6 Cheap Tricks to Fix Stinky Shoes: Getting Ready for Summer

6 Cheap Tricks to Fix Stinky Shoes: Getting Ready for Summer

I mean, I know I can already picture it myself. Burning sun, warm days. Bright blue skies, and wispy, sugar-spun clouds. There’s the tinkling of the ice cream truck, and maybe the neighborhood kids laughing as they race to catch up with it and spend their allowance on a popsicle. Everyone plops down on the soft, green lawn and starts to happily munch their sweet treats.


Sticky ice cream party, also please casually ignore the fact that this young whipper-snapper is lacking in shoes of any kind, much less the stinky variety


Sticky fingers and happy smiles for everyone. And… and… wait, is that foot stink? Gross. Wayyyyyyyy gross. The ice cream suddenly tastes a little less sweet. I mean, I'm gagging, Timmy next to me is gagging, we're all gagging, I think Samantha over there is crying it's so bad, yikes, yikes, yikes


Some of my happiest summer memories are of how warm it is, but warm weather also means toasty feet, and well, *cues distracted cough* but, like really, we all know… toasty feet can also lead to smelly shoes.

It’s totally not something you should be embarrassed about, though. Seriously, you’re a human being,  and we’ve honestly all been there. Real humans sweat, and it's genuinely cool. Or... not cool, because um... ok yeah, it's gonna be summer before we know it, and foot funk is going to find us whether we like it or not. No need to feel ashamed, ma' dudes.

BUT you know what’s really good for your self-esteem? Taking care of that foot funk STAT. Prioritize shoe deodorizing immediately, por favor.


Yes, yes, we’re all procrastinators here, and it’s super easy to just forget about the sweaty rank rising up from your shoes.


I hear ‘ya, I totally feel like I just want to enjoy all the wonderful summer adventures, and simply soak it all in before autumn pokes its rather cooler head back into the weather forecast. Literally, who actually wants to spend a single darn second on shoe maintenance? 

It’s also really expensive to fix smelly shoes, right? Way easier to just get a new set, probably. Without a doubt.

That couldn’t be more wrong! There’s a way we can save your shoes, I pinkie promise, and we can SO do it without busting the bank, alright?


Don't bust the bank-- this piggy one is way too cute to demolish-- literally, there are so many cheaper, and BETTER ways to deodorize shoes.


In fact, there is an actual butt-ton of methods people have been using to save their shoes from sweaty doom since forever. Let’s run through them, shall we? 

Summer’s a’ comin’ and your shoes are gonna be smelling utterly delightful if I have anything to say about it!


Table of Contents

    1. Soap being its super self

    2. Cat litter to lose that funk

    3. Vinegar spray (DIYYYYYYYY!!)

    4. Sole sacrifice-- BYOV (bring your own volcano), of course

    5. Lemon or lime peel (easy-peasy, and dare I say it, lemon-squeezy)

    6. LUMI (just in case)

    1. Soap bars save the day

    First thing’s first– grab a bar of soap! Well, two, preferably. I’m assuming here that you want both of your shoes to be fresh and fabulous. So, get yourself some lovely-smelling bars of soap…


    Good for hands, and good for feet too! Shoes and soap are besties now, and them's be the facts.




    What the actual heck? Yes, this absolutely sounds freakin’ crazy but it also freakin’ works! Tuck the bars in right before you go to sleep, and then you literally just have to leave them there overnight.

    That’s it. Easy, simple, BOOM!

    Note, however, that this method works best if you do it several times a week. Consistency is key, my friend. 2ish or maybe 4ish times every week oughta do the trick for even the most fiendish of funks.

    Particularly in the summer, make sure, if this is your chosen method of odor elimination. Really, any kind of soap will work perfectly well for this here option. 

    Price-wise it’s literally just two dry sticks of soap to save the day. I’m assuming you have a few spare ones lying about, but if not maybe stick to one of the following options. Or buy two whole sticks for your shoes– it’s not like you’re lathering them up or anything, so they should last you a good, long while. That is, certainly at least up until next summer.


    2. Borrow some of your cat's litter

    If it’s good enough for our cats, it’s good enough for us. Hopefully Whiskers won’t mind if we take some of his litter– I mean, we’re not asking for much–you’re just going to need two shoefulls. Simply scoop a little bit into your smelly shoes, and a fair bit of the offensive odors will be absorbed. Let it sit overnight if you can help it, and then go on and pour it out. 


    "Em, excuse me, dearest stupid hoo-man, why are you pilfering my poop pebbles???"


    And make sure you pour ALL of the cat litter out of your shoes. Cat litter may be a stellar shoe deodorizer, but trust me, it totally is going to suck when you find a tiny pebble wedged in the sole. Or twenty. Particularly if you’re off on an otherwise lovely summer-time hike or something.

