How to Treat Leather Shoes If They Smell

Written by melissa morang
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How to Treat Leather Shoes If They Smell
You don't have to throw away your smelly shoes. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

According to WebMD, a person's foot contains more than 250,000 sweat glands. A smelly foot is usually caused by excessive perspiration that makes the bacteria on the soles of the foot break down, states Isaac Tabari, DPM, a podiatrist. If your feet start smelling, your shoes will also start to smell. Before you throw your smelly leather shoes away, try a simple remedy to get the odour out.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Sprinkle 3 tablespoons of baking soda into each shoe. Shake the shoes gently to distribute the baking soda to all areas. The baking soda neutralises odour. Leave the baking soda in the shoes overnight.

  2. 2

    Pour the baking soda out of both shoes. The shoes should now smell fresher.

  3. 3

    Clean the outside of the shoe, removing any traces of baking soda. Use a leather cleaner and follow manufacturer's instructions.

  4. 4

    Spray a foot antiperspirant or deodorant inside the shoes. Alternatively, use a foot powder that contains ingredients like dimethicone, triclosan, grillocin, menthol and chlorhexidine digluconate.

Tips and warnings

  • Change your shoes daily so shoes have a chance to air out in between uses.
  • Wear absorbent, cotton socks and change them each day.
  • Soak smelly feet in vinegar and water.

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