How To Deodorize Shoes – Solutions for Smelly Footwear

Welcome back to the Gentleman’s Gazette!
In today’s video, we’ll discuss a few techniques to use if your shoes have
taken on an unpleasant odor and how to keep them smelling fresh in the future. This video will be the first in another
series we’re starting on garment care and maintenance covering a few different
areas. Shoe care, garment folding and maintenance, and washing suits. You can
take a look at our previous series on garment care here which covered removing
the musty smell from vintage clothing washing and maintaining wool sweaters
cheap and easy laundry hacks and stain removal. As we stated at the top of the
video, we’ll be focusing on removing odors from shoes today.
Straight away, you might be wondering what is it that causes these odors in
the first place? You can learn more in our previous video on odor removal as
well as our comprehensive article on deodorants and antiperspirants which
also has a related section on body odor you can find that article here. In
general though, these odors are caused by a mix of oils secreted from our skin
along with bacteria feasting on them all in a mix of perspiration, gross, right? To
get rid of them though, you won’t want to use the same technique that we laid out
in our previous odor removal video which is to say, a spray bottle full of vodka.
This is because leather won’t respond as well to liquid as fabric would. Similarly,
using a spray made from an essential oil might be effective at neutralizing odor
but generally speaking, you’ll want to keep your leather goods away from
liquids as much as possible. With that said then, you’ve got a few solid-state
options to consider instead. Before we get to the ones we do recommend you
using, however, let’s cover one that we don’t recommend that you use. It falls
into the broad category of odor masking which is to say, just covering up
an unpleasant odor with a different scent instead of actually neutralizing
that bad odor in the first place. Therefore, using perfumed deodorizer
balls and other similar implements might cover up some of that nasty odor but
they won’t actually get to the root of the problem and in fact, many of these
deodorizer balls don’t smell that great to begin with and even if you were to
opt for a more natural solution here, like using a sachet of lavender, for
example, you’d only be masking the underlying odor, not eliminating it. So
what would be a better next step then? Simply put, it would be using a solid
material that acts similarly to how vodka does with fabric which is to say a
material that encapsulates and draws in offending odors. Two materials you can use
in your shoes for these purposes then are baking soda and activated charcoal.
Baking soda, otherwise known as sodium bicarbonate, is often used as a household
cleaning agent and deodorizer in addition to a baking ingredient. You may,
for example, be aware of the trick of keeping an open box of baking soda in
your refrigerator to eliminate any food odors that might be happening there.
Meanwhile, charcoal which is produced by heating wood or other natural substances
in the absence of oxygen can further be activated through various scientific
processes which are too complex to touch on here. All that you really need to know
is that this activation results in a charcoal that has many small pores which
will readily absorb odors. These materials can be used individually as is
the case with bags of charcoal that may be inserted into your shoes or they can
be used in combination, as is the case with many available odor fighting
insoles. Speaking personally, given that I have a condition called hyperhidrosis
which causes me to perspire more than most, I find that using these baking soda
and activated charcoal insoles helps keep my shoes smelling fresh longer
than they otherwise would. One note here with both of these materials, just don’t
be tempted to use any loose powder forms of either as they’ll probably just end
up gumming up your shoes over time. The insoles aren’t the only technique I use,
however, which brings us to our last odor fighting implement that we’ll discuss
today, Cedar shoe trees. Shoe trees are wooden or plastic forms roughly shaped
like feet that are inserted into your shoes to help them maintain their
natural shape and size. We recommend that you use shoe trees made from cedar as
they’ll wick away any moisture remaining in your shoes after wearing and they’ll
also eliminate odors given that cedar is naturally antimicrobial. You can learn
more about shoe trees in our article on wardrobe maintenance essentials which
you can find here. So with the odor fighting trio of cedar, activated
charcoal, and baking soda, you’ll be well on your way to fighting any odors that
might crop up in your shoes and you’ll be able to keep them smelling fresh in
the future. One final tip today, on that note, the best way to prevent odors in
the first place is to stop moisture from building up in your shoes to begin with.
The best way to do this is to not wear the same pair of shoes multiple days in
a row. You should be able to rotate which pair of shoes you wear each day which is
just one of many reasons to build up a reputable shoe collection. You can take a
look at Raphael’s shoe collection in this video here. We’d like to know which of
the techniques we covered today were you most surprised by and do you
happen to use any of these odor fighting materials in your shoes already? share
with us in the comment section below and as always, don’t forget to subscribe to
the Gentleman’s Gazette YouTube channel and to hit the little bell icon so
videos like these will come straight to your inbox
in today’s video I’m wearing a casual outfit that would once again be good for
some around the house garment care the central
element is a cardigan sweater from Charles Tyrwhitt in a color they call wine
and I’m wearing it over a shirt also from Charles Tyrwhitt in white with a
subtle check pattern of pink and blue the pink of the shirts check pattern is
accentuated and harmonizes well with the wine color of the sweater also the shirt
does have French cuffs but I’m wearing them configured in a barrel style today
so they fit more easily under the sleeves of the cardigan as such I’m not
wearing ornate cufflinks but just some simple black ones that will also fit
easily my trousers are plain Navy to pick up the blue tones in the check
pattern of the shirt and my socks are also plain Navy in color just to
harmonize simply and well with the trousers the outfit is rounded out by
some new oxblood penny loafers I’ve got to replace the old ones which were a
little bit more dilapidated stay tuned for some upcoming videos on my shoe
collection and how it will probably be growing in the future as my outfit today
is so casual I’m not really wearing very many accessories still the Fort
Belvedere shop has a wide selection of different kinds of accessories such as
ties pocket squares and various different types of men’s jewelry and you
can take a look at all of our different offerings by clicking the link here


