How to Deodorize Shoes with FLAT SOCKS®

man with long hair pinching his nose while holding out a smelly shoe

Make FLAT SOCKS Your Smelly Shoes Fix

Nothing ruins a good pair of shoes like gross foot odor. While keeping your shoes and your feet clean helps fight the bacteria that makes shoes stink, it’s not always enough to stop your shoes from smelling.

Before you go pouring cat litter into your sneakers, try these five ways to get the smell out of your shoes, including anti-odor shoe inserts like FLAT SOCKS.

Is it normal for shoes to smell bad?

If you’re embarrassed because your shoes smell bad, then you should know that shoe odor is a normal problem. When your feet sweat, your shoes can become a dark, damp breeding ground for bacteria and fungi. These microbes are harmless, but they do produce a foul odor that makes shoes smell bad.

A woman looking in disgust at a smelly ballet flat she is holding

The more your feet sweat, the more bacteria build up, and your shoes start to smell downright offensive. Wearing shoes that aren’t breathable or that have synthetic materials can worsen this smell. One of the reasons why people wear socks is to help absorb the sweat and prevent odors, but going sockless doesn’t have to be so, well, stinky.

Fix Smelly Shoes with Anti-Odor Shoe Inserts

People who don’t like to wear socks have a secret weapon against shoe odor, and it’s called FLAT SOCKS. These shoe inserts for smelly feet replace the need to wear socks. Unless, of course, you want to wear socks with them. We don't judge.

FLAT SOCKS Paint Splatter, Leopard, and Peachy Rose sitting on yellow sofa

So, what makes FLAT SOCKS the best stinky shoes remedy when you need to get the smell out of your shoes? Here’s a few reasons to love these barefoot insoles:

  • Moisture-wicking fabric over plush cushioning draws sweat away from your feet to control moisture, so they stay dry and comfy.
  • Odor control technology helps absorb gross smells inside your shoes caused by sweat and bacteria build up.
  • Machine washable and dryer safe, so they’re easy to keep clean for longer lasting defense against bacteria and shoe odors.
a woman holding gray shoes with beige sock inserts in front of a cloudy blue sky

FLAT SOCKS are anti-smell insoles that help save your smelly shoes, preventing damage caused by sweat stains and lingering smells. You can shop FLAT SOCKS in different patterns, too, so the inside of your shoes both smell and look freaky fresh. With a non-slip bottom and no-show cut, you and your friends might just forget you ever had smelly shoes.

5 Ways to Remove Smell from Shoes

Even the best foot care routine won’t stop your shoes from smelling, especially if you have super sweaty feet from hyperhidrosis. Boost the odor fighting benefits of FLAT SOCKS and save your shoes from becoming a stinky swamp with the following shoe deodorizing hacks:

woman holding a pair of dirty sneakers while kneeling in front of washing machine

1. Wash Your Feet

Washing your feet every day helps prevent bacterial growth. Use soap and water to thoroughly wash your soles and the spaces between your toes. Rinse your feet and dry them completely, even if it means giving those toe hairs a quick blow out with the hair dryer. If you do wear socks, always wear a clean, dry pair.

2. Wash Your Shoes

In most cases, you can wash your shoes in a washing machine to help get rid of sweat, bacteria, and odors. Just be sure to follow the shoe manufacturer’s washing and drying instructions or check out this quick guide on how to wash shoes. After washing, wait until your shoes are completely dry both inside and out before wearing them.

3. Add Baking Soda

Baking soda is a natural shoe deodorizer. It has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties that help it absorb odors, making it an effective at-home solution. Combine it with cornstarch or talcum powder to absorb excess moisture or add a few drops of essential oil for a fresh scent.

Here's how you can use baking soda to get the smell out of your shoes:

  • Fill two unused coffee filters with baking soda, cornstarch, and a few drops of your favorite essential oil (optional).
  • Tie off each coffee filter with a rubber band.
  • Place one filter in each shoe to fix smelly shoes overnight.

4. Alternate Your Shoes

Most people have a favorite pair of shoes they like to wear more often than others. Whether it’s a pair of sockless shoes like HeyDude™ shoes or your everyday work boots, wearing the same shoes two days in a row will increase your risk of smelly shoes. They need time to air out to help stop the spread of bacteria.

If you only own one pair of shoes, this can be tricky. You can try removing your insoles to help your shoes dry out faster or use an odor eating shoe insert to help absorb sweat. Going shoeless (and sockless) when you can, like not wearing shoes in the house, will give your shoes a chance to dry.

5. Use Shoe Deodorizers

There are plenty of shoe deodorizers on the market from odor eliminator sprays to boot dryers and charcoal bags. A fast and effective way to rid your shoes of unwanted smells is to use sneaker deodorizer balls. Great for small spaces and easy to activate, they use a powerful odor blocker that leaves behind a fresh, clean scent for up to three months.

Do insoles help with smell?

Old, worn, and sweaty insoles are often the hidden culprit of continuous shoe stink. They rarely get washed, which gives bacteria from sweat a semi-permanent home. Using an anti-odor sock insert and replacing your factory insoles with insoles that have breathable, moisture-wicking qualities can help get rid of persistent smells.

Get the Smell Out of Your Shoes with FLAT SOCKS

Shoes will start to smell bad when sweat and bacteria build up. You can eliminate shoe odors by keeping your feet and shoes clean plus using at-home deodorizers like baking soda. Instead of letting your shoes stink up your life, get the smell out and keep it out with FLAT SOCKS anti-odor shoe inserts.

man standing before a green bush while holding white shoes with gray sock inserts inside

FLAT SOCKS is not affiliated with HEYDUDE™ any other shoe manufacturer. Reference and trademarks used above are an example of shoe types that FLAT SOCKS are designed to work with.


Frame, D. (2024, February 21) How To Get the Smell Out of Shoes. Health.

Smelly Shoes? How to Remove Odor From Shoes. (2022, January 5)