Well, they say a measly ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and they’re absolutely correct. An ounce of shoe deodorizing goes a looooooong way towards keeping your shoes smelling fresh.
When you realize the old moldy pizza funk is wafting up from your own feet, it’s normally too late to do anything about it. You’re stuck suffering with your supremely stinky shoes throughout the day, and it just kind of sucks. BTW nobody else is a huge fan, either.
That’s why it’s totally important to take care of your feet and shoes before something like ancient cheesy carbs wafts its way from your rad runners.
It’s totally not that difficult-- I pinkie-promise that all of these options will take you less than a minute at most, and probs even less than that since you’re going to make habits out of them and have fabulously smelling feet forever and ever.
Literally no sweat– erm, at least sweat that won’t make your feet the talk of the town in the worst possible kind of way. For real, once you try one or two of these suggestions, you’ll never go back because they’re really just that easy. So simple that your kid sister with funky soccer cleats has already been saving us all from stinky foot armageddon, and now it’s just time for you to get on the fresh-smelling express ASAP because there’s simply no excuse, my pungent pal.
I’m not saying any of these is a one-and-done kind of trick, but I am saying that your spectacularly scented shoes just aren’t it. It’s no hate on you and your feet– just a friendly reminder that there is something you could be doing about it to save us all from the stank. In actuality and highly regarded fact, there are several somethings you could do to prevent your shoes from turning mutinous and incubating that kind of smell that sends your friends running. Several easy-peasy methods, and there’s no time to waste!
Table of Contents
1. Wash away The Funk
2. Clear the way with Clean Socks
3. Make the Washing Machine earn its place
4. Outstanding Outside Storage
5. Shoe Rotation for the Win
6. LUMI’s Natural Foot and Shoe Odor Eliminating Powder
1. Wash your Feet thoroughly
Call me Captain Obvious, but this one is mucho importante. I get it, I get it– you’re already the actual epitome of consistent hygiene and your feet themselves are actual monuments to cleanliness. In fact, I am so thoroughly positive of your dedication to thoroughness, that frankly I’ve no idea what to say other than to encourage you to keep doing what you're doing, and rocking your clean feet.
But like, if that isn’t you (no blame, ma’ dude), then maybe make sure to give your feet a little extra tlc the next time you’re in the shower. You’ll be wanting to pay exceptionally sudsy attention to your soles and toes in order to prevent any resident bacteria from multiplying.
Rank bacteria love the environment a sweaty foot creates, and it’s up to us to make sure they don’t get too comfy, especially before we put on our shoes, because then the bacteria has the opportunity to migrate and well, I mean as much as it rocks to not have the bacteria living it up on your feet, it also probably isn’t too great to have them thriving and jiving in your shoes either.
So make sure your feet are literally squeaky clean before sliding your shoes back on. Also, PSA, but make sure that your feet are totally and most absolutely bone-dry before sticking them back in the sneakers. Wet environments are awesome for bacteria, which means they’re rather sucky for us folk who are trying to live our best-smelling lives.
2. Wear those Clean Socks
If the last one wasn’t super obvious, hopefully this one is a bit more apparent than the sucker punch of a stench that’s going to be swirling its way up from your shoes sometime soon. Wear clean socks. That’s it, hun.
Like even if you have to switch out sets smack dab in the middle of the day. Right after you work out, the second you get home from work– all of these are perfectly wonderful times to change out of the old socks and slip on something a little less funky.
If you will recall, damp environments are really quite excellent for the bad bacteria that stink up our feet and shoes. So we gotta make sure that we make the switch even if our socks are just a bit sweaty. The most mildly damp socks could spell doom for you and your nose, because those bacteria totally are not going to wait for your permission before starting to stink up your shoes.
Another tip to the weary and smelly: moisture-wicking socks. They’re literally magic. If you don’t think you’ll have the time (or access to your sock drawer) for a quick sock switcheroo, then can I just recommend some socks that’ll do the work for you? Look for what the materials are before ordering or buying, and make sure that you’re getting socks that will help keep your fine self sweat-free and smelling amazing.
