Well-worn footwear and funky smells go hand-in-hand, making it quite the gamble when you take off your favorite pair of shoes. Everyone has to deal with the potential embarrassment of foot odors at some point. That’s why anyone can benefit from a handy shoe deodorizer, letting you make the best possible impression wherever you go.
Confidently overcoming pungent shoe odors takes a high-quality product. We’ve researched the best shoe deodorizers to give you peace of mind whenever you don your footwear. In our comparison, Lumi Outdoors Natural Shoe Deodorizer Spray edged the competition because of its all-natural essential oil blend and fast-acting odor elimination.
But everyone deodorizes differently. Keeping shoes fresh in a suitcase takes one solution, while sweat-soaked running shoes demand another. We’ll help you make the right choice for the occasion with these reviews of the best shoe deodorizer options.
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Our Top Picks for Shoe Deodorizers
At the end of this article, we share more details about how we research shoe deodorizers and factors you should consider when deciding on the best shoe deodorizer for your situation.
BEST OVERALL: Lumi Outdoors Natural Shoe Deodorizer Spray
Lumi Outdoors Natural Shoe Deodorizer Spray comes from a small business out of Utah supplying all-natural odor eliminator products for around the house. We love the peace of mind that comes with lung-safe, eco-friendly solutions. Pairing that with the versatility of Lumi Outdoors products as general purpose room sprays, they’re an easy recommendation as the best shoe deodorizers to keep on hand.
The simple ingredient lists among the three scents are free of harmful chemicals and include familiar staples like witch hazel, apple cider vinegar, and various essential oils. While the essential oils bring out delightful aromas to replace foul odors, the thoughtful blends can also work to remove the source of the smell.
Elements like eucalyptus, clove, and tea tree oils have proven antimicrobial properties, eliminating various bacteria and fungi without harming indoor air quality. The scent is powerful and remains effective for 1–2 days before needing reapplication. Though discreet, each bottle advertises 700+ sprays. With 1–5 sprays needed per shoe (according to the instructions), you can expect the small bottle to go a long way.
- All-natural ingredients
- Works as a general room air freshener
- Effective on numerous items
- Oils offer antimicrobial benefits
- Available in three scents
- May need reapplication after 24 hours
- Smell may be overpowering or unpleasant
|Lemon/eucalyptus, citrus/tea tree, lavender/tea tree
BEST VALUE: FunkAway Odor Eliminating Spray
FunkAway Odor Eliminating Spray doesn’t mask a funky shoe odor only for it to return hours later. The proprietary OM Complex™ formula seeks out and captures odor molecules before breaking them down, promising a lasting fresh scent. The shoes need a decent soaking, and the subsequent fresh scent will linger for about a day until it dries completely.
FunkAway may not be the best odor eliminator for everyone’s stinky shoes, but it is one of the least risky. The price is relatively low, and the purchase includes a money-back guarantee if it doesn’t work for you. In our view, that makes it well worth a try. Plus, it’s versatile enough for almost anything, from gear to garbage cans, so you’ll be sure to get value from it, even if it doesn’t completely resolve your smelly shoes.
- Destroys odor molecules
- Relatively inexpensive
- Works on clothes and other items
- No antimicrobial effect
- Fresh scent may be off-putting
- Instructions are vague
BEST FAST-ACTING DEODORIZER: Kiwi Shoe Deodorizer Aerosol
Kiwi’s Shoe Deodorizer is one of the most effective and easy-to-use products on this list. It’s the premium choice, but once you get over the price, you’ll likely love the convenient application and speedy results.
The canister uses an innovative double nozzle that solves the frustration of awkwardly spraying shoe deodorizer toward the toe. Rest the canister head on the insole and press down for one second, and a front and back aerosol sprayer shoots deodorizer toward the heel and toe. It’s an excellent solution if you struggle to deodorize high-ankle boots. The spray will start to eliminate shoe odor on contact, giving you all-day relief from unpleasant smells.