    Same as the last option, maybe try it out a couple of times per week, see how it works out for ya’, and then try again as needed. The nice thing is, these kitty litter bags come in gargantuan bags, so price-wise you’re way likely to get a good deal.


    If you don’t have a cat, though, certainly you live in close enough geographic proximity to a friend who does. You can beg them mercy for your smelly feet (and anyone who is unfortunate enough to get a whiff). Surely they could spare a cup or two of the pet’s litter? 


    It’d be for the good of us all– but don’t worry if you’re not brave enough to expose you and your smelly feet problem so brazenly. Just keep reading, my funky friend.


    3. DIY deodorizing spray (half water, half vinegar)


    One part vinegar and one part water, all into a spray bottle, and then let your pungent peds have it.


    After spraying them down, it might also be a good idea to chuck the shoes into the washing machine, as long as it’s safe for your cute summertime footwear. No worries if not, maybe just let them air out some, like outside or something like that. Hopefully, it’s warm enough now wherever you live that they’ll easily dry out in no time flat, and then you can get back to your summertime adventuring of choice.


    Granted, this shoe deodorizer is a little rank itself, but I mean, I think we can all come to agree that vinegar is just a bit better than the rad reek wafting up from your shoes. Just hit ‘em with one of those follow-ups, and I think you’ll end up being just fine. You and your funky feet.

    Spray as needed, but just like the other options, several times a week makes for a good preventative effort. Hey– the best offense is a good defense, amiright? Additionally, if you’re feeling like this DIY spray just isn’t strong enough, up the vinegar amount, and keep the water the same. The more uneven the ratio, the less likely a chance you’ll have of the gross shoe smell making an unwanted comeback. Be careful that you don’t replace one bad smell with another though– definitely give your cute shoes some time outside if you douse them intensively in an unholy-singe-your-nose-hairs-off-and-burn-your-eyeballs kind of vinegar mixture.


    4. Sole Sacrifice 

    Replace the insoles– bite the bullet, and make sure you don’t let it get this bad the next time around! 


    Sayonara smelly (in)soles! Replace this stinky sucker stat, and fix your smelly shoe problems.


    Sometimes, we gotta sacrifice for the greater good, and for your rad runners, it may be time to say goodbye, so long, and adieu to the old, and hello to something new– something that doesn’t smell like pickled fish and makes me wish my nose could simply take a quick vacay every time you and I go for a July hike.

    Now, I mean like don’t do this every time you sweat out your shoes– that could get real pricey, real quick. I mean, if that’s what you feel like you gotta do, you go and live your best bougie life– it’s your hot-girl summer, ma’ dude, and we totally understand that sometimes hot-girl summer results in sweaty feet. 10/10 wouldn’t recommend keeping the sweaty funk, though. 

    This article is all about the cheapest ways to fix smelly shoes, so really, only go with this option if you’ve exhausted the others, and even then only do it once before throwing in the towel and throwing the stinky shoes out.

    If you’re curious about this option, sole replacements can be found online super, super easily. My only request, my pungent pal, is that you don’t spend more on sole replacements than you initially did on the shoes themselves– that would suck, mucho, and you’re way savvier with your moolah than that, si?


    5. Leave a fresh lemon or lime peel inside

    Next time you make some lemonade or limeade for the hot day ahead, make sure to save the peels. A cool, tart, and refreshing drink for you, and salvation for your smelly shoes! 


    Goodbye smelly shoes, hellooooooo lemonade!!!


    Stuff them in there, and let him hang out for as long as possible, but remember that unlike the cat litter or soap, lemon and lime peels are kind of organic materials, and will get even more rank than your wrecked shoes if you leave them there for too long.

    Also, I mean, if you’re already having the lemonade, this one is basically free. Cheap is great, but why spend money unless you gotta?

    This one is supes straightforward. Key recommendation though– share the tasty lemonade after it has quenched your thirst and conquered your smelly shoes. 

    Share lemonade– not shoe odor– please and thank you:)


    6. LUMI Natural Shoe and Foot Powder

    Then last, but absolutely and most certainly not least, we have LUMI! This particular product of theirs works practical wonders for summertime stenches in our shoes. 



    Seriously, it goes so far as to prevent odor. This sucker helps keep the insides of our shoes nice and dry, and as a result nice and clean as well. Sweat whomst? Stink who? I know neither of those suckers, and neither shall you!

    ANNNNNNND the ingredients are like actually great for your skin to boot. We’ve got a nice lineup of kaolin clay, zinc oxide, bentonite clay, etc-- all to leave your feet happy and your nose even more pleased. 

    So there you have it, folks. Six wonders to deodorize your smelly shoes. Cheap and easy tricks to eliminate shoe odor forever.

    No stink doesn’t have to mean no money! One of these six tricks for fixing foot funk is bound to work, or maybe even try a quick combo of several of them to see what works best for you!

    Whatever you try, enjoy the warmer months, and enjoy ALL of and ONLY the most wonderful smells that come with them.

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