Smelly running shoes Need The Best Shoe Deodorizer!

Sweat and Bacteria cause your running shoes to smell but it can be controlled. The best shoe deodorizers working two ways. They addressed the root cause of the smell and can be fragranced to give her pleasant after smell.

During the summer months the smell can be worse because your feet get hotter quicker when you run and you will sweat more. There’s a higher chance of that sweat becoming stale and smelly. Smelly running shoes can also be caused by bacteria, possibly as a result of some sort of medical condition.

There are several home remedies you could try to eliminate the smell. Such as putting them in a plastic bag and putting the bag and shoes in the freezer overnight. You could try kitty litter in a stocking or a sock placed inside the shoe to absorb the smell.

However if you’d like to take more direct action that about your smelly running shoes. Try one of the products mentioned that has been specifically designed specifically for the problem.

Equally putting your running shoes in the sunshine and fresher for a few hours could reduce the problem enough so as no to bother your nostrils.

Buyers Guide

As with the home remedies the following products work to a greater or lesser extent. As with any solution to problems related to smell the results can be subjective. At least one of the following could damage your running shoes and nobody wants that.

Purifying And Deodorizing Bags

Of all the products mentioned in this article the purifying bag are my favourite and the one I use. Bamboo bags filled with charcoal that are placed inside the running shoe to absorb odours.

They are recharged easily by putting them in direct sunlight for a couple of hours every couple of months. I buy them 12 at a time so I’ve always got a fresh pair to put into my running shoes. They are unscented so don’t leave a smell and that’s the way I did the way I like it.

Deodorizing Balls

Deodorising balls work in the same way is purifying bags. But the absorbent material is a compound rather than natural charcoal. The common design for these balls is a twist to activate and place the ball inside the shoe.

They have a dual action of absorbing odors and the majority of the balls also have a light smell to them. They’re a popular no mess, low maintenance option that leave no trace or residue behind in the shoe.

Deodorizing Sprays

Deodorising sprays are perhaps the most popular method for eliminating odours. However they leave a residue in their wake. This doesn’t sit too easily with me when it comes to deodorizing my running shoes.

They’re popular because they are cheap and very effective. As a result there is a bewildering array of sprays offering different smells to suit everyone’s taste.

However the residue is an issue. For example you train hard for 16 weeks for your first marathon only to find there’s some stranger effect on your running shoes that you discover mile 22. I might be being paranoid but it seems like a problem that is easy to avoid by using any of other methods to remove the odour from your running shoes.

UV Light For Deodorizing

Light boxes flood the shoes with ultraviolet radiation to remove odours by killing the bacteria that cause is them. This seems like an extreme response to an issue could be resolved by leaving us running shoes in the sunshine for a few hours.

However the odour might be so bad that you need to take extreme action. If that’s the case I would highly recommend you pay a visit to the doctor and explain the issue and try to resolve the root cause.

Other Factors

If the odor isn’t too serious why not try some free options before you buy something that may or may not work for you. For example.

Kitty Litter

If you have a cat and your foot odour isn’t too bad the kitty litter option certainly worth a try. Kitty litter is designed to be absorbent and remove smells. So if it works for your cat it should work for you as well. Putting a handful in a sock or a stocking. Putting that in your shoe may just be the answer you’ve been looking for.

Shoe Rotation

One simple solution to this issue is to buy more shoes. By rotating your shoes and using a different pair each time you go for a run you give the second pair a chance to dry out. This will keep them going for longer and they won’t be constantly wet from sweat.

Things To Avoid  

As mentioned any tactic that leaves of residue is a bad idea.

Putting your running shoes in the freezer is also something I would avoid. The midsole foam that is your best friend when you’re pounding the streets. Will become harder and perhaps brittle if you leave it in the freezer on a regular basis. Reduce the life span of your running shoes.

Scented Or Unscented?

Whether your deodorising solution has a nice smell or not is secondary to its odour absorbing capabilities. There’s nothing wrong with having a nice smell in your shoes every time you put them on but it is not a necessity.

Final Thoughts: Best Shoe Deodorizer

I only started looking into deodorising my running shoes after I was encouraged to do so by my wife.

There are lots of different possible solutions to the problem. At a high level my advice is to try the free ones first before you invest in something you might not get along with.

Your running shoes are a humid environment, ideal to allow bacteria to thrive. Sunshine and kitty litter may be all you need to fix this problem by removing that environment.  

If more affirmative action is required take a look on Amazon, read the reviews and pick a solution you like the sound of. But keep in mind the tips and advice mentioned in this article.

Best Shoe Deodorizer


Slightly obsessed middle aged runner.