You’re suffering from smelly shoe syndrome, or as we like to call it bacteria overload? When sweat and dirt in the shoes combine, the bacteria that feeds on these matters has a tendency to defecate in your shoes, causing a foul odour that isn’t pleasant to the senses. If you then decide to use the same footwear (assuming you love it that much) day in and day out, the odour usually gets worse, as bacteria likes moist, warm environments. And guess what, your body temperature hovers around 37 degrees Centigrade (98.6 degrees Fahrenheit) and your feet give off about a half pint (~250 ml) of sweat per day. Now, that’s bacteria heaven. But don’t despair, let’s have a look at some possible solutions for smelly shoes.
- Wear your shoes with socks: socks tend to absorb some of the sweat and therefore reduce some of the moisture present in your shoes.
- Change socks daily: just like shoes, it’s not advised to wear the same pair of socks day in and day out, as it’s also a breeding ground for bacteria.
- Rotate between multiple pairs of shoes (be sure not to wear the same pair of shoes 2 days in a row).
- Clean them, remove dirt and grime from the insoles (hand wash with soap and water and let air dry).
- Use baking soda to absorb moisture from the inside of the shoes overnight. Vacuum it out in the morning before wearing the footwear.
- Smooth insoles tend to smell less (i.e. leather), as there are less cracks in which moisture and dirt can accumulate.
- Sterishoe: an electronic device that rids your shoes of bacteria through UV light.
- Sportmate pouches: These pouches are filled with lava rock, which is able to absorb the moisture in your footwear and thus helps to remove the moist environment that allows fungus and bacteria to grow. Rechargeable.
- Leather insoles with activated carbon to help absorb moisture in the shoes
- Shoe deodorizers (may help temporarily, but do add moisture to the shoes)
- Socks: many socks on the market today are now designed to help reduce odour causing bacteria by adding materials such as silver, copper or bamboo. These have antimicrobial effects and therefore reduce the number of bacteria present in the footwear.