Shoe odor is an embarrassing problem but instead of getting those stinky shoes and throwing them in the trash, there are a few things you can do to make them smell better. According to the makers ShoeFresh shoe deodorizer, based out of Salt Lake City, one of the best ways to prevent foot odor is to spray your shoes with a shoe odor spray before they are worn for the first time. This will help to eliminate bacteria-causing odors for up to three months. The spray can then be reapplied to prevent shoes from becoming smelly for another three months at a time. But will shoe deodorizers banish foot odor after the fact?

What to Do About Stinky Shoes

If your shoes are already stinky, then it is best to clean them before using anything like a shoe deodorant to eliminate bad smells. It is like trying to mask body odor with a quick spray of underarm deodorant. It might initially work to conceal the odor, but once you get hot and sweaty again it will just make the smell even more offensive. For underarm deodorant to do its job properly, you need to clean your pits first and then use the spray. It is the same for shoes.

Cleaning your shoes means getting rid of or killing the bacteria in them and this can be done in a few ways. Washing the shoes is one, but you can also freeze them or put them outside in the sunshine. Other methods include applying some rubbing alcohol, diluted bleach, or a disinfectant spray inside the shoes and allowing it to dry.

Keeping Your Feet and Shoes Smelling Clean

After cleaning your shoes and making sure they are fully dry, you should spray them with a shoe deodorizer to neutralize any lingering smells. There are other things that you can do too. For example, avoid wearing the same pair of shoes every day. This will allow your shoes to dry out between uses, which will prevent bacteria from thriving.

Never wear your shoes without socks. Doing this will mean that your feet are bound to become hot and sweaty. With nothing to absorb the moisture inside the shoe, bacteria will begin to grow; it is these bacteria that produces that foul smell. If you have particularly sweaty feet, then buy some special moisture-wicking socks that work better to absorb moisture.

Make sure that your feet are clean before you put your shoes on. Each morning, give them a wash with a mild soap and make sure they are fully dry before you put your socks and shoes on. An antibacterial soap is an excellent choice. You can also apply some talc to ensure your feet are fully dry.

Some people want their shoes to smell pleasant. If this sounds good to you, then you can do this by applying a few drops of your favorite essential oil onto a cotton ball and placing it inside your shoes overnight. You could even place a dryer sheet inside the shoes before wearing them. Dryer sheets will absorb sweat but will also give off a nice scent as you go about your day. Be sure to replace them every day, though.


Sweaty feet can lead to a buildup of bacteria in your shoes. If allowed to thrive, these bacteria can produce a foul smell that leads to stinky shoes. Nevertheless, to prevent this from happening you should spray your shoes with a shoe deodorant before use. If you have failed to do this before first wearing your shoes, all is not lost. You will need to thoroughly clean the shoes and allow them to dry before using some of the above tips.

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