Best Shoe Deodorizer – 2021 Buying Guide
Don't fret though, we've tested and reviewed a number of the best shoe deodorizers on the market so your running shoes don't smell up your gym bag, home, or car. Peruse our top picks below and snag an option before that smell gets worse!
- Dr. Scholl's Odor X
- Zederna Cedar Wood Inserts
- Lumi Outdoors Natural Odor Eliminator
- RightFoot Foot and Shoe deodorizer
- Dr. Scholl’s Odor -X Insoles
- Sof Sole Sneaker Balls
- Elite Foot Deodorizer Spray
- OdorStop Shoe Deodorizer Machine
- Mini Moso Natural Charcoal Air Purifying Bag
- DryGuy DX Forced Air Shoe Dryer
- Odor Eaters Spray
Criteria Used for Evaluation
Shoe deodorizers, like any over-the-counter treatment, have a variety of active ingredients to tackle foot odor. These ingredients will differ based on which product you choose to purchase.
Some of the most common ingredients found in shoe deodorizers include:
Baking soda: This all-natural ingredient absorbs foot and shoe odors in the same way it absorbs them from your refrigerator.
Aluminum Chloride: This is the top-recommended ingredient for excessive sweating by dermatologists and other medical professionals. It works by altering the cells that produce sweat.
Calendula: This plant extract has been proven to have antifungal properties as strong as prescription antifungal medications.
Zinc Oxide: Yes, this is the same ingredient found in your anti-dandruff shampoo and your baby’s diaper rash cream. However, it has many applications, including fighting foot odors. It is absorbed into your pores, which shrinks them to decrease the amount of sweat produced.
Essential Oils: One of the most common essential oils found in shoe and foot deodorizing products is tea tree oil, although many others are also used. Essential oils are not only strongly scented, but many also contain bacteria-fighting properties, which eliminates the cause of the odor in the first place, rather than just cover it up.
Cedarwood: Using a cedarwood insert in your shoe is just like using cedar in your closet- it hides and sucks up bad odors.
Charcoal: Charcoal foot deodorizing products are unscented, as charcoal has no smell of its own. It will, however, absorb any odors in your shoe, making it seem like there was no smelly problem in the first place.
UV Light: UV light is used in a variety of industries for sterilization purposes. UV light kills cells by damaging their DNA, so when you use UV light to deodorize your shoes, you are killing the fungus, bacteria, and mold that is causing the unpleasant odors.
Shoe deodorizers can be applied in a variety of ways. Some are messier or more time consuming than others.
Creams: These are usually packaged in a tube, and must be squeezed and spread on your foot. This can be a messy process.
Powders: Powders are usually sprinkled on the foot or in the shoe. Powders are the messiest type of shoe deodorizer of all because it is difficult to control where the powder will land.
Sprays: A spray comes in a pump bottle and is sprayed directly to the foot or shoe. The shoe odor sprays are usually fast absorbing. Although not as messy as a powder, there is still a slight risk of getting spray in an area you would rather not.
Soaks: Foot soaks usually come in a crystal or salt-like form, and are poured into your bath water or a foot tub.
Inserts: Shoe inserts, well, are inserted into your shoe! They are usually like shoe inserts, although some are meant to be worn all the time, while others should only be put in the shoe when you aren’t wearing them.
UV Light Machine: This is the shoe deodorizer that takes up the most space, so you will need to make sure you have a place to store it as well as a source of electricity nearby to power it.
One thing that's definitely important when it comes to the best foot odor eliminator for shoes is how effective they actually are.
The odor-fighting ingredients in shoe deodorizers have different strength levels, and this is what determines how effective the product you chose will be in battling shoe odor. Some products will just mask the odor, but won’t fight the underlying cause of it- bacteria, fungus, and the like. Other "shoe odor eliminators" will mask and treat the causes of odor. And some products, like charcoal and baking soda, eliminate odors without leaving a strong scent behind.
Make sure to take a look at reviews from other users if you aren't sure about a shoe deodorizer's overall effectiveness--this is what we did when compiling our list of best shoe deodorizers. Keep in mind that some users may need something that is stronger than other users, so it is important to consider your specific needs here as well. Effectiveness is not up to just the product in this situation but also depends on whether it is designed to address your specific odor needs.
This also differs based on the active ingredients in the product you choose and its application. Some products will only fight odors overnight, while others promise more long-lasting effects, up to 6 months! While most of the powders and sprays don't really fall in line here to a certain extent, other products on our list do.