Regardless of whether you’re the proud and great-smelling owner of some moisture-wicking socks, just switching out your old ones whenever they get too sweaty is going to work wonders. Seriously, you’re going to be stink-free in no time if you can manage to keep a lid (and fresh socks) on your feet and their potential funk.
3. Routinely clean shoes if machine-washable
If it’s not your feet (because they are quite literally sparkling after you have scrubbed them super super thoroughly, right?) and it’s not your socks (which you’ve managed to switch out for some fresh ones because you’re really, really prepared and ready to squash this smelly shoes problem) then what else could there be?
Um, YOUR SHOES!?
Yeah, they need to be taken care of as well, or else the time will come when you have zero time, but you’ve got smelly feet and it’s literally just the end of the whole stinkin’ world because it’s too late; then you’re going to be wishing that you’d listened to me and my swell advice about stank-prevention because now you’ve got yourself a fine and dandy pungent problem.
In order to prevent powerfully putrid fumes from forming see if you can simply stick your smelly (or soon-to-be smelly) shoes in the washer. There are honestly a whole lot of shoes out there that are as machine-washable as your fave hoodie (which also may or may not be in need of a good wash), and that’s going to make it so much easier for you and me and everyone else who is trying to keep their feet fresh and smelling amazing.
Not all of your fabulous footwear is going to be machine-washable though, so make sure to be aware of what your shoes can handle in terms of staying clean. If worst comes to absolute worst (and you have more than the two seconds it would take to chuck the shoes into your washer), then you can very carefully hand wash your shoes with a damp rag.
Or you could just always make sure to buy shoes that are on your side in this battle you’re waging against the funky bacteria that’s personally determined to undermine you and your shoes.
Machine-washable shoes are literally always for the win. Can’t go wrong on this one, ma’ funky friend.
4. Store your shoes outside in the sunlight (dry faster and deter bacterial growth)
So if your shoes need a little more help than you initially thought, you can also make sure to let them dry out somewhere sunny.
If you weren’t sure, after machine-washing your sweet kicks, you’re going to want to make sure they’re dry before taking them out for a spin again. Remember? Dry shoes are a good thing. Wet shoes? No. Just no. I’m going to smack you upside the face, sunshine, with your freakin' soaking shoes if you even try!
Speaking of sunshine, that’s where we want the shoes to be drying off-- someplace super sunny. Sunshine is going to help get rid of all the little bacteria suckers we mentioned earlier, which is kind of the goal here– less bacteria means less funk, am I right? Yes, I’m right, that there wasn’t an actual bonafide question.
Stick the soggy sneakers somewhere outside where they’ll be certain to get plenty of sun, and just take a step back as nature does all of the work. A) They’ll dry faster outside because of all the great airflow and then B) The whole venture will deter even more bacterial growth (which is awesome).
Even if you haven’t just washed your shoes, storing your shoes outside isn’t a bad idea. I mean, if you live in say the Himalayas then yes, perhaps this is going to be a horrifically terrible idea because of peskily persistent snowfall no matter the time of year. For most of us, however, simply storing your pungent peds outside is going to be a deterrent to any and all bacterial growth on the insides of your shoes. Dry out the sweat, dry out the bacteria– really, there’s no way to lose here.
I mean like unless it rains, and you put the drying shoes somewhere unsheltered, in which case you might have just made a really dumb decision and are now stuck with shoes that’ll squelch with every footfall– so not the goal. Just make sure to be in the know when it comes to your local weather, and this isn’t going to be a problem for you.
5. Give your shoes a wee break (keep your shoes in rotation and avoid wearing the same pair several days in a row)
Now, assuming you’ve got more than one stunning set of shoes to select from, you should also just make sure to give your favorite footwear a quick break. Just some time to breathe, as it were. Your faves are totally working hard to keep you looking at your best, so you should make sure that they get a little rest and recuperation now and again.
