Shoes wear out quick enough – 300-500 miles happens faster than you might think! So don’t let odor be the reason you avoid wearing your favorite pair of running shoes!
Here are a couple suggestions to fight the stink and create a healthy environment for your feet.
1. Remember that odor comes from bacteria. Bacteria like damp, dark places to grow. After your workout, make sure you untie and open up your shoes. Pulling the tongue toward the toe to will open them even further. This will let the air circulate as much as possible and get the shoe dry before your next workout.
2. Use deodorant on your feet. I know it sounds kind of weird but why wouldn’t it work? Spray deodorant is easier to apply but if you choose to use the solid, just make sure you’re buying a stick EXCLUSIVELY for using on your feet. This will keep them dry and reduce the rate of bacteria growth.
3. Make sure you have good socks. Sock technology has come a long way! Socks woven with silver threads actually do have antibacterial properties. If your foot odor is bad, it may be worth investing in high tech socks. If you don’t want to spend that kind of money, make sure you are changing your cotton socks often. Every workout at a minimum! But on especially long and hot workout days (August is right around the corner!), you may want to change into fresh socks when you stop for a water break.
4. Tea bags, baby powder, baking soda, and Febreze are all options to deodorize your shoes after every workout. Experiment and find the product you like the best.
5. Don’t be afraid to wash your fabric shoes — just don’t put them in the dryer! Wash in warm water with detergent and some ammonia or Oxiclean. If they are especially gross, you can let them soak. Just remember: don’t dry them! The high temps in the dryer (although another great way to kill bacteria) can cause the glue holding your shoes together to fail. Just run them through the wash, open them up as discussed above, and let them air dry.
The summer is moving along and if you have been sweating in your shoes, it may be a great time to clean them up! Both for your sake and the sake of your workout partner!