We have a sterilizer here, for example, as well as other shoe deodorizers that are not shoe odor sprays or powders. It is important to take note of when specific parts will need to be replaced and how long they are designed to last. It is also important to take note of how long they are designed to last. Make sure to take care of them appropriately if you want them to last as long as they are supposed to.
Find the Best Shoe Odor Eliminator
1. Dr. Scholl's Odor X
The Dr. Scholl's Odor X All Day Deodorant Powder is just one example of the many excellent deodorizing shoe odor eliminators they have in their arsenal. The powder cools the feet and deodorizes shoes.Read more
Cornstarch, Zinc Oxide, Sodium Bicarbonate, Kaolin, Fragrance, & Chloroxylenol
The shoe freshener powder is easy to use but can be messy. The fragranced to cover odors, but some users may be irritated by the fragrance.
Cost and Value
This is the best value out there. Cheap and effective. But do understand if you buy, it is a powder and maybe a tad messy.
2. Zederna Cedar Wood Inserts
Zederna Cedar Wood Inserts are a thin insert for the shoe with a pleasant scent. They are 100% natural, made of cedar wood and cotton, totally without chemicals.Read more
This foot odor eliminator for shoes is 100% natural. The cedar naturally inhibits bacteria causing odor. Both wood and cotton is biodegradable and thus, environmentally friendly. It is worth noting that sizing can be tricky.
Cost and Value
This is an excellent value because the wooden shoe inserts are durable, natural, and eco-friendly.
Made with all natural ingredients, Sprayzee is rated one of the top natural foot deodorizers and shoe odor sprays on the market. Because it is all-natural, it can be used on more than just feet. Sprayzee shoe odor spray is made with active smells in mind. It is like an all-natural deodorizer for life. With an Apple Cider vinegar base, it is guaranteed to kill off smelly bacteria naturally and quick while leaving an essential oil-infused aroma.Read more
Sprayzee is packed with powerful essential oils like eucalyptus, tea tree and peppermint leaving your fresh minty smelling while eliminating odor-causing bacteria. The Apple cider is a natural neutralizer and is loaded with antimicrobial benefits that are also antibacterial. Also offering some antibacterial action is the Bergamo, which also adds some sweet citrus scents to the spray. Mix that with some White Thyme and you got quite the herbal tea mixture for eliminating odors. You'll definitely feel better waffing around citrus and Eucalyptus that that strange foot odor growing in your unprotected sweaty shoes.
Sprayzee shoe odor eliminator isn't just for feet. Although it is made for them, we have to share how versatile it actually is. If you have uniforms or pads, maybe a locker, this can be used the same way as you do for your shoes; spray them down for a quick freshen up or use it as an open-air freshener. Sprayzee is all-purpose and doesn't have all those cancer-causing agents found in most air freshening products. It was made with all those special ingredients because of what they offer in not only eliminating odor but also for their disinfecting properties, which also is known for killing fungus. Yep, that is right, Spryazee is also a foot fungus spray, which can be used for other growths in those dirty pads we mentioned before. We find it is a magic mist for athletes of all kinds.
Sprayzee offers tons of benefits for such a simple natural product. For a low price, you get an all-purpose smell eliminator and fungus fighter. The fact you get a multi-use product says enough about what you get for your money and customer reviews seem to share their product claims.
Overall, Sprayzee might well be the best shoe deodorizer spray you can get.
4. Lumi Outdoors Natural Odor Eliminator
Extra strength treatment for your running shoes through the sprayed application of essential natural oils. The shoe odor eliminator products are natural and known to give a refreshingly cool and comfortable feel for feet while enhancing anti-fungal and anti-bacterial capabilities.
Around 22 types of odor-causing bacteria will be zapped by this extra strength spray while ensuring your shoes are odor-free.Read more
PEPPERMINT is known for strong anti-fungal/anti-bacterial performance, it is a natural anti-bacterial agent, even used for this purpose in toothpaste. This fresh cooling essential oil is known for its antibacterial and antifungal properties. It is often used in toothpaste as an antiseptic to fight off harmful bacteria. This is not a marketing claim it is scientific fact.
EUCALYPTUS has similar properties performance to peppermint which is why it is added to soap and a wide variety of skin creams.
