9 Best Shoe Deodorizer Products in 2022, According to Experts
After testing 22 products, we choose Odor Drops Deodorizer Balls as the best shoe deodorizer on the market.
Our editor walks 5+ miles and does sports outdoors, often in hot weather. He personally tried many of the products on this list to fight foot odor. We also reached out to speak to people who have smelly feet because of medical conditions. We used Facebook and Reddit to ask them about their favorite products.
We chose the Odor Drops product because it provides long-term odor relief. It’s most effective when used overnight, but it really gets the job done. It works by killing odor-causing bacteria. It’s good for stinky athletic shoes, shoes that smell from all-day wear and for medical conditions. We tried the last of the sneaker balls on an old, smelly gym bag. It got rid of the bad smell in a day.
Of course, you may not have hours to wait. Or you may want a more specific product. That’s why we list our other favorites in this article. If you want a fast-acting spray, get the 10 Seconds Disinfectant and Deodorizer. If you want a natural way to get rid of foul odors, check out the Rocket Pure Natural Foot & Shoe Spray.
To learn more, take a look at our nine categories for best shoe deodorizers. We know you’ll find a shoe deodorizer that keeps your feet and shoes smelling great!
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Table of Contents
We selected the Odor Drops Deodorizer Balls as the best overall choice for a shoe deodorizer. It works by neutralizing the odor-causing bacteria. It also deodorizes the shoe and leaves behind one of three scents: Clean Citrus, Fresh Linen, or Crisp Pine. We tested Crisp Pine on shoes and an old gym bag with a particularly nasty odor. The Odor Drops worked well each time. We liked that the smell left was more natural than equivalent products. Most sneaker balls smell synthetic, but this one didn’t.
The Drops are effective, affordable, and easily transportable. They’re also super easy to use. You pop open the ball, twist to activate, and drop one in each shoe. Leave your shoes in sealed ziplock bags overnight. By morning, your shoes (or bag or fridge) smell fresh. If you want to speed up the process, warm the ziplock bags in sunlight or put them in the freezer to kill bacteria faster!
The Odor Drops balls are a great bargain. They cost about $2 per unit and can last up to a year. Since they have antibacterial properties, they don’t just cover up the smell. They destroy the bacteria and get rid of the root cause of the smell. This makes them a good solution for athlete’s foot and fungal conditions.
The only downside to this product is the wait time. If you need to get the stink out of your shoes and wear them the same day, you’ll need a faster-acting deodorizer. Still, you can’t beat the thorough odor relief offered by these.
- Natural, non-synthetic smell
- Antibacterial properties destroy odor-causing bacteria
- Easily transportable
- Wait time
Best Fast-Acting Shoe Deodorant
Need to get rid of an unpleasant odor fast? Use this. 10 Seconds is a dual-use disinfectant and deodorizer. It quickly eliminates germs and bacteria that cause the odor. Since this is a hospital grade disinfectant and deodorizer, it’s powerful. It kills bacteria — the root cause of the shoe odor.
10 Seconds destroys many hard-to-kill germs, including MRSA, but it’s synthetic. Many of the active ingredients can be toxic. Use it sparingly and in a well-ventilated area. Wait until your deodorized shoes dry completely before wearing them. Do not apply this spray on your skin. Only adults should use this product.
If you need a strong disinfectant for your shoes, this does the job. But, it’s potent. Use it on rare occasions. The warning label lists several potentially harmful active ingredients. Consumers say these can dry out suede and leather shoes; just like rubbing alcohol. This isn’t a problem if you’re spraying the inside of a shoe, but be careful when treating the upper.
If you want a more natural spray that’s safe on all materials, check out the rest of our list.
- Disinfectant and Deodorizer
- Destroys hard-to-kill germs
- Works fast
- Contains several potentially harmful ingredients
- Can dry out suede and leather shoes
- Must allow to dry before wearing the shoes
Best Natural Shoe Deodorizer
Rocket Pure - Natural Foot & Shoe Deodorizer Spray
Why this product?
This long-lasting yet gentle deodorant comes with a 100% lifetime guarantee. It’s powerful enough to eliminate odors and bacteria, yet gentle enough to use directly on stinky feet and socks.
Rocket Pure Natural Foot & Shoe Deodorizer Spray is a long-lasting yet gentle foot deodorant. Most natural deodorants cover the smell of feet and shoes temporarily. Rocket Pure’s foot spray attacks the bacteria that causes bad feet and shoe odor. To be honest, we didn’t even know this was possible until using this specific product. It has a 100% lifetime satisfaction guarantee, which tells you the brand is confident about its efficacy.