This goes back to what we’ve been chit-chatting about– dry shoes are good-smelling shoes. Also, bacteria-free shoes are pretty rad as well. Not rad as in rank, but like… oh, you know what I mean. Anyways, this idea of switching your shoes out gives time for your shoes to completely dry out from having to handle your sweaty feet day in and day out, and besides all of that, it gives the bacteria a chance to beat it. Sans sweat they’ve got no food source, and that’s our goal here. We want to deprive the root cause of your smelly situation (the bacteria) with everything it needs to produce that stank.
It doesn’t have to be everyday (do we look like the Queen of Sheba? I thought not). No need to have a different set of shoes for every day of the week ('cause on Wednesdays we wear our pink shoes– anyone here know Mean Girls?). Just make sure that you’re not wearing the same old dying and wheezing set of shoes every time you go out. Certainly for working out, you’ll want to keep up a solid rotation, with more options for you to choose from, as that’s when you’ll be sweating the most, and when the bacteria will be living its best life (and you'll be at your stinkiest).
Just switch ‘em all in and out every so often, really as often as you feel as needed, and you’ll be just fine.
6. LUMI's Natural Foot and Shoe Odor Eliminating Powder
Now, barring all else, you’ve totally got the option of a little something called LUMI. It’s this natural foot and shoe odor eliminating powder that you just dust in as a preventative measure. It’s talc-free, and it’s made with natural ingredients to boot.
Proudly made in this here United States, LUMI’s natural foot and shoe odor eliminating powder is also family-owned AND their products are never tested on any animals (harsh on bacteria– not on cute puppies or monkeys). It like actually prevents smells before they have a good chance to take root in your shoes, in that it prevents sweaty feet, which, as we’ve gone over (y’all must be experts now, I’m sure) is how we get a moist and toasty breeding ground for all the bacteria baddies that none of us want to befriend.
With no harsh chemicals, half a million people have given LUMI their own stamp of approval. This powder can prevent those horrific smells before you’ll get the chance to even think about the possibility. It’s a high quality and simple-to-use product that’s safe on skin and easy on the environment. Except the environment for bacteria– it’s totally going to kick their microscopic butts. Nonetheless, you yourself shouldn’t worry about anything other than smelling like your most awesome and fresh self.
Say sayonara to all of that spectacular stink before it even gets the chance to say hello with the preventative power of LUMI’s foot powder. A little will easily go a long way, and as long as you’re consistent with using the powder to absorb the moisture in the shoes the bacteria totally isn’t going to stand a chance.
And that’s that, and you’ve got a veritable treasury of options to choose from when it comes to not only deodorizing your shoes, but for taking charge before the situation becomes so solidly alarming you have to say goodbye to a beloved set of sneakers.
You can start by making sure that you wash those feet, then wear clean socks (because you’ve got the freakin’ clean feet, and it would be a freakin’ and gosh darn shame to clad them in any sort of sock that is not pristine).
You can wash the freakin’ shoes themselves (seriously, washable shoes are an actual game changer, everyone go on and get some). DRY YOUR SHOES OFF outside and make sure to use some sunshine to sucker punch the sucky bacteria. Then if you’re feeling up to it (this one is *sooo* much work), just store all of your shoes outside and let the bacteria go the way of the dodo.
Rotate the shoes, and give the sun a chance to do its thing and completely dry ‘em out. Supes easy and supes simple.
If none of these work, or perhaps you just want a quick solution, then LUMI is a great bet. LUMI’s natural foot and shoe odor eliminating powder is like actually the greatest. A solid 11/10 when it comes to giving your shoes and feet a head start on smelling absolutely amazing at all times.
You can try a combo of any of these outstanding options, or just sample and try around to see what works for you and your shoes. All of our footwear come in different materials and go through different adventures given our varied lifestyles, so feel free to just wait and see what prevents the funk for your shoes. Here’s to hoping it all works out well, dear reader, and remember– prevention is powerful and amazing, and smelling like moldy pizza really isn’t. I mean, it could be powerful, but let's not pack a powerful pizza stench in our shoes.
Try any of these options first, por favor and stat, because you and shoes are totally worth the effort.