How To Make Your Sneakers Not Smell, According To A Dermatologist

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Smelly sneakers are not fun for anyone, least of all, you. If your sneakers have been a little whiffy recently, you'll want to know how to make your sneakers not smell. Presumably, the only place you want a cheesy smell to emulate from is your plate and certainly not your footwear!

Suffering with smelly feet can be frustrating, but when you throw a pair of sweaty sneakers into the mix, trying to escape your funky footwear can seem impossible. Of course, sneakers are typically worn when you're perspiring; whether this be getting a little glowy on your commute to work or getting your sweat on at the gym. There's nothing wrong with sweating — heck, it's a natural bodily function you should not be embarrassed about y'all — but if the scent of your sneakers displeases you, there are options for ridding your training shoes of any lingering odors. Although, it's not just hitting the gym regularly that could be causing your sneakers to smell: There are a bunch of reasons why your feet may smell that you might want to look into.

"Shoe smell is usually caused by bacteria or fungus growth in your shoes and/or on your feet," explains Dr. Janet Prystowsky, board-certified dermatologist and founder of Livad Skincare. "The best way to make your sneakers not smell is to take precautions to protect your shoes and feet," she elaborates. So here are Dr. Prystowsky's top tips on banishing bad odors from sneakers.

1. Give Your Sneakers Some Air

"Air out your shoes and feet often," instructs Dr. Prystowsky in an email to Bustle. "Fungi and bacteria thrive in warm, dark, and moist environments," she explains.

2. Give Your Sneakers A Break

If possible, it's a good idea to give your favorite pair of sneakers a well earned rest. "Regularly rotating through multiple pairs of shoes should give your shoes plenty of time to dry out," says Dr. Prystowsky.

3. Utilize Cedar Blocks Or Baking Soda

"Put cedar blocks or baking soda in your sneakers when you aren’t wearing them. Be sure to pour out the baking soda before wearing your sneakers again," advises Dr. Prystowsky.

4. See Your Dermatologist

"If you have a bacterial or fungal infection in your foot," says Dr. Prystowsky, "then contact your dermatologist. Avoid wearing shoes that you care about. There are over the counter medications for fungal infections. If your toenails have fungus, then you should see your dermatologist. Prescription topical antibiotics are used for bacterial infections." There's no point beating around the bush if you're suffering from a foot infection.

5. Keep Your Tootsies Squeaky Clean

You might think that you wash your feet regularly enough, but Dr. Prystowsky recommends stinky sneaker sufferers try upping their feet washing game. "If foot odor is a recurring problem for you, even after buying new shoes, then consider washing your feet more often. Use shower sandals when using a public shower," she says.

6. Kill The Bacteria

"If your sneakers already smell," says Dr. Prystowsky, "then there are a few ways to try and kill whatever fungus or bacteria is causing the odor. Try freezing your shoes overnight."

"If you can, run your shoes through the washer and dryer. Buy a UV shoe sanitizer," she adds.

7. Buy New Sneakers

"When all else fails, it’s time to cut your losses and buy a new pair of sneakers. Use the tips above to prevent your new shoes from smelling like your old ones," Dr. Prystowsky recommends.

Make sure to follow Dr. Prystowsky's expert advice if you want your sneakers to smell fresh instead of foul!

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