How to Make Shoes Not Smell in 6 Easy Steps: A New Guide for Hoopers!

Bro, those things reek!


Your SHOES, bro.

My shoes?

And just like that, I became aware of how stinky my basketball shoes were.

It didn’t take me long to correct this mistake. The reputation of having smelly feet, however, took a bit longer to live down.

Are your smelly shoes so smelly that even your opponents can’t bear to guard you?

As a former high school and college basketball player, I know the struggle of daily practices and the toll it can take on your beloved new basketball shoes.

After all, who has time to clean their smelly shoes when there’s so much work to be done on the court?

Those basketball shoes can get pretty rank and be subject to bacterial growth and excess moisture after being stuffed in a locker or gym bag for hours.

That’s why I’m here to teach you how to make shoes not smell with these simple tips.

Get ready to dominate the court and leave your opponents gasping for air – from your superior basketball skills, not your shoe odor.

What is The Deal with Smelly Shoes?

Have you ever experienced the horror of taking off your shoes after a long day, only to be hit with an odor that could rival a landfill? What is the deal with smelly shoes?

It’s like they have their own private ecosystem in there. Maybe it’s the combination of excess moisture, sweat, and bacteria (oh my!) having a wild party on your feet, or maybe it’s the shoes’ way of seeking revenge for being stuffed into a dark closet all day.

Either way, finding a way to banish the stench of smelly shoes can feel like a never-ending battle against odor-causing bacteria.

Reasons You Need to Know How to Get Rid of Shoe Odor

Listen, we all have that one friend whose smelly shoes smell like they’ve been marinating in a swamp for a week. And you don’t want to be that friend.

So, if you’re tired of your toes being subjected to the scent of rotting gym socks, it’s time to learn how to get rid of shoe odor.

Not only will it save you from embarrassing social situations, but it’ll also give your shoes a longer lifespan.

No one wants to wear shoes that smell like something died in them.

Plus, imagine the look of shock and awe on your friends’ faces when they realize that, yes, you are capable of having shoes that don’t smell like death.

Trust me, it’s worth putting in the effort to get rid of shoe odor.

Step-by-Step Instructions On How to Make Shoes Not Smell

No matter how much we love our favorite pair of sneakers, the smell can be downright offensive.

With a few simple steps, you can make your shoes smell better than a field of fresh flowers. Okay, maybe not that good, but you get the point.

In this guide, I’ll walk you through the process of getting rid of smelly shoes, eliminating shoe odor, and killing bacteria once and for all.

So, grab your stinky sneakers, and let’s get to work. (Just try not to pass out from the smell on the way to the laundry room.)

1. Clean your shoes regularly

The first and foremost step to keeping stinky shoes from smelling is to learn how to clean basketball shoes so that the shoes smell fresher.

Use a mild detergent or baking soda and warm water to wipe the outer surface of your shoes, removing any dirt or grime stuck on them.

For the inside, take out the insole and wash it separately. Use a soft toothbrush to scrub the inside of your stinky shoes, particularly around the edges and seams.

Once done, rinse the shoes with water and dry them in a well-ventilated area, preferably in fresh air and under the sun.

PRO TIP: Do NOT put them in the dryer or near a heat source. The heat can shrink or damage the shoes.

2. Use baking soda

Baking soda is a household hero when it comes to removing odor, and it’s no different for stinky shoes.

First, remove any excess debris or dirt from your shoes. Then, sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda inside each shoe, making sure to coat the entire interior.

You can use a small brush or cloth to spread it evenly. Let the baking soda sit in the shoes overnight or for at least 8 hours.

In the morning, simply shake the excess baking soda out of the shoes and enjoy the fresh, odor-free aroma. If your shoes are still emitting a bit of a scent, repeat the process until the smell is completely gone.

3. Use a shoe deodorizer

After cleaning your shoes, use a shoe deodorizer to kill the bacteria and remove any odor that may linger.

You can buy a commercial shoe deodorizer or make one at home using simple ingredients like baking soda, cornstarch, or essential oils in a spray bottle. (You can even try kitty litter or tea bags if nothing else is available.)

Sprinkle the deodorizer, baking powder, or your favorite essential oil inside your shoes, particularly in the toe box and heel area. Leave it for a few hours or overnight, then shake off the excess and wipe with a cloth.

4. Alternate your shoes

To prevent your shoes from becoming too smelly, alternate between different pairs.

This way, you give each pair enough time to dry and air out between uses, which minimizes the growth of bacteria and reduces the odor.

Moreover, using the same shoes every day can wear them out faster and decrease their cushioning, grip, and support, which can affect your performance and safety on the court.

5. Wear the right socks

Another way to make shoes not smell is by wearing socks meant for basketball players.

Wear socks that are breathable, absorbent, and tough enough to withstand the rigors of basketball.

