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Happy Feet, Happy You! Check out these Tips On How to Get Rid of Smelly Shoes



How To Get Rid of Smelly Shoes - Bellanaija - July2013Yesterday my nose almost went out of business. I went to an event in the evening with my sisters and got seated beside this chocolate looking young man. I was originally happy at the thought that he would have to speak to me since I was sitting next to him.  I was in for a rude shock.

Apparently, he had taken off his shoes to dry his socks which had been brutally assaulted by rain and old age. The stench was so severe it had everyone looking for the source of the smell, but not me. I already knew where it was coming from.

I was staring right at it!

Smelly shoes are , in my opinion, the worst smell ever!  The fact that so many people have shoes that smell is a real problem. Smelly shoes are a result of sweaty feet, and basically everyone has that problem. The typical foot contains about 250,000 sweat glands and produces more than a pint of sweat daily. Now, this sweat that is produced is pressed against your feet for the duration of time you have had your shoes on; but it isn’t what causes the odor. There is a bacteria that resides in the foot’s skin and when this mixes with the sweat  produces isovaleric acid which causes the odor.

Other causes of smelly feet include certain medications as a side effect, some diseases, poor hygiene, harsh environments, wearing poor quality shoes and over wearing shoes.

So how do we get rid of this problem and save our sense of smell from extinction? with these simple steps.

Baking Soda
Baking soda can be used to absorb the moisture our feet leave in the shoes. All you have to do is pour an even layer of the powder in your shoes and leave there overnight. In the morning, shake out the powder and clean off excess with a fabric cleanser or hand wipe and spray with a fabric refresher spray.

Air Them Out
Moisture is the main cause of smelly shoes. The key to making sure your shoes stay fresh and smell free is to make sure they are very dry. You can do this by using moisture absorbing paper or towels such as tissue paper, newspapers, small towels etc and placing them in the shoes. After you have done this, place the shoes in an airy place such as on top a cupboard or outside to let air pass through the shoes.

Be careful not to place the shoes in very harsh places like in front of direct air conditioning or a heater as this could damage the material of the shoes.

Alternate Your Shoes
Now, we are not asking you to have an army of shoes to fight your smelly shoe battle, but just have a couple that you can shuffle to keep your shoes smelling fresh and clean. After wearing a pair of shoes, do not just dump them back in your wardrobe. Take them outside or to a designated are and air dry them.

Refresh Your Insoles and Foot padding

Sometimes for extra comfort or support we use foot padding in our shoes, however, this could be adding to the problem of smelly shoes. The insoles and or paddings are in direct contact with your feet and so are absorbing all the moisture released from them. To refresh these you can do a number of things. You can clean them with water or tea tree oil or take them out and air them till they are dry.

Also have extra paddings so repeated wearing would not cause them to smell or get damaged.

Always Wear socks With Your shoes
Wearing socks before your shoes is another great way to keep your shoes from smelling awful. The socks, since you wash them more often than your shoes, takes all the moisture and gets washed afterwards leaving your shoes free from moisture.

Also remember that sometimes when it comes to caring for your shoes, you have to start from your feet. Try applying some powder to your feet to act as an absorbent for the moisture. This way you are taking extra measures to keep your shoes from feeling the effects of the moisture.

Have you ever had any terrible experiences with smelly shoes? Have you helped anyone overcome it? Don’t forget to share your experiences and tips with us.

Photo Credit:

Jennifer is the Beauty Editor & Style Representative of Get in touch - Send an email to: beauty(at) or style(at) | Follow us on Instagram: @bellanaijabeauty OR @bellanaijastyle | Follow us on Twitter: @bellanaijastyle


  1. Hurperyermie

    July 8, 2013 at 11:58 am

    Thanks for this!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. simisola

    July 8, 2013 at 12:11 pm

    Yes, i have smelly feet. It was bad when i was younger, my shoes were always soaked with sweat. I can’t come visit you & remove my shoes, you will run away.What didn’t i try? someone once advise me to soak my feet in urine for an hour. So imagine what it was like visiting someone & u wear your shoe throughout your stay. I wore slippers for a long time so my feet could get air. Even with that, i had to remove my slipper & dry my feet on the bare floor because the slippers get slippery due to sweat.
    As i grew older, the sweat reduced, i still have smelly feet but at its minimal. i apply foot cream, scrub my feet, when i get to my seat at work, i remove my shoe so my feet my breath then wear it when i want to leave my seat.

    • Ada

      July 8, 2013 at 4:39 pm

      Just like you I had smelly feet until I found out that using mosturiser on my feet especially inbetween my toes was the root cause. It was soo bad that I could not remove my shoes or sandals in public and I had to get rid of a number of shoes. Foot powder, shoe deodoriser etc non of them worked oh, just wasted my money.
      Since I found out I only use baby oil on my feet during summer or not at all in the morning during winter. The down side to using baby oil is dry skin but this is easily remedied by occasional pedicure and scrubbing your feet every morning.

  3. Nomy

    July 8, 2013 at 2:01 pm

    No we don’t all have this problem!

    • Ib

      July 8, 2013 at 5:24 pm

      The same way we do not all have shallow minds.Ignorance should be a sin!
      Thank you for this.Baking powder does work.

    • Ib

      July 8, 2013 at 5:37 pm


  4. Edward

    July 8, 2013 at 3:38 pm

    I understand completely Me and my kids went through a stinky feet phase also. We found this spray called Sweet Feet Spray and it worked miracles. You spray it on your shoes or feet and it got rid of our smell. I recommend this product for anyone with smelly feet LOL. It cost me a few dollars for a bottle but it changed our lives. Their website is Good Luck!

  5. the one

    July 8, 2013 at 6:39 pm

    i have been battling with smelly feet for sumtime, very bad for a lady, it has embarrassed me a lot of times, i sweat a lot of my feet, i have tried so many things, i would try this ones. and hope it works

  6. Chikaka

    July 9, 2013 at 11:01 am

    Aloe Vera gel works all day long.

  7. kasino007

    July 9, 2013 at 4:48 pm

    i dont ave it oh…..

  8. Xtsy

    July 11, 2013 at 4:04 pm

    If ur remedies aren’t working pls see ur doctor

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