TEA TREE is an ancient and world very trusted for fighting not only bacteria but also infections/diseases, anti-bacterial and anti-viral capability
LEMONGRASS OIL has been proven to fight athletes foot, ringworm, jock itch, and possesses the same anti qualities as peppermint, tea tree oil etc.
CLOVE LEAF has the strongest anti-bacterial and anti-fungal performance and finally, we note the use of Apple Cider Vinegar in the ingredients and this is one of the natures exceptionally powerful cleaners with exceptional anti-microbial factors. Witch Hazel is another ingredient which is known to fight bacterial colonization and close skin pores protectively.
This treatment of this shoe freshener and shoe odor eliminator gives extra natural protection without any use of chemicals. Natural protection and sound elimination of odors through the killing the bacteria which cause the problems.
Cost and Value
Might cost a little more but well worth the investment due to its natural elements.
Overall Lumi might be the best shoe spray for odor with natural ingredients on the market today.
5. RightFoot Foot and Shoe deodorizer
Made entirely from ingredients from natural sources, this will ensure your running shoes are free of odor. This is an alternative to antifungal sprays, powders and other alternatives with a recipe of chemicals.
The priority of RightFoot shoe deodorizer is your health and deodorized footwear, we provide this efficiently for all types of skin and odor/shoe related conditions in which odor are a problem through a 100% natural remedy.
RightFoot shoe odor spray works for athletes engaged in competitive activities which produce sweaty feet, in fact, use this product for any footwear for a natural odor free shoe. Provided with a nice range of scintillating aromatic scents.Read more
Gluconolactone, Sodium Benzoate, Polysorbate 20 & 80, Peppermint oil, Tea Tree Oil, Eucalyptus Oil and Thyme Oil all of which are carefully blended in the appropriate amounts giving top performance.
Wipeout persistent shoe/foot odor through using 100% essential oils with antibacterial capabilities. Through the use of natural ingredients, this product is gentle and safe while tackling the most persistent odors and each 120ml bottle gives hundreds of sprayable shots.
Ingredients include tea tree oil, thyme, eucalyptus, and peppermint all much nicer smells that foul foot and shoe odor, this product can tackle very tough odors and remain gentle for the skin.
Directions to use this shoe odor remover are user-friendly, just spray into the shoe or directly onto the foot, for a refreshing and natural way to attain odor free shoes and feet.
Cost and Value
The price of this shoe deodorizer is a little bit higher but its value comes in the natural treatment it offers.
6. Dr. Scholl’s Odor -X Insoles
Made with the same odor fighting action as our #1on this list, Dr. Scholl’s Odor -X Insoles offer the same 3x Triple Action all-day odor-fighting protection but without the fuss of the powder. They designed the sole to fit any foot, just measure and cut to your shoe size. They kill bacteria and eliminate odor while adding extra comfort and support. Dr. Scholl's proves to have every need covered depending on personal preference; nobody likes smelly feet but not everybody likes to put their feet in a cloud of powder either. Read more in-depth below about this shoe odor eliminator and shoe freshener.Read more
Baking soda and activated charcoal are the main ingredients fighting odor in Dr. Scholls Odor-X insoles. They use an Air-Pillo insole to add comfort as well as SweatMax absorbing technology for a dry feeling all day. These are for those with extra sweaty feet. The baking soda dries and absorbs sweat as well as odor and the charcoal assists in eliminating smelly microbes from building up, preventing future smells.
Dr. Scholl's used a few different technologies in this Odor-X insole shoe deodorizer. It is aimed at killing odor but made to aid those that also sweat more than usual while adding extra cushioning. The Air-Pillo is for added comfort and is combined with SweatMax to absorb sweat. Add this to their Odor-X to keep odor away and you have the full fresh foot package. Sometimes powders just are not enough; some need that little extra. These offer more than just a basic deodorizer, and that is why it grabbed our attention for the Top 10.
Affordable and functional; these are more than just for odor, they offer comfort and extreme sweat absorbency. Dr. Scholl’s Odor-X inserts are the full package at a good cost for those that are not a fan of powders or just need extra absorbency.
7. Sof Sole Sneaker Balls
The Sof Sole Sneaker Balls Shoe, Gym Bag and Locker Deodorizer is a tiny spherical deodorizer that covers the smelliest of odors, leaving behind a fresh scent.Read more
The product is made using TX3 odor blocker
This shoe deodorizer is small enough to go almost anywhere. It’s good for shoes, gym bags, and lockers and doesn't take up much room. It effectively covers stinky shoe odors. However, some reviewers did not like the smell while others thought it did not last as long as they expected it to.
