can stop your shoes from smelling so bad.

Wear Breathable Socks and Rotate Shoes

Wear socks that wick moisture away from your feet to help keep sweat levels down inside your shoes. Cotton socks absorb sweat and hold in stench. Opt for moisture wicking socks made from wool, polyester, or wool-polyester blends instead. Also, don’t wear the same shoes two days in a row. Let them air out fully before wearing them again. Rotating between different pairs of shoes will prolong their lifespan and prevent excessive odors in each pair.

Use Odor Absorbing Insoles

Replace the existing insoles in your shoes with a set specifically designed to eliminate odors. Look for insoles containing activated charcoal, which is highly porous and absorbs smells. Or insoles made from antimicrobial copper fibers that prevent bacterial growth and smelly feet. Inserting new insoles into your shoes helps contain odors right where they start. Replace the insoles every 4 to 6 months once they become saturated.

Clean the Insides

About once a week, clean the interiors of your shoes. Remove the insoles and laces. Use a washcloth dampened with mild soap and water to gently scrub the inside walls and base of the shoes. This removes dirt, sweat residue and bacteria that cause odor. Be careful not to submerge leather shoes in water, just spot clean. Let your shoes air dry completely before wearing them again.

Spray Antibacterial Spray

An antibacterial spray designed for shoes and feet can help eliminate smells between deep cleanings. Look for sprays containing ingredients like thyme oil, tea tree oil, mint, or eucalyptus for their bacteria killing and deodorizing abilities. Lightly spritz the interiors of smelly shoes to freshen them up. The antibacterial agents destroy odor causing germs while the essential oils leave a pleasant scent behind. Reapply as needed.

Use Shoe Deodorizing Balls

Shoe deodorizers like balls or bags filled with baking soda can absorb unpleasant smells. Baking soda neutralizes foot odors and leaves shoes smelling clean. Simply place a deodorizer in each shoe when not wearing them. Some also contain added fragrances for extra freshness. Just throw the balls in the laundry when they need recharging. The balls provide ongoing odor protection between wears.

With some diligence, you can banish smelly shoe syndrome. Let your shoes dry out between wears, clean them routinely, and use odor fighting products. With the right habits, you can have fresh smelling footwear.