Say No to your Smelly Shoes

Stinky and smelly shoes may put you in an embarrassing situation besides reflecting poor grooming quotient and personal hygiene. It even acts a social repellant and earns you bad reputation.

Do not throw away your stinky pair of shoes, try these simple tips and get rid of the obnoxious stench for sure.

It is important to understand the root cause of the problem before delving into the de-stinkers.

Causes of Smelly Shoes:

Following are the commonest causes of stinky shoes:


Sweat is the obvious cause of bad odor. Socks do not absorb sweat from feet so the shoe absorb excess sweat and start smelling of the same.

Stinky Socks: If you are using your socks more frequently they may transfer the odor to your shoes and make them smelly too. So keep changing socks after every six months.


Bacteria are the underlying cause of bad smell. They proliferate in the anaerobic environment that is damp and moist such as sweaty feet.

Wet Shoes:

Avoid wearing wet and damp shoes as they offer a breeding ground for microbes and consequently smell.

Tips to Get Rid of Smell in Shoes:

Wash Shoes:

In case of excessive sweating, wash your shoes with soap and lukewarm water.

Keep them in Sun:

The simplest solution to get rid of smell from the shoes is to keep them in sunlight. Sunlight exposure kills harmful bacteria and removes smell.

Disinfectants and Deodorizers:

Specially formulated deodorizers and disinfectants are available so that you can disinfect your shoes regularly before wearing and after removing them. Antiperspirant deodorants can also be sprayed for lasting fragrance.

Activated Charcoal and Alcohol:

Rub alcohol to disinfect your shoes and activated charcoal can also be kept in the shoes overnight to keep them smell-free.

Febreze and Lysol:

Just like alcohol, Febreze and Lysol also acts as good disinfectant and kill bacteria.

Baking Soda:

Sprinkle some baking Soda or sodium bicarbonate inside the morning.

Vinegar, Bleach and Hydrogen Peroxide:

Spray either of these inside your shoes and leave them for a day. Your shoes will become non-smelly and clean as never before.


Stash some loosely packed newspaper in your shoes and put them aside for a day. It will absorb all the excess moisture and will make them smell-free.

Natural Materials

Always wear shoes made up of natural materials such as leather, canvas, etc. Put grommets on shoes for proper air ventilation.

Cedar Insoles:

Insoles made up of cedar wood do not allow growth of bacteria and do not emanate stinky smell from them.

Silver Lining Insoles:

By putting silver lining insoles you can keep your shoes free of sweat and smell.


In case of excessive sweating, use baby powders, talcum powders or foot powders on your feet. It will give fragrance to your feet.

Useful Home Remedies:

Some useful and effective home remedies to get rid of smell from shoes are the application of tea tree oil, lemon oil or clove oil on the shoes. You can also place some lavender leaves in your shoes overnight.


1.     Regularly change your socks.

2.     Avoid wearing shoes at home.

3.     Remember to remove chemicals such as baking soda before you wear shoes.

4.     Consult doctor if the situation worsens.

5.     Never wear shoes that are too tight or too loose.

Nobody likes smelly shoes and they are an absolute ‘no’ socially. Hence maintain good personal hygiene and make your shoes smell-free by adopting either of the above mentioned ways.

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