How I Stopped My Shoes from Smelling Bad


When you get back home after a long tiring day, the last thing you want to experience is that peculiar, rancid smell of your sweaty shoes and feet. Nothing could be more annoying and embarrassing than this bad odor that seems to go nowhere even after several days. Its happened to me a few times.

Unluckily for you and I, there are many reasons why this happens and the main culprit is humidity and warmth. They cause bacteria to lurk inside the enclosed space. Where the temperatures can rise quickly with the help of our warm enclosed feet. If you want to get rid of that offending, foul and musky odor coming from your favorite shoes, read on.

I want to help you with some useful tips I always use.

Here are 8 of my simple tricks that will help you eliminate the foul odor and have your shoes smelling fresh again.

1. Give Your Shoes a Break


Do you wear the same pair of shoes every day? If yes, then this is one of the worst things you can do.

Just like your feet, your shoes also need airing. So, you should avoid wearing the same pair of shoes two days in a row.

It’s important to give them a break they need some fresh air so that they have time to dry out.

Next time its nice and sunny outside, leave your shoes outdoors to get some fresh air to them. I couldn’t stress it enough but you should give your shoes a break. Alternating shoes is one of the best ways to keep them from smelling bad.

This is one of my favorite easy methods. Just giving my shoe a rest and allowing them some time to enjoy the fresh sweet outdoors, whilst I slip on another pair.

2. Powder Your Feet


If your feet tend to get too sweaty, it can lead to fungal or bacterial infections and smelly feet.

One of the best ways to avoid this is by applying baby powder or talcum powder onto them. This will keep your feet from becoming damp.

Moreover, the pleasant fragrance of the powders will prevent your shoes from smelling bad even after a long days wear. For the best results, apply powder to both your feet and shoes.

I am a fan of this method especially when I know I will be out all day in my pair of sneakers. Unfortunately, it can get powdery and messy but your feet will feel great I promise you.

3. Baking Soda


Baking soda is known for its amazing deodorizing properties. When you can’t give enough rest to your smelly and favorite shoes. Just simply sprinkle a handful of baking soda into them and let them sit overnight.

This will neutralize the bad odor and your shoes will be ready to wear.

But make sure to remove the powder completely before putting the shoes back on. This will help avoid you having to deal with the white, powdery mess all day.

I am a fan of this method but it cant get a little messy and I don’t really like cleaning up too much haha. So I prefer the other none messy methods here.

4. Deodorant


If you haven’t tried this before, then you’re missing out on a great trick. This tip will have your feet and shoes smelling great.

Since foot odor is quite similar to body odor, there is no harm in putting the same deodorant you put on your armpits onto your feet.

A deodorant or antiperspirant spray will prevent your feet from getting too sweaty and they won’t smell too bad at the end of the day.

However, there are also special shoe deodorizer sprays available specifically made for footwear.

But, you would have to go online or outdoors to purchase one especially. I would rather give you tips you can use with items you already have in your home.

5. Freeze


Since bacteria or fungus cannot survive or grow in low temperatures, you could store your shoes in a cool, dry place to keep them from smelling bad.

To remove the unpleasant odor, put your shoes in a seal-able plastic bag, and then place them in the freezer overnight. This should kill any fungus or bacteria causing the odor.

But for the best results, thaw them out naturally in the sunlight.

This method also works however, I hardly tend to have any space in my freezer for shoe space so I barely use this one.

6. Use Cat Litter


This may sound a little weird, but it really works. I have done it before but then I ran out of cat litter pretty quick.

Cat litter has both absorption and deodorizing properties. So, not only does it soak up any wetness inside the shoe but it can also neutralize the foul smell.

Simply sprinkle some cat litter on the insole of the shoes and let it sit over the course of a night.

Then dust them out in the morning and clean your shoes by wiping them down with a damp cloth.

Alternatively, you can also make a special combo. By place a sock full of cat litter and baking soda inside the shoes if you don’t want to be dealing with the mess.

7. Washing Machine


Well, these are not just used for your clothes. You can even wash your sneakers depending on the material.

If you would like to take my opinion on board, then I would say this is my favorite way of getting rid of the foul smell from my sneakers.

Well, first and foremost, read the label on the sneaker just to double check if you can wash them.

If you can, then wrap them in a cloth or a few towels and put them on a cold wash with a non-chlorine additive.


Once done take them out and let them air dry. The last thing you want to do is ruin the shape of your shoes.

Trust me I’ve done it before and was not a happy bunny. So make sure the waters not too hot. And don’t place them on a heater just let them naturally dry. You will be thanking me for it later.

These were a pair of my Nike Huaraches and now they are all ruined because I tried to dry them on the heater.

The glue within the shoe will begin to peel away and the shoe can also shrink just like what happened to me (as shown above in the picture). Its safe to say I won’t be doing this again. I wish I let them dry naturally.

8. Odor-Controlling Insoles


Charcoal is a well-known ingredient in beauty products these days. But did you know it can stop your shoes from smelling as well?

Well, fortunately for us there are some odor-controlling insoles available in the market that use a concentrated layer of activated charcoal to help absorb and neutralize unpleasant odors.

I have left this at the bottom of the list as you would have to go and purchase this.

These insoles can be easily cut to fit the shape of your sole and are also available in different colors. To keep the insole in place, secure it with small strips of tape.

They will successfully absorb the foul odors and sweat to keep your shoes smelling great

Hopefully, my tips will really help to keep your shoes stay fresh and last longer. But If you tried everything above and failed miserably, then it’s time to get yourself a new pair of shoes!


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