This natural foot spray is free from parabens, aluminum or GMOs. It’s not tested on animals. It’s safe enough to apply on your skin to keep it fresh and dry. It uses essential herbal oils to remove unpleasant smells without harmful additives. From what we understand, tea tree oil is what kills the bacteria.
Since this product is natural, you can also use it on a stinky foot or sock. It’s also strong enough to deodorize athletic shoes and sports equipment. You can use it on dance shoes, hockey skates, and baseball gloves. One reviewer said they use it to refresh skates in the skating rink they operate. Ice skates can sweaty and stinky, so that tells you something!
We liked the natural smell these leave. Our top product has a nice smell, but the Rocket Pure spray is on another level.
- 100% Lifetime Satisfaction Guarantee
- Free from parabens, aluminum, and GMOs
- Natural, pleasant smell
- Destroys odor and bacteria naturally
- Natural deodorant may not be as strong as other options on the market
Best Shoe & Foot Powder
If you’re looking for a quality foot & shoe powder, this Foot Sense product is for you. It absorbs sweat from your feet and keeps your shoes dry all day. The active ingredient, zinc oxide, protects your feet from chafing and prevents blisters. They’re good at keeping your feet dry and sweat-free.
This powder gets rid of the worst odors without using any harsh chemicals. It’s 100% natural–aluminium and talc free. In fact, it’s safe enough to apply directly on your skin to keep it fresh and dry. It’s effective at deodorizing athletic shoes and sports equipment. You can use it on dance shoes, hockey skates, and baseball gloves.
This powder works best when it’s applied to the soles of your shoes. But you can also apply it to the feet, toes, and the insides of your shoes. Be sure to follow the instructions to maximize this shoe powder. Apply it daily for a week, then 1-2 times a month to keep odors at bay. The product should last up to 6 months depending on your usage.
- Absorbs sweat
- Protects feet from chafing and blisters
- Eliminates odors without harsh chemicals
- 100% natural
- Safe enough to apply directly to feet
- Need to follow regular use instructions to get the most from this powder
Best Deep Cleaning Deodorant
Rocco & Roxie Supply Professional Strength Stain and Odor Eliminator
Why this product?
This multi-purpose odor eliminator uses enzymes to break down smell-causing bacteria. The gentle yet hardworking formula will completely deodorize any smelly shoe.
Have a really stinky shoe? Use this product. This product isn’t marketed as shoe deodorizer. It’s a multi-purpose stain and odor eliminator. Our editor actually used this product to get rid of cat urine stains in the past. We weren’t sure how it would perform for shoe odor. Well, we tested it as a shoe deodorizer and it knocked our socks off!
This natural product uses enzymes to break down smell-causing bacteria. If you want to get rid of a smell that’s deep inside your shoe fabric, this is your product. This spray contains natural enzymatic bacteria that activate on contact with odors. It consumes organic matter until it’s completely eliminated. It’ll deodorize any smelly shoe; even if you have athlete’s foot or another bacterial condition.
The Rocco & Roxie formula is gentle and safe. You can use the product around pets and children. It doesn’t have any hazardous propellants and leaves no residue. If it came in spray form, it’d be our favorite shoe odor eliminator. As is, it’s our #1 choice for deep-cleaning the worst-smelling shoes.
Remove the shoe tongue, spray this inside your shoe, and leave the shoe in the sun. Wait overnight and it’ll be good as new. Since this isn’t made specifically for shoes, test a small area of your shoe before using it over the entire shoe. You want to make sure it doesn’t discolor or damage your shoe.
- Enzymes break down odor-causing bacteria
- Gentle and safe around pets and children
- No hazardous ingredients
- Natural bacteria consume organic matter, perfect for athlete’s foot
- Not made for shoes, so test a small area to ensure it won’t discolor or damage your shoe
Best Deodorizing Insoles
Dr. Scholl's Odor-X Fighting Insoles with SweatMax
Why this product?
These insoles contain activated charcoal and baking soda to neutralize and absorb bad odors. The SweatMAX technology keeps feet dry and comfortable all day.
Dr. Scholl’s specializes in orthotic insoles and footwear. Their Odor-X Fighting Insoles with SweatMax outperformed all other insoles in this category. We tested several brands and these breathable, perforated insoles provided the most comfort.
