10K Training Schedule

How To Get Rid Of Smelly Shoes

Want to know how to get rid of smelly shoes?


Do you have smelly feet?

Are your running shoes smelly?

Well don't worry, because I have 3 suggestions for bringing life back in to your smelly old running shoes. Before I go in this however, I should issue one word of warning which is if you have a pair of old running shoes that you've had for some time and have been using them regularly, then it might be time to get of them anyway.

Running shoes are not designed to last forever and the support under the heels and mid foot can break down quite quickly, especially if you are a heavier runner or a very regular one. The official advice is to buy a new pair when you've run approximately 350 - 400 miles in them because at this point they offer little in the way of support.

Of course old running shoes can seriously add to the problem of smelly feet too.

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If you decide it's time to ditch and switch to a new pair, always remember to wear the new pair in first. Wear them around the house for a week or so or go out for a few shorter walks. This is quite an important point, so do please bear it in mind. The number of clients I've had over the years who've bought new running shoes and then gone running in them straight away, only to pick up an injury is very large, despite my advice to the contrary.

Don't forget your old running shoes have moulded and shaped themselves to both the shape of your feet and your style of running, new running haven't yet!

Ok enough with the lecture, back to smelly feet, or more precisely how to get rid of smelly running shoes. What can you do about them. Well I have three pieces of advice and one ( the last one ) which one of my clients mentioned to me last week and I thought, what a great tip and so I really wanted to write a quick page and share it with you.


Anyway here they are...

How to get rid of smelly shoes tip #1

Although the manufacturers won't be happy about this one, it's what I've always done, although it will I'm sure shorten the life of your running shoes. So use it at your own risk.

The tip is to stick them in the washer. Yes, your washing machine, although don't bang it on a hot wash or the sole might shrink or warp. They smell lovely when they come out although you will need to leave them to dry for a while before running in them.

How to get rid of smelly shoes tip #2

An old favourite of many a seasoned runner is to stuff old newspaper inside after you've been out. This helps to soak up any moisture or sweat and keep the shape of the shoe a little better. I've never liked doing this personally because I felt that my shoes always felt a little loose after taking out the paper and I like a snug fit, at least around the sides and heel.

How to get rid of smelly shoes tip #3

Courtesy of a client of mine and definitely my favourite smelly running shoe tip is to fill your smelly running shoes with cat litter.

Yep, you read that right... cat litter, you know the stuff that cat owners put in to little trays for their cats to use as a toilet. Well apparently it contains a carbon type substance which has the ability to absorb and neutralise bad odours and moisture.

Makes sense if you think about it.

Just fill the shoes with the stuff and leave for 24 hours, then empty and vacuum out or brush and there you have it, fresh, dry running shoes.

Those are my top 3 tips for how to get rid of smelly shoes. If you have any suggestions, please add them to the comments section below, I'd really love to hear your thoughts.

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  1. I don’t personally have a problem with this, but if I used option 3 I’d have to be careful that our cat didn’t decide to do it’s business in my shoes!

    • Ha Ha! Forgot to mention that you need to keep your shoes out of your cats reach, knew there was a downside to it somewhere!!!

  2. I wonder if you put the kitty litter in a nylon if it would be as effective with less mess?

  3. Save those little packages of the desicant silicagel (the ones found in your electronics, packaged foods, etc.) Place them in your shoes after running and remove the next day before running. Try squirting a little air freshner before you put on your running shoes. You can use the silicagel over and over again! :>)

  4. Put eucalyptus leaves in your shoes and put them on…. it works


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