Smelly Running Shoes – 25 Easy Ways to Get Rid Of Stinky Running Shoe Odor

Best Ways to Remove Bad Odor from Smelly Running Shoes

Running is a healthy habit; most runners start their day with a running routine; nevertheless, active and sweating feet can generally bring on some offensive running shoe odor.

Foot odor is a widespread issue, particularly in the summer. Because they perspire within our footwear. Foot perspiration interacts with bacteria near the skin’s surface, where it is broken down. Therefore, sweat that is decaying releases a bad smell. Bromodosis is the term used in medicine to describe smelly feet. The more common phrase, though, is stinky feet.

There are ways to solve this problem without throwing out your running shoes if they have started to smell bad. It would seem an excellent place to start since stinking shoes result from stinky feet. Applying good foot hygiene techniques aids in eliminating the odor from your running shoes without causing damage to them.

Before we examine how to get rid of the smell from your running shoes and other effective odor-fighting techniques, let’s first look at how to stop stinky feet.

How Do I Get My Feet to Stop Stinking?

If you can decrease some of that foot sweat, you can reduce the stinky odor that comes with it. Here are several easy-to-make deodorizers to help maintain your feet clean, dried out, and odor-free.

Keep your feet clean:

  1. Wash your feet each day.
  2. Use soap, washcloth, and water.
  3. Get between your toes, then dry your feet well before wearing your socks and shoes.

Have a soak: If water and soap aren’t sufficient, try soaking your feet once per week for about 20 minutes. Specialists suggest a remedy of warm water and either Epsom salt or vinegar.

Exfoliate: Getting rid of dead skin can decrease foot smell. Wash your feet with an exfoliating shower wipe, exfoliating pad, or pumice stone.

Stay dry: The bacteria that live in your running sneaker and on your feet survive in moist areas. So if you maintain your feet dry, bacteria would not feel welcome there.

Wear breathable socks: If your socks are wet, you’ve prepared a meal for odor-causing bacteria. Put on breathable socks made of materials that will push away foot perspiration. Moisture-wicking socks are your ideal choice. Putting on shoes without socks may be fashionably lovely, but it’s not a great idea. If you like smelly running shoes, don’t put on socks.

Antiperspirant lotion: Your feet have more sweat glands than any other part of your body system. Bacteria like sweaty feet and stink love bacteria. If you’re usually suffering from sweaty feet, you’ll need to concentrate on reducing some of that sweat. An antiperspirant lotion-like SweatBlock is ideal for lowering excessive sweat on the feet.

25 Options for Getting Fresh Odor Of Smelly Running Shoes

Finding the best techniques to remove foul odor may be overwhelming. So we gather up to 25 proven robust methods. You can apply one or more of them to get rid of the bad odor from running sneakers and enjoy your running.

Choose breathable running shoes

One of the best solutions is wearing suitable running shoes. The best running shoes should be made out of breathable fabric. It allows moisture to vent out. Stay away from shoes made of human-made materials. Non-breathable running shoes tend to stop moisture dissipation and evaporation.

Rotate your running shoes

Not putting on the same footwear on consecutive days could decrease the smell of your sneakers. So, it would help if you thought about getting more than one spare pair of running shoes. You should rotate the pair of footwear you put on regularly.

Assuming that you get at least two pairs, alternate the times you put on them. Offer them enough rest. On their reset, loosen the laces, take out the tongue and place them in a well-ventilated area where they can air out.

Use odor-neutralizing shoe insoles

With carefully treated insoles, you can prevent running shoe odor in addition to other ways. Your preferred grocery shop or drugstore carries a variety. Baking soda or activated Charcoal (or both) are used to treat them in order to lessen the offensive smells. They can add additional cushioning to the footbed and absorb sweat from the feet, providing long-lasting odor prevention (a few weeks or months).

Wash shoe inserts and insoles monthly

To wash shoe insoles and inserts,, fill a sink with 1 cup white vinegar and 2 cups water. Throw the insoles and soak them for 5-10 minutes, then rinse them with fresh water.

Use a piece of cloth to scrub the insoles to blot extra moisture, then let them air dry. Make sure they are dried out before placing them back into your sneakers.

Use sunshine

This hack is another easy and free deodorizer to get your running shoes smelling fresh again.

