Common Causes of Smelly Shoes

Common Causes of Smelly Shoes and How You Can Eliminate them.

Imagine you’ve had a long day at work or spent most of the day at your school, or been out for the night with friends, and when you return home, the first thing you


feel like doing is throwing your sandals or shoes. Moreover, there’s no way you’re not asking “why do these shoes smell?” or “did my feet cause the shoes to smell?”


We’ve probably heard that feet are the reason behind the stinky smell, which isn’t false. However, there could be several reasons why your shoes smell.



Sweat — The Most Common Reason.

One of the most common answers you’ll get if you ask any individual behind smelly shoes, they’ll probably answer that it’s because of sweat, which is not entirely wrong as there are almost 250,000 sweat glands on each foot that sums up the answer.

Sweat may be the result of an outing on a hot day or when you’re wearing your shoes for a long time, or due to intense workout sessions, including running, exercising, cycling, etc. We should give our shoes a break from time to time so that they can dry as much as they want and be free of smell.


Another key reason our shoes smell is due to bacteria. We are in our shoes all day long, which stops its ventilation and leads to the accumulation of Kyetococcus Sedentarius. It is a bacterium that gives rise to smelly organic acids and volatile sulphur compounds that have a stinky smell, thereby causing our shoes to smell bad.

This bacterium can stay in our shoes or sandals for a long time if certain measures aren’t undertaken to get rid of it. This is why shoes with proper ventilation are suggested by specialists, which include shoes made of leather. It is better if you avoid wearing shoes made of rubber or plastic.


Wearing the same socks over many days may result in smelly shoes. If we wear the same clothes and keep repeating them every other day, we may feel the need to change them as we feel nasty due to the smell.

The same applies to wearing the same socks for long hours as they hold smell from onto our feet and automatically transfer the smell to the shoes. This ultimately leads to a stinky smell. Besides, wet socks are also another major reason for smelly shoes.

Wet socks are a moist layer, when worn, comes in contact with microbes. Wet socks are food for these microbes, and since these microbes never dry out and keep feeding on them, they reproduce. And because they keep sucking on them, our feet, along with the hoes, start smelling. This is why it is necessary to change our socks every day to eliminate the possibility of smelly shoes.

How to Prevent Smelly Shoes.

Shoes made of leather and canvas trainers can be cleaned in your washing machines if you put them inside a bag and pillowcase. In any case, others will fall apart in the washing machine, including the ones with a cork sole.

Lately, a blogger named Lynsey Queen shared a picture on Instagram and mentioned a genius hack for keeping shoes clean and fresh. The picture was captioned: “Pop a few tea bags inside your smelly shoes to fight off bad odours that are caused by heat and bacteria. Leave to sit overnight in a warm dry place. The longer you leave the better.”

The Bottom Line

Washing and drying your shoes can keep them away from bad odour. But note that detergent and heat can degrade the materials within the shoes. The best way to clean your shoes is to hand wash them with cool water.

If you use a washing machine to clean shoes, make sure to use the Hand Wash setting or the Gentle setting. It’s best to air dry them as any heat in the clothes dryer is bad for them.

These are all the steps you can follow to get rid of the odour in your shoes! And if the smell lingers even after following these tips, Pongone Pongone On-The-Go On a Wooden Table With Air Freshener In The Backgroundwill guarantee the smell stays away. Use our on-the-go natural odour remover to get rid of the stinky smell in your shoes. For professional odour eliminating services, contact us. Our professionals stand ready to come to your rescue at all times!