Worried about smelly shoes and don’t know what to do? While there are at-home tricks like using baking soda or baby power, the best solution may be to purchase a shoe deodorizer.
Cause of stinky shoes
Whether you frequent the gym or love to play sports, it’s easy to wind up with sneakers that stink after your feet have sweated in them all day. Gym shoes are the most likely target for this stench (the physical activity causes feet to become sweaty) but any kind of shoe can develop this problem.
Shoe odor is known as bromodosis. Smelly feet are caused by bacteria and fungi, which are themselves odorless but which can fester in shoes and leave behind an unpleasant stench. When bacteria breaks down the sweat as it comes from the pores, sweat decomposes and begins to stink. However, there are many ways to prevent and treat this common condition.
Measures like wearing breathable shoes or cotton socks can help prevent the stink. Rotating through various shoes is also a good preventative technique, as shoes worn day after day can develop a strong odor. Try leaving your shoes out in the sunlight after wearing them, so that they can get dry before your next outing.
As for treatments, there are plenty of affordable options readily available, and we’ve listed several items for you below that are easily accessible via Amazon.com.
Plenty of products exist to tackle the problem of stinky feet, but they generally fall into three main categories: sprays, powders and deodorizing balls.
The sprays work by utilizing a mixture of essential oils and botanicals, killing bacteria and making your feet smell fresh. Since sprays can target the inner areas of the toes (an often difficult to reach spot), they are effective at reducing feet stink. Many of these products can also be applied directly to the feet if desired.
Powders work in a similar way to the sprays. Most of them are to be applied to the inside of shoes before and after wearing. They shouldn’t be applied to open-toed shoes, as they can often leave behind a residue. A benefit to powders is that many function as a cleanser, featuring zinc oxide as one of their primary ingredients.
The final option is shoe deodorizer balls. Sneaker Balls, which make our list, are designed to fit into both your sneakers or your gym bag/locker. This product is perfect for the athlete who requires a heavy deodorizer, as the product emits a bacteria-targeting spray that gets out tough smells.
There are a lot of brands selling products that can help you clean your shoes, in many cases by eliminating bacteria and fungi from the footwear. Although brand name certainly doesn’t mean everything, there are some that you may be more likely to encounter — among those that make our list of the top options are Dr. Scholl’s, Sof Sole and Foot Sense. It’s good to get a sense of what’s out there on the market, but what many of these brands share is a 100-percent money-back guarantee if you’re unsatisfied with your purchase. Also, some specialize in products that use natural ingredients, which you may be interested in if environmental sustainability is a concern.
Here, FN has curated seven shoe deodorizers that you can shop right now on Amazon.com, with prices starting at just $5. Since all of these items are readily available on Amazon — and those easy to get without hassle, fuss or interaction with a salesperson — you can correct your problem stress-free, and if you have Amazon Prime, all of these deodorizers ship off to your home in just two days.
1. Buoceans Peppermint & Tree Tea Shoe Deodorizer
This all-natural spray features essential oils designed to eliminate scents from any kind of shoe. It’s gentle enough to use on sensitive skin while also being strong enough to wipe out strong unpleasant odors. The product can be applied directly to shoes or sports gear, or you can even spray your own feet. A 1.4-ounce bottle counts just $15.
2. Sof Sole Sneaker Balls
Sold in packs of two, these sneaker balls are made for removing odors from gym shoes, lockers or gear bags. They come in various fun styles, with designs like smiley faces, basketballs and skulls and crossbones emblazoning them. One pack costs just $5, and Sof Sole says they can last up to six months, depending on frequency of use.
3. Silly Feet Magic Shoe Deodorizer Powder
Silly Feet offers a money-back guarantee if you find your experience to be less than satisfactory. Made in the U.S., the powder costs $12 per container and is meant to work on various types of footwear, including high heels, boots and sneakers. Plus, it comes in scents kids will love, like bubblegum.
4. Lumi Outdoors Natural Shoe Deodorizer Spray
Lumi Outdoors’ spray features essential oils that safely remove shoe odors through anti-bacterial and anti-fungal forces. It has a pleasant lemon and eucalyptus scent, and sells for $13 per 4-ounce bottle. If you find the spray doesn’t get the trick, Lumi Outdoors will you a full refund.
5. Foot Sense Natural Smelly Foot & Shoe Powder
Foot Sense’s powder is the No. 1 seller on Amazon in the “Foot Odor Control Powders” category. The powder has over 1,000 customer reviews, with 80 percent of users rating it five stars. If the product is unsuccessful, the company promises a 100 percent refund, no questions asked.
6. Clean Kicks Shoe Deodorizer Spray
This spray is infused with essential oils and has a pleasant lemon and mint scent. Selling at a $13 price point, the spray is designed with athletes of sports like hockey, tennis and golf in mind. CleanKicks offers a full refund to unsatisfied customers within 30 days of purchase.
7. Dr. Scholl’s OdorX All Day Deod Powder
Dr. Scholl’s powder destroys odor instantly, leaving the foot feeling cool and refreshed. The product is designed to provide all-day protection and control wetness, absorbing sweat with the brand’s SweatMax technology. Buy a three-pack now for just $14.
There are lots of different types of products available to shop, from sprays to powders. All of the items on this list are safe to use — and many swear by their effectiveness, offering shoppers a 100 percent money-back guarantee if they find themselves unsatisfied. Whether your priority is finding an environmentally sustainable shoe deodorizer or finding a kid-friendly option, there’s an effective option out there for you.
In addition to purchasing shoe deodorizers, there are other precautions you can take to prevent smelly shoes. For one, don’t wear the same pair every day. Swap out your shoes throughout the week so that sweat can’t accumulate. Give your shoes time to air out, leaving them out in the sun if possible.
Unfortunately, everyone has to deal with the issue of sweaty or smelly feet sometimes. It’s nothing to be ashamed of — and there are plenty of products you can discreetly purchase on Amazon in hopes of correcting course.
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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