How to Get the Smell Out of Work Boots

how-to-get-rid-of-odor-in boots

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One thing we can all agree on is that we don’t like bad smells. We don’t like to get a sniff of our own body odor, nor do we like to get a whiff of others. When it comes to people who wear daily the same pair of work boots, the bad odor is unavoidable. Footwear smells quickly due to the lack of air inside them. This lack of air circulation in the feet leads to sweating, the sweating then leads to the smell we all dread. We feel like we have to add this, this is completely normal, especially when you wear work boots in your day-to-day activities.

Work boots may get stinky easier and faster because they are worn longer and in different terrains, sometimes even in damp environments. Therefore, maintaining their cleanliness and getting rid of their smell is a task in itself and has its specifics.

What Causes Your Work Boot to Stink?

Work boots can get stinky due to several factors. We touched briefly upon the fact that the air does not get inside the work boots and this makes the feet isolated. Having your work boots on for 8+ hours will inevitably make your feet sweat consequently leading to an unpleasant smell. One other factor could be the environment where you work on. If it’s a damp environment, the chances are your feet will also feel like that. Let’s get into other factors that highly influence the way your boots smell.

The moisture can’t get out

One of the most common causes of odor on work boots is the moisture they absorb. When the foot sweats during the day, moisture remains on the inside of the socks, especially if they’re made of wool or cotton. If, after you take them off, you do not dry out the moisture, then you ought to expect to smell a musty smell.

The heat brought by insoles

Another cause of odor on work boots is the heat coming from the insoles. Since you will be physically active while wearing your boots, the insoles will heat up over time, leading to feet sweat. This is how your feet start smelling all funky.

The thick socks

The socks you wear while working with your work boots significantly impact the intensity of your boots’ smell. Wearing thick socks will heat and sweat your feet way more quickly, and by now, you must have realized where that leads. That’s why it is best to wear thinner socks, preferably made of cotton. Why you might ask? Well, they absorb the sweat from your feet and prevent the dreading smell of the boots.

How to Prevent Smelly Shoes?


It is always easier and more effective to prevent a problem than to fix it, no matter how small the problem is. This can also apply to the boot-smelling situation. To prevent your boots from smelling, you can take a few steps that at first sight look simple but can help you in the long run.

Keep your feet clean and fresh

It goes without saying that keeping your feet clean is one of the most important aspects of maintaining the cleanliness of the boots. Wash your feet carefully with water and shampoo before wearing socks and boots. You can use antibacterial lotion or soap as well. When feet are clean and fresh, it is easier to prevent the smell of boots.

Change your socks more often

Changing your socks often is just as important as keeping your feet clean and fresh. Socks absorb the sweat from your feet and begin to smell. If you are careful enough to change them often, you will reduce the chances of your boots smelling funny. Strive to choose socks made from materials that do not absorb moisture.

Wear moisture-wicking socks

It is important to do a little research before adding new socks to your wardrobe and choose socks that allow the sweat to evaporate so that your feet will dry faster. Moisture-wicking socks are highly preferred in the cases when you wear working boots, or other types of shoes, for that matter. They prevent foot odor because the material and the fibers they are made of allow the feet to dry. Additionally, they keep your feet warm enough and ensure great comfort. All in all, remember that it is worth spending a little more on moisture-wicking socks to ensure the comfort and freshness of your feet than to buy cheaper socks that do not guarantee that.

Allow your boots to dry

Humidity is the number one enemy of fresh-smelling boots. Knowing that you ought to let your boots dry after you take them off at the end of the day. Place them in a dry place with enough air so that they are completely dry the next day. Remember that damp places create perfect conditions for bacteria which then cause the unpleasant smell of the boots.

Make use of fabric freshener sheets and dryer sheets

A simple and effective method to fix the problem of boot odor is fabric fresheners and dryer sheets. Dryer sheets find wide usage in laundry and other aspects of house freshening, but they are also quite effective in removing odor from your boots and shoes. Simply put a dryer sheet on each boot and let it stay there for a few hours or overnight. They will help absorb the moisture from the boots and give freshness and pleasant aroma to the boots.

Another method to freshen up boots and to remove moisture from them is fabric fresheners. They are simple to use, effective in removing the odor from the fabric of your boots, and there are several types you can choose from.

Use teabags

We guess this is not the first time you see how certain food and beverage products are used for cleaning or freshening purposes. Teabags have been proven to be quite effective in removing bad odor from your boots. Using them is super simple. Just take a few tea bags and put two to three of them in each boot; leave them like that overnight. Teabags will remove the odor because they can remove moisture from the boots.

When it comes to working boots, all we want is to be comfortable wearing them. Odor and the damp feeling that might come as a result of wearing them for a long time can significantly impact that comfort feeling. Luckily, there are various methods that help you prevent and remove bad odor from your boots. Some of them are longer-term, some more temporary. Depending on your preferences, you can choose the best method for you.


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