  • First

  • Second

  • 1. Give them a spray of anti-perspirant before wearing
    2. Never wear the same pair of shoes more than one day at a time

  • I am fourth

  • Very informative video, as always.

  • Good cuz my son shoes be killing ?

  • Thanks for the tips I use insoles and I frequently rotate my shoes and the same with my sneakers on a daily basis ?

  • Nobody will smell my shoes, so i dont care

    That jacket in background so interesting

  • Since, I've been watched this video on Louis Vuitton men's shoemaking in fiesso d'Artico.
    ?️✂️? (YouTube)?▶️

    While, I been wear it for a long day of work,? it will gets worst smells on it!??

  • Asking about the video on what style tips you Should ignore. From the spot where you said, that your leathers and metals dont have to match exactly. Can you wear A yellow gold watch with A silver belt buckle?

  • tea tree essential oil is best

  • Shoe trees are the best investment one can buy for shoes. It makes a night and day difference since i started using them for my leather shoes.

  • Oh my goddd this guy is such a nerd !

  • Cool!!!

  • tidy cat kitty litter in an old sock

  • Do items like the charcoal and cedar and bicarb inserts require freshening themselves every once in a while after repeated use? Or if they should be thrown away, about how long should we expect them to last before doing that?

  • Old sports shoes: I put dust free kitty litter in an old sock. Insert in shoes after using.

  • Great to know! Thanks guys.

  • Are those Sebago Classic Dan loafers?

  • Myne hooves whiff!

  • Great and informative video as always.
    In my case, I use bicarbonate of soda, but instead of using it on the shoes I apply it directly on my feet after bathing. That way my feet won't stink or stink up my shoes either.

  • I'm a new subscriber. What happened to Sven/Raphael?

  • Love your videos

  • At the end of every day my boots go on my Peet dryer. It’s one of the best things I’ve ever bought. The dryer works on my cowboy boots, dress shoes, and athletic shoes.

  • What to do with cedar shoe trees which lost their natural scent though?

  • I think video on Baby Shower dresscode would be an appropriate video for the season

  • This YouTube Channel is the definition of pure class! ???

  • Great video. Keep it up!

  • Stop sniffing them.

  • Great info as always. I'd like to request info for men that ride motorcycles and how to dress professionally while still being able to ride. Things like what can be worn and still ride, and what should be packed and types of luggage to use for motorcycle transport. As a rider and professional, I often struggle with balancing both. Thanks and keep up the great work.

  • Thanks Preston ?????

  • Have more than a pair of them (?)

  • Change socks once a day (?)

  • Wash you feet daily. At least.(?)

  • So the real question is 'How To Deodorize Shoes" if you are lazy and filthy!

  • this guy reminds me of „the sims“ characters with his gestures and acting

  • am i the only one who found it little weird the way he turned @6:32 and @7:47… i don't know.. anyway, good content… liked..

  • Did I miss something? Where's that other guy?

  • Looking forward to seeing your show collection grow Preston, beware shoes can be addicting

  • I use wintergreen scented rubbing alcohol on my feet to deoderize them after my day at work.

  • Once again you have accomplished a wonderful job, and you seem to be more relaxed while doing the videos. Thanks.

  • Stuff your smelly trainers with cheap tea bags. They absorb all moisture and leave a pleasant scent. 🙂

  • Never thought about it Preston but I have Cedar trees in all my shoes and they keep them fresh and looking new

  • I use cedar shoe trees plus spacing between shoe wear.

  • Magically, 1 gram of activated charcoal has roughly 1000 square meters (10,700 square feet) of surface area.

  • My shoes really love the shoe trees, especially those made of cedar, but also those made of other wood.

  • Put few drops of vinegar in your shoes from time to time (monthly or so) and let them dry. Also wash your feet and rinse them with vinegar. Magic.

  • Good advice here. I find cedar wood shoe trees do a good job and prolong shoe life. Insoles help too.

