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How to avoid smelly football shoes.

How to avoid smelly football shoes.

How to avoid smelly football shoes.

Most people can probably relate when they hear smelly football shoes, the distinct smell that only a pair of used football shoes can get. It’s also not that easy to get rid of, as most of the time the smell has really gotten stuck in the shoes. However, there are things you can do to help prevent it, and we’re gonna give you some tips & tricks. Proper care and a couple of bags of SmellWell is the key to never have to bring out the smelly football shoes for the new season, only to realize they still smell from last season!


Exterior cleaning

Cleaning your football shoes both internally and externally is highly recommended, as the smell can come from anywhere. It also keeps them more functional and they will last longer.

It can be a good idea to get some tools to clean your shoes, such as brushes. Get a hard brush, a soft brush and a really fine brush for details. An old toothbrush can do the trick as well, but it takes a bit more work. It can also be good to get some shoe cleaner. 

Preferably you should wash your smelly football shoes by hand, as it’s easier on the materials and helps them last longer. You can however, if they’re made from synthetic or knit, put them in the washing machine on a low temperature, such as 30°C. Whatever you do, don’t put football shoes made out of leather in the washing machine, it will ruin them.

Leather football shoes:

To clean football shoes made out of leather, make sure you use a softer brush for the areas covered in leather. You can use your harder nylon brush on the soleplate, but be careful so you don’t damage the leather by accident.

Get a bowl of water, a towel or a cloth that you don’t mind getting dirty, and get to work. Use the soft brush to get all the dirt off the leather, and the harder brush for the soleplate. Once they look good enough, get the fine brush and make sure you work all the details such as the seams. 

Once they’ve dried make sure you apply some leather balm to keep them smooth and protected.

Synthetic and knitted football shoes:

The process of synthetic boots is very similar to how you treat football shoes made out of leather, but you can use a harder brush to make the job a bit easier as these materials can handle it.

For knitted boots, it’s the same for the part of the shoes that has a silicone coating. If you do however manage to get the exposed areas of the knit dirty, which most people do, you can easily take care of that with a softer brush. Dip it in water, apply a generous amount of shoe cleaner on the brush and softly brush the exposed area. This may have to be repeated a couple of times until you get the result you want.


After brushing and cleaning, wipe them off with a towel and then let them dry naturally. Don’t put them over the radiator or any other heatsource, and whatever you do, do not tumble them.

To make it faster you can put something inside the shoes to help absorb the moisture.

A good solution is to put a pair of SmellWell in your football shoes, as these will absorb the moisture efficiently and leave a fresh scent afterwards.


Interior cleaning

To get your football shoes fresh on the inside there are some nice home remedies you can use, or some really effective products.

  • Put the football shoes in the freezer. This may sound weird, but if you put your shoes in a plastic bag and leave them in the freezer overnight it will kill the bacteria and remove the bad smell. 
  • Got tea bags at home? Use them in your shoes. Leaving a pair of dry tea bags in the shoes overnight can help absorb the bad smell. 
  • Baking soda can help absorb the odor. Sprinkle a couple of teaspoons of baking soda in each shoe and leave overnight, vacuum it the next day and hopefully the odor will be gone.
  • The easiest and most effective solution. Simply put a bag of SmellWell freshener inserts in your smelly football shoes once you’re done using them. This will effectively absorb all the moisture and make sure the bad smell stays on the sidelines. See the video below to see how easy it is to use.


    Hopefully some of these tips were helpful and you won’t have to deal with those smelly football shoes ever again. By taking proper care of your football shoes they keep their functionality and last longer, so it’s a win - win for both your wallet and the environment.

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