Cost and Value
For what it is, it's a great deal.
8. Elite Foot Deodorizer Spray
Elite Foot Deodorizer spray controls odor while taking care of the feet. It moisturizes and leaves the feet feeling silky and smooth due to its essential oil base and other natural ingredients. Their foot deodorizer helps keep feet dry from sweat as well, while still moisturizing those cracked heels. More or less, this shoe odor spray is a well-rounded foot care product with great deodorizing power.Read more
With a long list of natural ingredients including lavender, peppermint and myrrh, Elite Foot Spray is like a spa for your feet. The combination of all-natural ingredients works magic killing all that smelly bacteria leaving you odor and sweat-free. There are no heavy metals, parabens or harsh chemicals and Elite odor eliminator for shoes has a 100% non-toxic ingredient guarantee to back its claim.
Elite Foot Deodorizing Spray for Athletes is packed with nutrients for your feet and they made sure to put virtually every natural herb and oil in there to assure all areas of good foot care are covered. They made their shoe odor spray a smelly microbe and bacteria-killing machine while adding other ingredients that absorb sweat and heal damaged skin. Elite even has tea-tree and cayenne in there for a cooling an activating effect for athletes that suffer from foot fatigue.
Not only are they super affordable, Elite once again backs up their shoe odor spray with a 100% money-back guarantee if you are not 100% satisfied. We added them to our Top 10 list because not only do they back up their product with great guarantees, they are also affordable and seriously offer a fantastic all-natural product for your feet that works.
9. OdorStop Shoe Deodorizer Machine
Sprays and powders can be effective, but your chances of eliminating odors are greatly increased with some extra care put into keeping your shoes dry between wearing. This machine from OdorStop can definitely help, and you could even consider it a shoe deodorizer, in addition to a dryer, simply because keeping shoes dry is the best way to eliminate odor causing bacteria.Read more
The machine has four output tubes which will fit shoes or boots of various design and sizes. The settings include switches to turn on or turn off a heater, as well as a deodorizing setting, or "ozone" setting. One thing to keep in mind, the machine is labeled with a warning to not use the ozone setting in an occupied room, so be mindful of that before you make your choice.
If you are a runner, especially one who like the dirtier and less hospitable trails or terrain, then you certainly know how much of a hassle it can be to get your shoes dried right without them smelling like something died inside. If you find yourself hanging shoes and trying to find effective ways to get it done faster, than the value in something like this is definitely there.
10. Mini Moso Natural Charcoal Air Purifying Bag
The Mini Moso Natural Charcoal Air Purifying Bag is a mesh bag filled with Moso Bamboo Charcoal that works by absorbing excess moisture.Read more
The shoe odor eliminator is, according to its product description, non-toxic, fragrance-free, and contains no chemicals. This is important for people who want to avoid being exposed to chemicals for whatever reason.
These charcoal shoe inserts can be recycled by dumping the charcoal into the garden, instead of having it occupy space in a landfill. However, the product may be more of a good preventative measure as it only seems to remove moisture and not the odors themselves.
Cost and Value
This is a great value for what it is able to do, with the added bonus of it being both non-toxic and environmentally friendly.
11. DryGuy DX Forced Air Shoe Dryer
The DryGuy DX Forced Air Boot Dryer and Garment Dryer uses gentle heat and air to dry shoes, boots, and garments.Read more
The shoe dryer and shoe deodorizer machine is quite large. The dimensions are 12” X 15” x 7.5”. This is something to consider for people who don’t have much space.
Cost and Value
Compared to other product, this one on the pricey side.
12. Odor Eaters Spray
Although Odor Eaters is a spray powder, this stuff doesn't leave as much behind like some others do. Sometimes with deodorizer sprays you get a bunch of residual powder all over your shoe, but not so much with this one. Plus, the brand has been around for quite a while, and earned its good name in that time for being effective.Read more
If you don't mind using chemicals, or at least a less natural approach, then this works for most cases. As long as shoes are dried properly and kept fairly clean, Oder Eaters spray works pretty well. While any cleaning product has its limits, people still tend to go for the brand they know, like this one.
A can will cost a few bucks at a supermarket, and like a little less if you order multiples online. While this won't work miracles, it does eliminate stinky foot odor for a while.