For a totally fresh start.
Okay, so your shoes smell. You’re only human, after all. It’s not like you wanted to stink up the elevator on the way to the 17th floor or create one of the most awkward rideshare experiences in the history of all time.
Let us offer some advice because this isn’t our first Dear HMS situation. We’ve been helping people solve their stinkiest shoe conundrums for a while now and we’ve discovered that there are 7—yes, count ‘em—7 unexpected things you can do right now to liberate your feet from the oppressive reign they’ve had over your friends, family, and coworkers.
Bacteria love a dark, moist environment so when your feet sweat in your shoes all day long, the bacteria thrive (props to you if you read that sentence without gagging). One solution to all that moisture? Fill your shoes up with kitty litter. It’ll draw out the moisture and, depending on the type of litter, neutralize the smell. Just remember to empty them out after a few hours, or else your feline friend might try to relieve themselves in your beloved sneakers, and that’s the absolute opposite effect we’re looking for. Shoutout to the cat people out there: you may show up to every function with cat hair all over your clothes, but at least your shoes won’t stink!
Ever roll down the window for a nice breath of fresh air? Give your shoes the same courtesy by placing them by an open window for a day or so. It can do wonders for the inherent smells that they carry, and the UV rays from the sun will help kill the bacteria. Plus, it might just give you a waft of the outdoors, too. For those of you who wear the same shoes every day, consider getting a second pair so you can give your go-to’s the chance to dry out a couple of times a week.
Replace (part of) ‘em
If your shoes still smell funky even after a spritz of Febreze, the soul of your stink problem can likely be traced to the soles of your shoes. It makes sense, your feet are sweating a lot throughout the day and all that perspiration is sinking right down to the bottom. Net: it’s a good idea to replace the soles (or insoles, if you have them) of your shoes at least once a year. Insoles are pretty easy (and cheap) to replace, but you’ll need to find a cobbler to replace the actual soles of your shoes. If you do replace the soles, the planet will thank you (less waste in a landfill than throwing away your shoes) AND you can say you have a cobbler. Now that’s what we call adulting.
Next time you get caught in a spontaneous rainstorm, remember, moisture is the enemy. Sure, it may be more immediately top of mind to seek shelter or ring out your soaking wet shirt, but we encourage you to promptly address your wet shoes ASAP. It’ll only be a matter of time before that moisture turns to smelly mildew. Try this: take off your shoes and stuff them with either a couple of dry towels or some crinkled up newspaper to speed up the drying process. It’s a lot better than forgetting about your shoes in the closet, only to be greeted by their stink two days later.
And that’s it! Seven unexpected ways to get your favorite shoes ready for social interaction again. Now that you’re an expert on how to remove odors from your sneaks, consider spreading the word as a PSA. Together, we can change the experience of sharing uncomfortably small spaces forever.