- Easy to use
- Offers all-day freshness
- Great for boots
- Relatively expensive
- Needs frequent reapplication
- Not antimicrobial
BEST DEODORIZING INSOLES: Odor-Eaters Ultra-Durable Insoles
Odor-Eaters Ultra-Durable Odor-Destroying Insoles deliver ongoing performance while you wear your shoes and after you take them off. The construction starts with an activated charcoal base to adsorb odors and moisture. Another layer integrates baking soda for similar benefits, while zinc oxide offers antimicrobial properties to control bacteria.
With their ability to absorb excess moisture, suck up odors, and eliminate odor-causing bacteria, these insoles do everything they can to keep your smelly shoes from stinking up the room. And since you don’t have to apply a daily product, like a spray or powder, they’re incredibly convenient.
The only question is value. Shoe inserts aren’t rechargeable, and if you only get a few days or a week of use, as many people have, the bang for your buck deteriorates. It depends on how badly you sweat and create foot odors. If you’re a heavy sweater, you’ll fill the limited capacity of the baking soda and charcoal in no time. But for mild foot odor and moisture, they could last a month or more.
- All-day odor and moisture control
- No harsh chemicals or harsh scents
- Provides comfortable, breathable cushioning
- Doesn’t require daily applications
- Relatively expensive
- Insoles may slide or bunch
- Challenging to cut to fit shoe size
|Activated charcoal, baking soda
BEST SHOE DEODORIZER POUCH: Marsheepy Charcoal Shoe Deodorizer Bags
Marsheepy Natural Bamboo Charcoal Bags don’t work instantly, but they’re one of the best options for refreshing shoes between uses. All-natural bamboo charcoal adsorbs odor molecules and moisture onto its enormous porous surface area, eliminating smells rather than masking them.
Charcoal bags are generally an exceptional value. Although they need monthly recharges in the sun, Marsheepy’s pouches last up to two years. They’re small enough to fit snugly into a shoe, but you can also use them to control unpleasant odors in gym bags, suitcases, closets, or even your refrigerator. There’s no messy cleanup or powerful scent. Pop a pouch in your shoes when you get home, and they’ll be ready the next day.
- Lasts up to two years
- Versatile in numerous places
- All-natural bamboo charcoal
- Compost-safe charcoal
- Requires charging before use
- Needs monthly recharges
BEST SHOE MOISTURE ABSORBER: Foot Sense All-Natural Foot and Shoe Powder
Foot Sense offers more than the average foot powder brand in its All-Natural Foot and Shoe Powder. An intelligent blend of moisture-absorbing and antimicrobial components like starchy arrowroot powder, zinc oxide, and baking soda combine with the pleasant scent of lemon, cinnamon bark, and lavender. Although powders get messy, anyone struggling with extra-sweaty feet won’t have to worry if these non-toxic ingredients spill a little outside the shoe.
- Non-toxic, talc-free formula
- Effective moisture absorption
- Deodorizes feet
- Pleasant herbal citrus scent
- Reduces odor-causing microbes
- Powder can get messy
- Needs frequent reapplication
|Arrowroot powder, zinc oxide, baking soda
BEST FOR KIDS: Silly Feet Shoe Deodorizer Spray
Kids shoes can stink too, and while many of the shoe deodorizers in this list are perfectly safe for them to use, they probably won’t get excited to use them like they will with Silly Feet Shoe Deodorizer Spray. Although it doesn’t list what’s in it, Silly Feet likely uses essential oils or mineral powders for antimicrobial action and odor elimination. But rather than smell like its eucalyptus or lemongrass ingredients, you get fun bursts of bubblegum or grape.
As with many sprays, Silly Feet can eliminate odors though not necessarily the source, making frequent applications necessary for many people. In general, if you spray the shoes at the end of the day, they’ll be ready to provide all-day freshness in the morning.
