8 Super Cheap Ways to Eliminate Running Shoe Odor

8 Super Cheap Ways to Eliminate Running Shoe Odor

You're one step further on your fitness journey and have even added a weekly dose of running. Great! Not so great? The smell that greets you after you've finished running and have kicked those shoes off.


Running shoe odor is an issue many people struggle with, and it's completely natural. If you're running more, your feet are sweating more and subsequently producing more odor.  Also, whether you're an avid or apathetic runner, shoe odor doesn't discriminate. Alas, shoe odor solutions may be both time-consuming and on the costlier side, irrespective of the type of runner you are. Fortunately, tackling shoe odor doesn't have to break the bank, and there are cheap ways to eliminate running shoe odor.


1. Baking soda!

This one may not come as a surprise to you; baking soda is an absolute lifesaver! There's a good reason baking soda is an active ingredient in many laundry detergents and cleaning products. This is because baking soda naturally acts as a PH neutralizer, and as most odors are acidic, baking soda neutralizes the acids that cause these odors.

After you've finished your run:

  1. Measure one to two tablespoons of the desired amount of baking soda and sprinkle it in your running shoes.
  2. Let the shoes sit overnight (for the best result), and throw the powder out of your shoe in the morning.
  3. Make this a routine each time you go running, and we can guarantee you will see- and more importantly, smell, the difference.


2. "Sun" them!

You heard correctly. This method may sound a bit old-fashioned, but it's as effective as it is cheap. Odor gets worse with moisture, and after running however many miles in your running shoes? There's some moisture in there, alright. After running, to eliminate shoe odor, place your shoes outside in the sun so they can absorb the moisture from your shoes. Think of it as a sunbath for your running shoes.



3. Freeze them:

We're serious. You're probably thinking, why on earth would I want to freeze my running shoes? Or any shoes at all, for that matter?? Hear us out. Freezing your running shoes can be just as effective as placing them out in the sun to dry.  Place your running shoes in a Ziploc bag or a similar bag, and throw them in the freezer overnight. In the morning, remove the bag from the freezer and allow your running shoes to return to their average temperature. Not only is this cheap, but it's also effective.


4. Try rubbing alcohol:

We all have rubbing alcohol in our first aid kits. Rubbing alcohol can really help zap any of the odor in your shoes. Rubbing alcohol also won't leave the insides of your shoes wet as it evaporates rapidly. If you have a spray bottle at home, fill it with some rubbing alcohol, and spray the interiors of your running shoes after you're through with them. This will eliminate running shoe odor. 


5. Grab a bar of soap:

Most of us already have soap somewhere in our homes, so this meets the cheap criteria and is not something you have to go out of the way to buy. If you have a bar of soap at home that's almost done and you'd like to put it to good use, you can use it to get rid of your running shoe odor. After you're through running, place the bar of soap in your smelly shoes and leave it overnight. Soap is porous by nature, meaning it's pretty absorbent so that it will absorb your running shoe odor. Also, um, hello, it's soap! So it will leave a lovely smelling scent in place of the not so lovely one that was there before. So if you have a few soap bars that you don't have any proper use for, try using them to tackle running shoe odor.

6. Try teabags:

We know teabags can be a delicious delight but do you have a few to spare? They could save your running shoes. Teabags are incredibly absorbent, so if there's moisture in your running shoes, a few teabags will get rid of that pronto. Also, depending on the kind of teabag, your shoes will smell lovely once you removed the teabags. After running, place three to five tea bags in your shoes and leave them overnight or for a few hours. In the morning, remove the teabags and smell your running shoes. You'll notice a difference.

7. Got any lemons?

This is the last food item we promise. Seriously though, lemons can go a long way in reducing your running shoe odor. This is because lemons contain citric acid, which acts as a neutralizer to foul smells. If you have any lemons lying around your kitchen, peel one or two and stuff the peels into your running shoes. Leave them overnight for the best results, and in the morning, you can enjoy the lovely, clean smell of lemons.




8. Try Something a Little Stronger

Want to take it up a notch? Check out this Extra Strength Lemon Eucalyptus Natural Shoe Deodorizer. Not only does this deodorizer contain that fantastic citric element we just spoke about, but it says extra strength for a reason. This product has over 10,000 5 star ratings on Amazon! So, if you'd prefer to skip the hassle of peeling your lemons or would like them to stay in your kitchen, this is a great alternative.

You can also try: 

Citrus Tea Tree Natural Shoe Deodorizer


There goes citrus again, showing off. This Citrus Tea Tree Natural Shoe Deodorizer is excellent for tackling running shoe odor. It has over 1000 five-star ratings on Amazon and does just what it sets out to. Spray this deodorizer in your shoes after running and let it do its job. 


We can all agree that running is great and is something we want to keep up. However, we don't want running shoe odor or to break the bank while trying to find solutions for smelly shoes. Be sure to try some of our suggestions above on a few cheap ways to eliminate running shoe odor, and let us know which ones work for you!

Back to blog