How to Keep Your Shoes Odor-Free

Given how many miles your favorite pair of shoes or sneakers rack up, it’s only natural that they can start to develop some strong odors over time. To help you avoid the embarrassment of an offensive scent at, say, a friend’s at-home gathering or to simply save your own nose, we’ve rounded up some handy tips for stopping shoe stench in its tracks.

Invest in a Cedar Insole

Cedarwood is antifungal and absorbs sweat to help keep feet dry and prevent odor, so an insole made of the material is a great pick. Try an option like this pair from Zederna, which also features a bottom cotton layer for extra moisture absorption.

Use an All-Natural Foot Powder

Shake a small dose of foot powder into your shoes to help absorb excess moisture and fight odor-causing bacteria. This prescription-strength formula from Gold Bond has been a best seller since 1908 and retails for under $9.

Try Rubbing Alcohol

Spritz rubbing alcohol inside your shoes. Not only will it help reduce stink, but it will also act as a disinfectant.

Pile on the Baking Soda

Baking soda is also another easy home remedy. The pantry staple can be used to make the stinkiest footwear smell practically brand-new. Pour a healthy dose into shoes, let it sit overnight and shake it out in the morning. For an even stronger alternative, mix the baking soda with zinc oxide powder, which has additional deodorizing and antibacterial properties.

Opt for a Footwear Deodorizer

Simply pop a pair of foot deodorizers into your most-worn boots or shoes for a no-fuss solution. This option from Remodeez features activated charcoal to help absorb moisture, stop odor and prevent bacteria from growing — and it lasts up to year.

Or Handy Sneaker Balls

For shoes that can’t accommodate larger fresheners, sneaker balls are a good alternative. The mini design made popular by Sof Sole can easily be thrown into slim sneakers and flats to release a clean scent for up to 2,000 hours of freshness.

Drop in Essential Oils

You probably love essential oils for making every other part of your home smell good, so it only makes sense they’ll help with your shoes, too. We recommend a few drops of eucalyptus or tea tree oil for a neutralizing effect.

All products featured have been independently selected and curated by our editorial team. If you buy something through the links included on our site, FN may earn a commission.

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