- Bubblegum and grape lollipop scents
- Safe for gym bags, clothes, and more
- Non-toxic, biodegradable formula
- Needs frequent reapplication
|Bubble gum, grape lollipop
We compiled this rundown of the best shoe deodorizers by comparing current odor-eliminating products, researching their uses and odor-fighting ingredients, and gaining insights from real consumer experiences. By applying our expertise in household cleaning practices, we’ve whittled our list down to the odor eliminators most likely to offer the convenience, safety, and efficiency you need to refresh a pair of stinky shoes.
Through our practical knowledge, we know that any product only addresses one side of the odor-fighting equation. One may cover smells for temporary instant relief. Another may take longer to absorb moisture and prevent future odors. Through our selection, our goal was to address the broad spectrum of situations where you might need help eliminating shoe odor so that you can find the absolute best fit.
Shoe deodorizers come in various forms to address particular odor issues. No solution works for every situation. To find the right fit for your feet, let’s compare the essential advantages and drawbacks of different shoe deodorizer options.
Powders are the go-to option for athletes, outdoor workers, and anyone needing help removing the excess moisture buildup in their shoes. Although they’re nowhere near as versatile as sprays or pouches, powders are often the best option for handling extra-smelly feet and overwhelming shoe odors.
Unlike sprays, powders absorb sweat that feeds bacteria and kills odors, with many also bringing antibacterial and antifungal properties. You can use a powder at the end of the day to absorb moisture and smells overnight or add it to your shoes before wearing to keep your feet dry and odor-free.
The downside to powders is the mess. They don’t make a great impression in certain situations if they sneak out of your shoe and are easily the least versatile of any deodorizer style.
Sprays are some of the most convenient and, in many cases, versatile odor eliminators. If your shoes are only one of the many smelly components of your locker and gym bag, a deodorizing spray can be a one-size-fits-all solution. Many even make pleasant room sprays.
A spray shoe deodorizer is not ideal for sweaty feet, since it only adds to the shoe’s moisture. That also makes many sprays a poor choice if you need to put your shoes on immediately. Used as directed, some products, like Kiwi’s aerosol shoe deodorizer, don’t leave tons of moisture behind, letting you use them shortly after application. Others ask you to spray liberally and let it dry in your shoes overnight.
No firm rules exist for how much spray to apply with any product. If you get satisfying results from only a few spritzes and can immediately put your shoes back on, that’s excellent! But if you haven’t tried a product before, it’s safer to expect a certain amount of drying time to plan around.
Pouches and Sneaker Balls
A shoe deodorizing pouch or ball uses natural solid materials, like activated charcoal, to absorb moisture and neutralize unpleasant odors. Other products, such as Arm & Hammer Odor Busterz Balls, use baking soda alongside a clean scent.
Of course, you can’t enjoy the benefits of pouches and balls while you wear your shoes, and it can take several hours or even a couple of days for them to eliminate unwanted smells. That’s hardly ideal if you need to quickly refresh your smelly shoes immediately before heading out the door. But being mess-free, they’re a more versatile and easier-to-use alternative to powders to fight sweaty foot odors at the end of the day.
A deodorizing pouch can absorb odor molecules anywhere you need them, making them some of the best deodorizers for the entire home. They’re also an excellent solution for travelers who want their suitcases and clothes to smell fresh upon opening. If you have several pairs of shoes, you can load a pouch into each one when you aren’t using them to ensure a pleasant smell once you’re ready to pull them out of the closet.
Shoe inserts work for several days, weeks, or even months to keep your shoes smelling fresh while you wear them and after you take them off. They are some of the most convenient odor eliminators as they don’t require frequent applications and offer peace of mind if you’re worried about a spray wearing off while you wear your shoes.
The primary drawbacks to insole shoe deodorizers are comfort and cost. Insoles can be some of the most expensive shoe deodorizers should you wear them down quickly. If you’re only getting 1–2 weeks of use or less from them, you may need to switch to a powder for better value.