Put your sneakers out in the sun. Moisture is a great challenge when considering stinky shoes. Keeping them out in the sun would dry them out and prevent the bacterial growth that triggers foul odor.

Baking soda

Baking soda is another super home odor eater remedy for smelly running shoes. Sprinkle sufficient amounts of baking soda in the smelly shoe(s). Let the magic of baking soda do its thing overnight. Backing soda will neutralize the odor. Remove it away in the morning, and you will get rid of the stinky smell of your sneaker.

Baking Soda is Very Good Option to Remove Bad Odor from Your Running Shoes

Use salt to refresh your running shoes

Sprinkle some table salt into each shoe is one of the most powerful techniques to eliminate foul odor. Salt is a perfect deodorant as it assists in absorbing moisture and decreasing smell naturally. Give it there for approximately 24 hours, then shake your running shoes out before you wear them again.

Use white vinegar

White vinegar is another disinfectant perfect for dealing with bacteria. Spray a 50/50 combination of distilled water and white vinegar into your shoe sole and lining, and make sure to let at least 30 minutes to dry air before putting them on again.

Eliminate the smell of your running shoes with newspaper

While this seems like a unique technique, placing your running shoes in the freezer effectively eliminates the bacteria that bring about shoe odors. Nevertheless, before you just put your sneakers into the freezer, placing them in a plastic bag is preferred, so you don’t ruin your freezer and its contents.

Keep the shoes inside overnight, get them out, and unfreeze them before putting them on.

Sprinkle baby powder on your feet

If your feet encounter excessive sweat, baby powder can help keep your shoes and feet dry, minimizing the possibility of bacteria on your shoes and feet. In addition, baby powder can help to reduce odors and deodorize your running shoes. First, sprinkle some powder on your feet before you wear your running footwear. Then, if your feet begin to sweat during the day, sprinkle the baby powder again to keep your feet dry.

Use Charcoal to deodorize smelly running shoes

Charcoal is another excellent choice for deodorizing stinky sneakers. Putting a few small pieces in an old pair of tights and keeping them inside your shoe for 7 – 8 hours will enable the shoe to breathe and remove the stench.

Deodorize shoes with wood chips or cat litter

If your running shoes have a stinky odor, here’s a hack you may need to try. You’ll need kitty litter or some cedar wood chips. You’ll also need some paper towels or old but clean socks. Fill up the pair of socks with either cat litter or cedar wood chips. Put one of the socks in each shoe, and leave them inside overnight. The kitty litter or wood chips will absorb the shoe odor.

How to Use Cat Litter to Get Rid of Bad Smell out of Running Sneakers

Freeze your running shoes

It might be a unique method, but it is beneficial. Bacteria can’t stand the cold environment. Freezing running shoes kills this bacteria and reduces the amount of bacteria and some odor. Toss your shoes in the freezer to reduce the amount of bacteria and some smell.

But first of all, you’ll desire to protect the contents in the freezer by applying these simple and easy steps:

  • First, ensure your sneakers are dry.
  • Next, wrap them tightly in plastic wrap or place them in a sealable plastic bag.
  • Keep them inside the freezer for the night.
  • Take them out in the morning. You’ll be happy to see that the shoe stench is eliminated.

Use Citrus, orange, or lemon peels.

If your running shoes are already washed up and dried and want a pleasant smell, use citrus peels, they are odor eaters. Insert these inside your sneakers. If you don’t have citrus peels on hand, you could also replace them with orange or lemon peel powder, which performs just as well. It’ll remove the smell out of footwear too.

Fragrant oils & cotton balls

One more excellent method to provide your shoes with a pleasant smell is to apply some fragrant oils. Just pour some drops of essential oil onto a cotton ball or two and put them inside each shoe. Continue to do this until you start to notice that a pleasant and lovely smell replaces the stinky odor.

Cedar shoe trees

Shoe trees are plastic or wooden shapes roughly formed like a foot placed into your sneakers to help them keep their natural size and shape. We suggest that you use shoe trees made from cedar as they’ll get away any sweat leftover in your running shoes after putting them on, and they’ll also get rid of odors since cedar is naturally antimicrobial.

