All performance footwear will start to smell eventually, regardless of anti-microbial materials used or how many mesh layers have been stacked to create your sneaker of choice. Unless you're a pro athlete who goes through a fresh pair every game, you'll need the following tips for how to keep your shoe game tight. Don't be the smelliest guy on the bus and click through for 10 simple and cheap ways to keep your sneakers looking and smelling their best.
No. 10 - Sneaker Balls
Remember these? Your Mom stuck these in your gym bag back in the day for good reason. These mini deodorizers are strong enough to help out shoes when in transit or in a cramped gym locker.
No. 9 - Spray 'Em Down
If you have any essential oils (lavender, tee tree, lemon, rosemary, peppermint) put them to use. Chances are you probably don't, but combining an essential oil with vodka and distilled water can eat up odors between uses. Another fix-it-all you may already own is white vinegar. For desperate cases, soak your shoes in a sink of water and white vinegar to clean out the bacteria that is causing that stench.
No. 8 - Store Shoes with a Cedar Block
That old cedar trick where you keep a block of wood in your underwear drawer to keep moths away can combat odor as well. Cheaper than Sports Balls and a little more grown-up looking. Classy, bruh.
No. 7 - Mr. Clean
We've said it before, Mr. Clean does the trick. While the Magic Eraser may not be able to banish bad smells, the sponge takes away any scruff marks or dirt stains that make you feel less than shiny out on the field.
No. 6 - Clean Immediately After Using
The long the bacteria sits in the fibers, the smellier your shoes will get. Same goes for stains and scruff marks, the sooner you buff abrasions out the easier it will be. Keep a sponge in your gym bag makes it easy to wipe down cleats before they go back into your bag.
No. 5 - Let Them Breathe
Stacking up shoes might make your room look neater, but no amount of Frebreeze will help that situation out. Store sneakers and cleats in an open air environment to let them breathe before their next big game.
No. 4 - Don't Overthink It, Throw Them in the Washing Machine
While most footwear brands advise against the washing machine for a throughout hand washing, sometime a spin in a sudsy whirlpool is all a shoe needs. Remove laces and insoles and add a neutral detergent, wash with bulky items like sheets or towels for a gentler option.
No. 3 - Pull Out the Tongues
This seems simple, but if you're putting mean miles on your shoes be sure to unlaces and pull open uppers as much as possible after use. This extra air flow will let your sneakers breathe and keep odors from being trapped.
No. 2 - Spray Them Down, Part II
If you don't have the time or the motivation to use any of the other advise, grab the garden hose. Rise them well and leave them in indirect sunlight to give them a fresh start.
No. 1 - Baking Soda
The most useful advice you will get from this list is knowing the power of baking soda. Sprinkle baking soda into your runners, basketball shoes, cleats, or trainers post workout to deodorize sweaty shoes and keep you smelling clean. If your shoes have any mesh layers be sure to shake powder loose before wearing again to avoid puffs of white clouds with each step.