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Readers Respond: Tips to Prevent Foot Odor and Stinky Shoes

Responses: 11


Updated July 07, 2009

How do you prevent foot odor? What do you do to keep feet fresh and prevent shoe odor and stinky shoes?

Don't Misuse Foot Powder

If your footwear has a lining that wicks moisture away, don't clog its 'pores' by pouring foot powder in the shoe. I found that out after treating an expensive pair of firefighting boots.
—Guest safetyjack


The best remedy from mother nature: Special cedar inserts made from antifungal cedar wood. The inserts are very thin, flexible and transfer a well-smelling Odor. No daily applying - just wear these inserts inside your shoes.

Tea Foot Soak

I've found that soaking my feet in a solution of tea once a week will keep my feet from sweating and smelling. However once shoes have an odor, you must neutralize it some way. Either use a shoe deodorizer or Lysol to kill the odor factory.
—Guest TS


UV light penetrates clouds and so it might be worth leaving the sandals outside even on cloudy days?
—Guest terry

A/C vents

After a hot summer walk, I flip my shoes over, balancing them on the floor air conditioning vent. The cool dry air circulates throughout the shoe drying it in just a few hours
—Guest Shag407

Stinky shoes

I put Gold Bond foot powder in my shoes when I am not wearing them to kill the fungus and bacteria that infect the shoe.

Let the shoes dry after use

My favorite pair of sandals is so stinky that I had to throw them away. So now, I always make sure to leave sweaty/wet shoes in a sunny spot so they dry out thoroughly.


I found a great product made by Kiwi called Freshins. They are thin disposable inserts that absorb moisture and prevent foot odor. They even fit easily in my high heels! My friends and family may be even more excited about this product than I am!!!! I have had sweaty feet my whole life and this is the first product that has been able to last all day for me (for less sweaty people, my sister says they last a week for her). You can buy them online.
—Guest Colleen

Baking Soda

I find that sprinkling baking soda into my shoes and leaving it in overnight (or longer, if possible) will clear up most bad smells.
—Guest Mia


It doesn't work perfectly, but fluffy socks are my method of choice. They're shock-absorbing and wick away moisture. They do get hot, but I feel kind of 'pampered' when I wear them.
—Guest Elizabeth369

Foot Powder

I've used a medicated foot powder before and after wearing shoes to prevent foot odor in my only pair of stinky shoes. They were probably so smelly because I had to wear them without socks because they were so narrow. I don't get foot odor in the shoes where I wear sweat-wicking socks.
—Guest wb

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