How to Keep Soccer Cleats from Smelling:

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Are your soccer cleats harbouring an unpleasant odour that rivals the intensity of a competitive match? The struggle with smelly soccer cleats is a familiar predicament players face, and the culprit is often the unseen microbial activity within the shoes. In this guide, we’ll explore effective strategies on “how to keep soccer cleats from smelling,” providing practical tips and DIY remedies to ensure your cleats stay fresh and odour-free.

Let’s start with insights into why soccer cleats develop that unmistakable stench and then delve into actionable steps for maintaining a pleasant aroma in your trusty footwear. Get ready to score a goal against soccer cleat odours!

how to keep soccer cleats from smelling

Why Do Soccer Cleats Smell?

Before diving into solutions, it’s essential to understand why soccer cleats develop odour in the first place. The shoes’ warm, humid environment breeds fungi and bacteria that cause the problem.

These microorganisms consume sweat and dead skin cells left behind after play to produce foul-smelling gases.

Tips for Preventing Soccer Cleats from Smelling

Proper Cleaning Techniques:

After each use, thoroughly clean the inside and outside of your cleats with a mild soap and water solution. Pay special attention to areas where sweat accumulates, such as the insole and lining.

Drying Methods:

Allow your cleats to air dry thoroughly after cleaning. Keep them out of direct sunlight or away from a heat source since they can deteriorate when exposed to excessive heat. Instead, stuff the cleats with newspaper or use a specialized shoe dryer to speed up drying.

Using Odor Absorbers:

Inserting odour-absorbing inserts or sachets into your cleats can help neutralize unpleasant odours. The shoes can also be sprinkled with baking soda or activated charcoal inside and allowed to sit overnight before shaking off the excess powder.

DIY Remedies for Smelly Soccer Cleats

If commercial odour-fighting products aren’t readily available, several homemade remedies can be just as effective:

Natural Remedies:

Lemon or orange peels placed inside the cleats can impart a fresh citrus scent while absorbing odours. Alternatively, essential oils like tea tree or lavender oil have natural antibacterial properties that help eliminate odour-causing microbes.

Homemade Deodorizers:

Fill a spray bottle with equal parts water and vinegar and create your deodorizing spray. Spritz the solution inside your cleats and allow them to air dry. The vinegar will kill bacteria and neutralize odours without leaving behind a strong scent.

How to Maintain Fresh-Smelling Soccer Cleats

Soccer cleats can be kept odour-free by preventing bacteria from growing. Maintain freshness by incorporating these habits into your routine:

Regular Maintenance Routine:

Cleaning and airing your cleats after practice or games should become a habit. The studs should be cleaned of debris, and the shoes should be inspected for wear and damage.

Storing Cleats Properly:

When not in use, store your cleats in a well-ventilated area away from direct sunlight and moisture. Avoid leaving them inside a closed sports bag or locker, as this can promote bacterial growth.


Follow these tips and tricks to combat soccer cleat odours and keep them smelling fresh effectively. With proper care and maintenance, your cleats will stay fresh and ready for action, ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable playing experience every time.


How often should I clean my soccer cleats to prevent odour?

It’s best to clean your cleats after every use to remove sweat and bacteria before they can cause odour.

Can I machine wash my soccer cleats to eliminate smell?

Cleats may be machine washable, but hand washing is recommended to prevent the materials from being damaged.

Will scented shoe sprays mask or eliminate the odour?

Scented sprays may temporarily mask the odour but won’t address the underlying cause. It’s better to use products that neutralize odours and kill bacteria.

How long does it take for homemade deodorizers to work?

Homemade deodorizers may start working immediately, but for best results, leave them in your cleats overnight to allow sufficient time for odour absorption.

Is wearing socks with soccer cleats necessary to prevent odour?

When you take other preventive measures, moisture-wicking socks may not be necessary. They can help absorb sweat and reduce odour.

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