  • Using good cedar shoes trees as well as rotating how often you wear your shoes will help tremendously.

  • A friend made the mistake of dusting the inside of his running shoes with baking soda before a run, and I suppose it was the abrasiveness, but it hurt so much he had to stop and gingerly walk home.

    So, I wonder if there's something better than an old sock for stuffing with baking soda, activated charcoal, and or cedar shavings? Any ideas? The old socks may allow too much carbon or baking soda to leak through the relatively loose threads in the fiber.

  • I haven't done anything heroic to eliminate any odors from my shoes. But I do rotate them, as suggested in the video. Thanks for posting this.

  • place a couple teabags in each shoe. leave over night. then come back here and thank me.

  • I cannot get the foot smell out of my Johnston and Murphy Melton cap toes. anyone experience the same?

  • One of the things I used to do was, a used dried tea bag ….. I am not sure if it absorbed the moisture or just added an odor to mask the other but It worked for me 🙂


  • Your acting is hilarious…

  • I used to wear two and three piece suits with tie and cuff links when I worked in an office over fifteen years ago (this was unusual for a young girl back then). I now prepare all my husband's outfits for work and he has been called a dandy by several colleagues. ? I'm addicted to your channel, I've learned so much from you. And this great series about garment care is great. Thank you.

  • I used to use Odor Eaters. I once walked so far in them one day, the bloody things caught on fire!

  • I used to buy traditional cinnamon/charcoal inlay soles from a Vietnamese shop, every summer. Worked excellent.

  • When will Sven publish his video on suit collection and other collections?

  • First thought when Preston talked about stinky feet was the Frank Zappa tune "Stink Foot" and the line about Bromidrosis.

  • I get so jiggly whenever I hear the intro music.

  • I use antiperspirant roll on (Dove non-scented) directly on fibrous insoles and on feet before putting on socks. For leather insoles, you can put a little on a cloth and put it inside the shoe. Antiperspirant kills off the bacteria that cause the smell while charcoal and baking soda only absorb the smell. A shoe treated with antiperspirant ( like trainers and sneakers) if done from new will not develop the problem, one such treatment lasts a couple of wears. I agree with you on rotating shoes daily, but sometimes not possible with company issued work boots etc. The antiperspirant kills the smell on really stinky boots quickly. I mentioned Dove but any good quality gel or roll on will work.

  • I'm afraid of this new dude… he looks like a well-heeled psychopath

  • 2:25 Using perfume to deodorize your balls

  • This is very helpful.
    I'm glad I subscribed to this channel.
    Thank you so much!

  • Can you make a video on different pockets in trousers and jackets and what they are meant for

  • Please make a video on Cary Grant's hairstyle

  • I would love to see a video of what to wear to a private members club. I know it is a little niche but it could be extended to upscale sports club eg golf or boat clubs. Thanks

  • wow it is so hard to be a gentleman and maintain it

  • Great video.

  • I am in agreement with putting shoes into rotation. Never wear shoes two days in a row. Also, I have found that you can find desiccants for free. Many snacks and some packaged foods come with small
    packs of < Do Not Eat > material. Don't throw it away ! They are valuable. Stash one in your shoe and it will remain fresh and dry, the next time you put it on. Finally, invest in a good shoe brush. After wearing, lightly brush your shoes and they will be clean and neat, forever.

  • The best cure for smelly shoes is prevention. Toward that end, I spray the inside of all my footwear with Febreeze "Linen & Sky" every time I remove them. I have a pair of 14yr-old cowboy boots I've worn daily and they're still odor free. Even my fishing shoes are odorless. That stuff works!

  • R u guys related?

  • Very nice video as always. Could you next please do a video on how to take care of our leather gloves. Mine are from Dents gloves and are made with deerskin and are lined with cashmere. But I don't know how to keep them safe for next winter. Can anyone help me please?

  • Preston, I could listen to you all day reading the phonebook! ? Love the informative vid!

  • Orange peels (white side facing down) will absorb bad odors and moisture while infusing shoes with their pleasant citrisy aroma that will leave your shoes smelling sweet. And orange peel contain oils that are naturally antibacterial, which bust mold and bacteria growth.

  • Very helpful

  • An iontophoresis machine stops your feet from sweating; eliminating the need to use these products as well as any damage from liquid.

  • When you were explaining what causes smells and finished with “Gross, right?” I choked on my spit laughing so hard

  • Lavender and cedar wood also keep moths away. Every now and then, I'd sand my cedar wood to bring out the natural oil scent. This way, the cedar wood will last you forever.

  • Thanks for this vlog. Interesting and helpful.

  • A pinch of fresh tarragon in each shoe works great.

  • Just saying this guy definitely knows where some bodies are buried

  • I'm a woman and I love this channel. So many channels for women but not as specific, classy and informative like this one.

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