How to Stop your Shoes from Smelling Nasty

I do not suffer with sweaty or noisesome feet as a rule, but I have a couple of pairs of shoes that have inexplicably become so.  One is a pair of canvass plimsolls and the other is a pair of very expensive, leather crepe-soled pumps that look like cats.  The cat shoes were fine until I inadvertently went in the sea in them; maybe they’re just upset.  Cats don’t like water.

There are remedies for getting rid of unpleasant smells from your shoes, but your first port of call must be personal hygiene. Feet take a right old battering, carrying us about all day and they must be given air, light and soap to keep them shiny.  Lots of people have fungal and bacterial infections without knowing it and these can not only cause whiffy feet but can also be passed on to other people.

Care of Feet:

Wash your feet regularly, making sure that you get right in between your toes and dry them well afterwards

Keep your toenails clean and trimmed – if they are thickened or discoloured visit your pharmacist and get some cream for it – fungal infections are unsightly and catching

If you get itchy smelly feet, visit your pharmacist and get some cream for it

Let your feet breathe – cramming them in dark confined spaces all the time can only lead to trouble

Change your shoes regularly – any shoe will smell putrid if you wear them seven days a week

If you’re not wearing socks or tights, consider trainer socks or ‘footsies’ which cover the bottom of your feet but don’t show above the shoe line

Always wear cotton or cotton mix socks as they let your feet breathe more

Use a deodorant – but quite honestly, I would look at hygiene first; get rid of the biohazard, get rid of the smell!

Removing the Smell

Some shoes can be put in the washing machine as a first line of defence.  Pop them in a bag and put them in the machine with an old towel to protect the drum

Sprinkle the insides of your shoes with bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) last thing at night.  In the morning bang them together outside or into the bin to get the crystals out

Charcoal or silver insoles are easily available from shoe repairers and shoe shops

Charcoal bags and little bags of special drying crystals can also be purchased and work very well

Cedar – cedar chips or insoles have anti-fungal and deodorising properties
Freezing your shoes can also kill off the fungus or bacteria which cause stinkiness.  Put the shoes in individual plastic bags and put them in the freezer for at least twelve hours

No excuses – clean your shoeses!

Healthy, fragrant feet, but personally I think those nails could do with a clipping

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9 Responses to How to Stop your Shoes from Smelling Nasty

  1. Josie-Mary November 17, 2012 at 08:26 #

    Yuk I was eating my toast while reading this!! But thanks for sharing your tips :)

  2. Toffeeapple November 17, 2012 at 09:40 #

    I generally wear Crocs, mainly to help with my spinal problems ( they cushion the impact of walking ) but they are also made of a material which is antibacterial and, they go into the washing machine. I like Crocs. I didn’t much like the picture in your piece though! You’d think people would check their feet to make sure that they didn’t get putrid…

  3. columnist November 17, 2012 at 13:12 #

    The cure for feet like that, (in your photograph) is amputation.

  4. Shari Harniss November 17, 2012 at 13:56 #

    Goodness, what a pitiful sight!
    Another way to get rid of odor in your shoes is newspaper. Just stuff it into the shoe and leave it for a day or two. Works in any enclosed space- fridge, cooler, etc.

  5. wartimehousewife November 17, 2012 at 19:05 #

    I’m sorry children, but there are people in the world who need a short, sharp shock when it comes to their lower extremeties.

    I have a bit of a thing about feet actually. Being a qualified masseur I have seen a great many feet in my time and as long they’re attached to the piece of meat on my couch, I’m fine with them. But I really don’t like people touching me with their feet, even if they’re manicured and fragrant. I’m sure there’s a Freudian explanation in there somewhere…. but as Schoppenhaur said “Get your bloody feet away from me, you fungus-ridden scuzzer!” Or was that Fergie?

  6. Wumi November 18, 2012 at 11:58 #

    Another great thing to do is to put talcum powder in your shoes for two days- works pretty well. The only problem is getting the talcum powder out…a little bit messy!

  7. Flat Stanley November 18, 2012 at 14:41 #

    If you have therapy and ever find out the Freudian meaning, do let me know because I also cannot bear others bare feet touching me (beagle tootsies accepted) .
    I also cannot abide ‘flip-flop’ wearers especially those that think it normal to wander down rain sodden grubby High streets in November wearing them – yuk !!

  8. wartimehousewife November 18, 2012 at 17:55 #

    Welcome Wumi – the talc can work as well as long as the shoe problem hasn’t got out of hand – as it were.

  9. wartimehousewife November 18, 2012 at 17:56 #

    You’ll be the first to know, Flat Stanley.

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