Opt for synthetic or cotton socks, which wick away sweat to keep your feet dry, prevent smelly shoes, and also prevent chafing. Also, make sure to change your socks frequently and wear clean socks, especially if you have sweaty feet when you wear socks or play for extended periods.

Socks are a great gift for basketball lovers if you don’t know what else to get them!

6. Store your shoes properly

Last but not least, how you store your shoes can have a significant impact on their odor and overall condition.

After cleaning and deodorizing your shoes, place them in a cool, dry, and well-ventilated area. Avoid storing wet shoes in a closed bag or locker, as that can trap moisture and promote bacterial growth.

You can use a shoe tree or stuff the shoes with newspaper or a fabric sheet to help them retain their shape and absorb any leftover moisture when you let them air dry.

Key Considerations for Successfully Cleaning Your Shoes

First of all, make sure you’re using the right cleaning method for your shoes’ material. You don’t want to accidentally ruin your favorite pair of shoes by dousing them in water.

Secondly, don’t be afraid to get a little rough with it. Those stubborn stains aren’t going to come off easily, so put some elbow grease into it.

Just try not to break a sweat because then you’ll just have a whole new odor problem to deal with.

And lastly, be patient. Cleaning your shoes – whether you use baking soda or a few drops of essential oils – can take time. Trust me, the end result is worth it.

Plus, you’ll feel like the man walking around in shoes that look and smell like they’re brand new.

Taking it to the Next Level: How to Make Your Shoes More Grippy

Playing basketball can be a real slam dunk, but not if you’re slipping and sliding all over the court like a newborn giraffe.

First off, invest in a pair of shoes with good traction. This may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people try to play basketball in their every day sneakers.

Secondly, keep your shoes clean and dry if you want to keep your shoes grippy. Dust, dirt, and moisture can all affect your shoe’s grip, so make sure you’re wiping them down regularly.

And if you really want to go all out, there are plenty of products out there that can give your shoes extra grip, from sticky pads to specialized sprays.

Just be careful not to overdo it unless you want to feel like you’re playing basketball in a giant wad of gum.

Alternatives to The Method Above

So, you’ve tried everything to get rid of that funky shoe smell, but nothing seems to be working.

First up, try stuffing your shoes with dryer sheets. Not only will they give your shoes a fresh scent, but they’ll also absorb unwanted odors.

Plus, you’ll finally have a use for those random dryer sheets that always seem to end up in the bottom of your laundry basket.

If all else fails, embrace the smell. Who needs fresh-smelling shoes anyway? Just tell people you’re going for that “lived-in” look, and pretend like it was all on purpose.


Congratulations! You’ve now learned the secrets to keeping your basketball shoes smelling fresh.

Trust me, I know the struggle of trying to impress your crush with your moves on the court only to be shut down by the smell of your shoes.

It took me a while to learn how to remove odor from shoes. With these tips and a touch of essential oils, you’ll be known for your skills and ability to shoot a basketball and not your stinky feet.

So go forth and dominate the court with confidence, knowing that your shoes are fresh, clean, and ready to take on any challenge. (And hey, who knows, maybe that cute cheerleader will finally give you a second glance…just don’t forget to thank me when she does.)


How Do You Get Bad Smell Out of Shoes?

One method is to sprinkle baking soda inside the shoes and let it sit overnight before shaking it out in the morning.

Another option is to stuff the shoes with newspaper, which will absorb the moisture and odor.

You can also use specialized odor-fighting products such as shoe deodorizers or some products that come in a spray bottle. It’s important to keep your shoes clean and dry to prevent future odors from developing.

How Do You Get The Smell Out of Shoes Without Washing Them?

It’s difficult to remove odor from shoes. One effective way to get the smell out of shoes without washing them is to use essential oils.

Add a few drops of essential oil directly onto a cotton ball and place it inside each shoe. Let the shoes sit overnight, and the oils will naturally freshen up the scent.

Some popular choices are tea tree oil, peppermint oil, and lavender oil.

Additionally, keeping your shoes clean and dry can prevent odors from developing in the first place.

Why Do My Shoes Smell So Bad?

One common cause is bacteria and fungi, which thrive in warm, moist environments such as sweaty shoes.

Another reason could be wearing shoes without socks or wearing the same pair of shoes repeatedly without giving them time to air out. Poor quality shoes or using synthetic materials that do not allow proper ventilation can also contribute to bad smells.

Finally, medical conditions such as hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating) can lead to strong foot odor.

Does Freezing Shoes Get Rid of Smell?

Freezing your shoes can help reduce shoe odor, but it won’t completely get rid of it.

Bacteria can’t survive in cold environments, so sticking them in the freezer for a few hours kills most of them off and the odor with it.

For best results, put your shoes in a plastic bag and freeze them overnight.

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