The key differentiator for these insoles is the Air Pillo cushioning. They contain activated charcoal and baking soda that neutralize and absorb bad odors. The SweatMAX technology keeps feet dry all day. It prevents odor-causing bacteria from growing inside the shoe. When you wear your shoes, the insoles aerate your feet to keep them dry. When you take the shoes off, the insoles work their magic deep inside the shoe, which is a major odor source.
Dr. Scholl’s uses traditional active ingredients: activated charcoal and baking soda. These natural ingredients are effective at destroying foot odor. These insoles last about six months and are easy-to-use.
Wear these insoles with socks and shoes, rather than barefoot. Select your shoe size, trim the insole to fit your shoe, and insert it inside your shoe with the cloth side facing up.
- Air Pillo cushioning contains activated charcoal and baking soda
- SweatMAX technology keeps feet dry
- Perforated for increased breathability
- Natural ingredients
- Work best in closed-toe shoes with socks
Best No-Socks Deodorizing Insoles
If you want to keep your feet cool and comfortable, these padag terry cotton insoles are for you. These handmade insoles are super lightweight. They work well in low profile shoes, like flats, heels, and sneakers. These terry cotton insoles make great summer shoe liners!
The terry cotton materials absorb moisture and aerate your foot. This prevents odor-causing bacteria from growing in your shoe. Padag uses solvent free materials in their insoles making these safe on your skin. The padded latex keeps the insole secure in your shoe.
These are easy to use and clean. You order the insole based on your shoe size. If you’re unsure on the size, order the larger one. You can always cut the insole to fit your foot. These insoles are on the pricier side, but their quality makes up for it. These insoles are hand washable so you’ll get plenty of wear out of them. Be sure to let them air out between wears to extend the life of the insole.
Wear your leather moccasins, boat shoes, and loafers sock-free without getting sweaty feet. And enjoy your summer with stylish shoes and fresh feet!
- Terry cotton keeps your feet cool and comfortable
- Easy to clean
- Made with solvent-free materials
- Relatively high-priced
Best Charcoal Shoe Deodorizer
Charcoal is famous for its odor eliminating properties. It’s been used as a natural deodorizer for ages. If you want a natural foot odor remedy, this product is for you. It’s an effective, eco-friendly way to get rid of shoe odor.
This Marsheepy Charcoal Shoe Deodorizer Bag contains one ingredient: moso bamboo charcoal. It’s five times more porous than regular charcoal. The moso bamboo charcoal acts like a huge magnetic sponge for odor-causing bacteria. The materials are made from sustainable sources and fragrance free.
It’s important to re-activate the charcoal’s air purification properties once a month. To do this you’ll place the bags in sunlight for 6-8 hours. The UV rays clear out the charcoal’s cavities and makes it absorbent again. If you keep up with this maintenance schedule, you should be able to use your charcoal bags for up to two years.
These are easy to use. You drop a bag inside your shoe and seal it in a ziplock bag. Set the bag in sunlight or the freezer to maximize its effectiveness. Reviewers saw the best results when they let the bags sit in shoes for 24 hours.
These bags are an affordable $1/unit if you buy a 12-pack.
- Eco-friendly charcoal absorbs odor-causing bacteria
- Air purification properties are re-activated by sunlight
- Made from sustainable resources and fragrance free
- Best results when used for 24 hours
Best Essential Oil Shoe Deodorizer
Lumi’s Essential Oil Odor Eliminator is a powerful shoe deodorizer that’s gentle on your skin. It’s surprisingly strong. It works fast to neutralize foot odor with natural ingredients.
This fast-acting foot and shoe deodorizing formula comes in a spill-proof spray bottle. It’s easy to use. You spray it into your shoes or boots and let them sit overnight. Depending on the level of foot and shoe odor, you may need to re-apply the mixture to get the best results.
This foot and shoe spray includes essential oils that get rid of the worst odors, without using harsh chemicals. Their spray doesn’t have parabens, phthalates, aerosols, or formaldehyde. In fact, it’s safe enough to apply on your skin or spritz in the air as a room deodorizer. It safely deodorizes your feet, socks, shoes, and other fabrics.
This spray works best when it’s applied to the soles of your shoes. Be sure to follow the instructions to maximize the results.
