How to avoid smelly safety boots

Smelly work boots are a common problem that can be incredibly hard to fix. My wife used to hate it – and she wasn’t the only one.

The first step is obvious but not always possible. If you’re working outside in hot weather for long hours without stopping, your boots are going to sweat regardless of how well ventilated they are or if you wear socks that never get dirty. Still, it’s best to set yourself up for success in this area.

6 tips to stop the smelly work boots syndrome

1. Keep your boots in a place with good ventilation

Proper ventilation will go a long way for this problem. If you keep your shoes in a cool, dry place where air can circulate them, they will not smell as bad. Some people like to put their shoes on top of the washer or dryer while at home because it forces air to flow through the boot and makes it easier for moisture to evaporate out of the boot.

While you shouldn’t place your boots directly in front of an open window without adequate protection, keeping them where the sun can shine on them during the day does help dry out any moisture that builds up inside the boot.

2. Spray them with an odour-fighting spray before wearing them

Some people prefer to use a spray that fights odour on their boots before they wear them. This helps stop smells before they start. A product like this has antibacterial properties to keep anything bad from growing in your boot and works similarly to deodorant on the rest of your body. While it won’t prevent sweat and can’t cover up smells that have already started, it’s useful if you’re working for an extended time during hot weather.

3. Wear socks that are made out of fabric, not cotton

Many people say that they enjoy wearing safety boots because they breathe well and allow your feet to stay cool as you work all day long. But when it comes to socks, it’s not the same for everyone, and some find that the best socks are made of cotton because it absorbs sweat away from your foot to keep you dry. If this sounds like you, it’s probably a good idea to opt for socks made out of fabric instead so they can absorb moisture as well as facilitate airflow in your boot.

4. Change your socks regularly to avoid sweat build up

It’s important to keep in mind that no matter what type of sock you wear, it will eventually get wet with perspiration. If you are finding yourself needing to change your socks during the day because they are soaked through, it might be time to take a break somewhere where you can wash them out so they can dry before you get back to work. Otherwise, you risk your boots becoming wet too and slipping inside of them.

5. Put some baking soda in the toe box of your boot and let it absorb all day long

This is another method that works well with combating smells but has different effects than spraying your boots with an odour-fighting spray. Baking soda absorbs moisture and odours, so letting it sit in the toe of your boot overnight can work wonders for getting rid of any sweaty smells your boots might have accumulated throughout the day.

Make sure you put a thin layer of baking soda in the toe box so that everything sticks to it and doesn’t end up getting stuck in the material of your boot.

6. Take care of any cuts or blisters you might have so they don’t get infected and cause bad smells too

While not always as serious as some other problems, cuts or blisters can spread bacteria and lead to a smelly environment for your boots if left untreated. If you do encounter a cut or blister on the bottom of your foot, it’s important to take care of it and keep it clean so that it doesn’t end up giving off an unpleasant smell.


Keeping your boots clean is an important part of keeping them smelling good. While you can’t control the sweat that builds up inside your work boots, you can do your best to keep them ventilated and dry throughout the day. With some products like deodorant or baking soda, there are some easy solutions for getting rid of smells quickly.

Dry feet and clean socks can help too.

As always, I hope you found this post to be helpful and informative. If you have any questions or comments about it, please let me know in the comment section below!

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