Regarding comfort, new shoe inserts can be prone to shifting and bunching. Problems worsen if you don’t cut the insert down properly, which isn’t always easy. For athletes or workers who are constantly moving, the need to readjust the insert may be a frequent frustration during use.
Choosing the Best Shoe Odor Eliminators
Sprays and powders often have a smell, which you’ll either love or hate, while deodorizing pouches are typically odorless.
Natural sprays often eliminate odor-causing microbes and smells in shoes, as well as clothes, backpacks, yoga mats, and more. Meanwhile, pouches and shoe deodorizing balls can absorb smells and excess moisture in smaller spaces like fridges, closets, and cabinets. Powders are typically strictly for feet, but many also work as foot and body deodorizers.
Always check the product for allergens. Although we recommend non-toxic shoe deodorizers safe to use around children and pets, essential oils and other natural ingredients can also cause irritation for some people.
Masking vs. Eliminating Odors
Odor eliminators attack stinky shoes from different angles. Some sprays only mask the smell, introducing a powerful fragrance to cover it. It’s a speedy solution, albeit a temporary one that will often last a day or less. When they use chemical disinfectants, essential oils, and other microbe fighters, sprays cut to the source of the bad odors to make your shoes smell fresh for longer.
Powders absorb moisture and destroy the ideal environment for bacteria to thrive, stopping them from producing more unpleasant odors and keeping your shoes smelling fresh. Likewise, an activated charcoal pouch absorbs moisture and odors, though it can’t introduce an antibacterial or antifungal agent like a powder can.
How Do You Get Bad Smells Out of Shoes?
Bacteria and sweat create those unwanted odors in your footwear, and deodorizing shoes entirely is challenging once they sink in. If every foot spray, shoe powder, and deodorizing pouch won’t kill the bad odor in your shoes, you may have to wash them. Delicate materials that can’t go through the wash may need some time in the fresh air and sun to dry and deodorize.
Why Does Baking Soda Make Shoes Smell Better?
Baking soda is one of the best household cleaners and deodorizers because of its absorbency and the amphoteric characteristics that help to neutralize unpleasant odors, both basic and acidic. Sprinkling baking soda in shoes sucks up the moisture that feeds bacteria and cancels out the smells that pass.
How Long Does It Take Baking Soda to Deodorize Shoes?
Baking soda gets to work immediately to absorb odors coming from shoes. It all depends on the stink level. In our experience, it can make a difference in only 10–20 minutes, but particularly foul shoes may need a few hours.
Why Do My Shoes Smell Terrible?
Shoes smell bad because our feet provide an idyllic environment that lets various bacteria flourish. Foot sweat offers the perfect supply of moisture and organic matter they need to feed, and as they do, they excrete the bouquet of foul funk that brought you to our shoe deodorizer roundup article. Eliminate the bacteria and the moisture, and the smell won’t have a chance to return.
What Do Hospitals Use to Eliminate Odors?
A hospital odor eliminator is generally geared toward removing the offending organic sources creating the smell rather than imparting a pleasant scent. Many of these products are even safe to use for a tough shoe odor and other household needs. But as a dedicated shoe deodorizer, they typically aren’t the easiest to apply and many give off a strong disinfectant odor that can be as bad as the original shoe smell.
Lumi Outdoors wins our pick for best shoe deodorizer because of its non-toxic, fast-acting, and versatile odor-eliminating formula. You can take it and use it anywhere, with refreshing essential oils offering immediate therapeutic relief from an overwhelming shoe odor.
Whether you need Foot Sense’s shoe and foot powder for sweaty feet or Marsheepy’s charcoal bags for a flexible, mess-free deodorizing solution, there’s an effective solution for anyone needing a break from a unique smelly shoe problem. Check out our top shoe deodorizer picks on Amazon today, so you can finally give foul odors the boot!