- Made with essential oils
- No parabens, phthalates, aerosols, or formaldehyde
- Works fast to neutralize odor
- May need to re-apply to get the best results on strong odor
What to Look for When Buying This Type of Product
If you often have sweaty feet, you need a shoe deodorizer to keep your feet odor-free. That’s why we’re here. We pulled together our team of experts to provide guidance on how to buy the best shoe deodorizer.
There are three main types of deodorant: natural, synthetic, or a combination of both. Synthetic ingredients work well. They clean, deodorize, and fight bacteria faster than their natural counterparts.
Yet, synthetic blends often include harsh chemicals that are harmful. You may inhale these ingredients or absorb them into your skin. Sometimes, these chemicals damage can stain and damage fabrics if not used correctly. Many of the synthetic products we tested left a “plasticky” smell in our shoes.
Use shoe deodorizers with natural ingredients whenever possible. They’re safe, effective, and affordable. Natural products use safer ingredients, like zinc oxide, to absorb odors and moisture. They’re safer to inhale and use on your skin. With these products, you don’t need to worry about using them around your children nor pets.
The only time you should choose synthetic over natural is for immediate results. Natural products tend to take longer to deodorize than their synthetic counterparts.
When our shoes or feet stink, we want a deodorizer that works fast. Your needs and expectations help determine your shoe deodorant choice.
It’s important to understand the average drying time if you choose a spray deodorant. If you need immediate results, look for a shoe deodorant that treats odors and dries quickly. Some dry in minutes while others take a full day. If time isn’t a priority, a long-lasting overnight deodorant will work well.
A typical shoe deodorant treatment takes 20-40 minutes. If you want instant results, make sure you buy a shoe deodorizer that works in seconds. Don’t forget to plan for drying time. If you don’t need to wear your shoes within a couple hours, pick an overnight deodorant. You can expect it to complete its process in 6-8 hours.
When your feet or shoes smell, it’s due to bacteria. To get rid of the smell, you need to get rid of the bacteria. Shoe deodorants with antibacterial properties destroy the nasty bacteria and odor.
Once you’ve eliminated the bacteria, you want to keep it from coming back. Find a shoe deodorant that absorbs moisture and prevents bacteria from returning. Scented shoe deodorants replace your shoe’s foul-smelling odor with more pleasant aromas.
Some products need re-application to keep your shoes and feet odor-free. This is common with the natural remedies since they use less invasive ingredients. But, the tradeoff is worth it. Natural ingredients won’t expose you and your household to harmful chemicals.
Ease of Transportation
Shoe deodorant should be easy to carry with you. You may need to deodorize shoes when you vacation, commute to work or attend school. If its packaging is cumbersome, you can’t easily transport it to and from home. This prevents you from deodorizing your feet and shoes when you need it most.
Look for shoe deodorizers that come in small packaging. For travel, it’s best to buy deodorizer in a solid form. It minimizes messes on the road, but if you choose a liquid form, make sure the packaging is leak-proof. Well-made packaging prevents unnecessary messes.
Foot and shoe deodorant should be affordable enough to allow you to buy it as needed. It’s likely you’ll need to re-apply deodorizers and use your products rather quickly. Make sure you find a product that you can afford to buy on a regular basis.
Luxury shoe deodorants made with essential oils, rare compounds and other expensive ingredients are nice, but unnecessary. Due to the nature of these ingredients, they can lead to more messes than their cheaper counterparts.
When it comes to shoe deodorizers, stick to the basics. You should only pay for the extra features if you need them.
Don’t let stinky feet keep you from enjoying your favorite warm weather activities! Fortunately, you can get rid of stinky feet in the blink of an eye. With the right shoe deodorizer, you can keep your feet dry, fresh, and smelling great.
If you’re unsure which category fits your needs, you can’t go wrong with the Odor Drops Deodorizer Balls. They earned our Best Overall shoe deodorizer for their effectiveness, affordability, and versatility. These shoe deodorizer balls are easy to use and last up to one year. They attack the root cause of shoe and foot odor: bacteria. Their antibacterial ingredients don’t just cover up the smell, they destroy it.
Even if you don’t pick one of our recommended shoes, be sure to follow our Buying Guide. We take all your needs into consideration. We walk you through the importance of natural vs. synthetic ingredients, pricing, odor control methods, speed, and ease of transport.
Be sure to buy products with mostly natural ingredients. You may lose some speed of results. But you get peace of mind knowing you aren’t using any harmful or toxic ingredients on your skin.
To buy our Best Overall shoe deodorizer, Odor Drops Deodorizer Balls, click here.