Cedar Shoe Tree - The Odor Eater

Denture tablet shoe soak

Fill a medium-size container with hot water. Toss in 3 to 4 denture tablets and wait a couple of minutes until they are dissolved. Next, drop your tennis shoes in and allow them to soak for 2 to 3 hours. Then let them dry in a sunny spot. You will get lovely scents from your shoes, and also, they will be germ-free.

Keep in mind that you’ll only want to use this process on shoes that can be immersed totally in water without damage.

Read more: best 3 ways to store your running shoes

Remove stinky shoe smells using essential oils

Essential oils are going to be a perfect alternate for shoe stench. That’s because it’s going to cleanse and lift the odor from your footwear, not just hide it with a new aroma.

You should toss a few drops inside the shoe and let it dry before putting them again. You’ll be surprised at how effective it is and also how long it lasts!

Some essential oils that are very good for eliminating odors are:

  • Orange
  • Tangerine
  • Bergamot
  • Lemongrass
  • Sage
  • Grapefruit
  • Rosemary
  • Oregano
  • Tea Tree
  • Peppermint
  • Lemon

Make a homemade essential oil shoe spray

You can apply many homemade solutions to make an effective shoe spray out of essential oils. The following is a useful recipe that you can use to make a solid homemade detergent.

In a small spray bottle:

  • The first step is to fill half of the bottle with unscented witch hazel.
  • 5 drops of oregano
  • 5 drops of lemongrass
  • 2 drops of tea tree oil
  • 6 drops of peppermint essential oil
  • Fill the rest of the bottle with water
  • Screw the spray top onto the bottle, and shake well.

Spray this mixture directly into your shoes. This remedy can be useful enough for daily use. You can swap different essential oils and find which you like best.

De-stink your running shoes with tea bags

This solution for shoe stench is simple, effective, and straightforward. It is effective in the same way as the wood chips and cat litter methods. Put two or three tea bags in each shoe. Keep them inside for some hours or overnight. The tea bags will take that bad smell coming from your running shoes out.

Destink your running shoes with tea bags

Use steam to kill odor and bacteria

Steam can help eliminate foot odor and bacteria in your footwear if you have a steam cleaning machine. These are used for disinfecting and cleaning things around the house. Just keep the steam machine’s nozzle in each shoe for around 30 seconds and let the heat and steam do the job. Then, allow them totally to dry before putting them on again. Make sure that you try this technique on shoes that can endure high temperatures and moisture.

Make a shoe deodorizing powder at home

In a small jar, combine 1 tablespoon of corn starch, 3 tablespoons of baking soda, and 5 drops of tea tree oil. Baking soda is a natural deodorizer, and tea tree oil destroys microorganisms. Cornstarch helps keep the mixture from clumping.

After taking off your shoes, lightly sprinkle this shoe powder inside them. In order to remove odors and absorb sweat, leave it on all night.

Related article: the definitive guide to running shoe components

Use A bar of soap ( Activated Charcoal soap is the best)

Another approach to removing the foul scent from your running footwear is putting a bar of soap inside each shoe. The soap absorbs odors and provides a clean, fresh smell. It is an excellent technique to apply if you have a couple of soap bars in your closet or cupboard!

Use rubbing alcohol

Spray the inside of the sneakers with rubbing alcohol. This technique will help dry out the causes of odor and let you get rid of the shoes’ stinky smell. Rubbing alcohol is not only antibacterial but also evaporates very quickly, and its drying feature will push moisture to evaporate along with it.

Get shoes fresh smelling again with dryer sheets

We can’t discuss techniques for deodorizing running shoes without using dryer sheets. It’s another uncommon method to freshen smelly shoes. Have a standard dryer sheet, split it in half, and put one half in each shoe. Then, leave them inside the shoes overnight.

Time to get a new pair

The aforementioned remedies for smelly shoes have been tested and proven. But if you applied one or more of these methods and you couldn’t get the fresh and cool smell of your running shoes, it might be time to think of purchasing a new pair.

Final Thought

Fixing smelly shoes might seem difficult, but it isn’t. The simple smelly odor eliminators above can improve your life when you begin using them. Don’t ignore to perform the right foot hygiene procedures. One important thing to keep in mind is never using any harsh chemicals. After a cleanup, use those methods if you’ve got stinky sneakers. That’ll ensure you definitely remove the reason for the odor and not merely the bad smell.

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