Ah, hiking. The great outdoors, fresh air, good ole blood circulation, and a chance to clear the mind. Nothing to hate, right? Well, nothing except hiking shoe odor.
If you’ve ever wondered why your hiking boots smell horrendous, let us enlighten you. The root of shoe odor can be traced down to sweat. When you’re hiking, you're more likely to experience shoe odor. This is because as you’re moving more, your feet are sweating more and subsequently producing odor. To make matters worse, it’s only natural that some amount of mud or water will get into your hiking shoes at some point during your hike. Add a long hike to the mix? What you’re left with is the ridiculously awful smell of your hiking boots.
Needless to say, the lovely endorphins pumping through your body can quickly dissipate as soon as you kick those hiking boots off.
We don’t want to get rid of endorphins or hiking, though, absolutely not! Instead, allow us to walk you through how to get rid of your hiking shoe odor forever!
Before we dive into suggestions, be reminded that you should ensure both your feet and socks are clean before all else. Clean feet and socks are essential and will help keep hiking shoe odor at bay.
1. Clean your hiking boots.
This suggestion will take the most time, up to a day or more. The dark and humid environment in your hiking shoes makes them perfect for a horrid smell. Don’t take the easy way out and throw your shoes in the washer, as this could potentially ruin your shoes.
Loosen your hiking shoelaces.
Remove your hiking shoe insoles. Insoles are perfect for soaking up moisture and sweat. Removing the insoles from your hiking shoes and washing them with laundry detergent or dishwashing soap will help cut down shoe odor. Ensure you wash the insoles properly, removing all the soap. You don’t want to have soapy boots on your next hiking trip. 😊
Use a clean, slightly damp rag to wipe out the inside of your hiking shoes.
Using an old toothbrush, thoroughly brush the outside of your hiking shoes to remove dirt, small stones, or pebbles stuck in any cracks and crevices. It’s best to do this as soon as you’re done hiking, so the mud and dirt don’t get the chance to harden and really stick to your shoes. However, if there is super stubborn mud and dirt stuck on your shoes, soak them for a while before brushing.
Place your hiking shoes to dry in a well-ventilated area of your home. Ensure this area is humidity-free and not near any form of excessive heat. You can also stuff newspaper into your hiking shoes to speed up the frying process. If you decide to stuff your shoes with newspaper, ensure you change the paper frequently.
Ensure your hiking shoes are completely dry.
Go hiking again with your fresh shoes!
2. Deodorize your hiking boots.
If you're not quite up to the task of deep cleaning your hiking shoes, this is an excellent option for you. You’ve probably tried powders or sprays before, but have you ever tried the Extra Strength Lemon Eucalyptus Natural Shoe Deodorizer or the Natural Shoe and Foot Powder? Aha!
This Extra Strength Lemon Eucalyptus Natural Shoe Deodorizer is quite perfect for you if you’re a low-maintenance hiker who doesn’t want to be bothered with a million steps to eliminate hiking shoe odor. It only takes a few spritzes! Did you know many deodorizers on the market contain harmful ingredients to the environment and your overall health? What’s impressive about this product is that its natural ingredients not only have lovely scents but are also great for the overall health of your feet and the wider environment. We should also mention the fact that it has over 10,000 5 Star Ratings on Amazon!
Go hiking! You can spray this product in your shoes the night before for added security.
After removing your hiking shoes, spray the product in your shoes as many times as desired. It’s very potent, so you shouldn’t need much.
Place your hiking boots in a well-ventilated area of your home, and leave them overnight. Then, voila, your hiking shoe odor will be replaced with the lovely smell of lemon and eucalyptus. Your shoes are now ready for the next wear!
Fun fact: This deodorizer can also be used to deodorize other areas of your home, other types of shoes, and even your car. Sweet right?
This Natural Shoe and Foot Powder works similarly.
It does an excellent job of absorbing shoe moisture while leaving a pleasant smell. This shoe powder is also made of natural ingredients such as kaolin clay, zinc oxide, and bentonite clay, making it great for your skin!
Hike away! This shoe powder can be added to both your feet and shoes before hiking for added shoe odor protection.
After removing your hiking shoes, sprinkle the desired amount of this shoe powder in them.
Once more, place your hiking shoes in a well-ventilated area of your home and allow them to dry completely.
Your dry, awesome scented shoes are ready for the next hike.
3. Buy new boots.
If your hiking boots reek to the point of no return, sadly it may be time to say goodbye and purchase a new pair. However, we are confident that one of the previously outlined methods will work for you, so hopefully, it doesn’t get to that.
When all’s said and done, hiking is fantastic. While hiking shoe odor can be a ‘pine in the ass’ 😉, it shouldn’t prevent you from hiking. Be sure to try our suggestions and let us know if they work for you!