While dogs are often considered man’s best friend, work boots must come pretty close! You wear them all day, every day and they help you comfortably get through whatever conditions you work through. After a gruelling day’s work, it’s hardly surprising if your boots don’t smell fresh. However, there are some simple best practices you can follow to minimise ‘stink’ and avoid your boots developing serious odours.

This article will discuss 6 ideas you can use to stop (or at least slow down) your boots from smelling.

1. Choose the right boots

The most important (and obvious) best practice to keep your boots smelling fresh is to buy suitable work boots in the first place. While modern work boots have offered a whole new level of protection and comfort thanks to features such as insulated linings and safety caps, these features have also lowered the breathability of the boots. This means your feet will possibly sweat more and sweat sooner as you go about your day’s work. Some factors you may want to consider before buying your next pair of boots include:

  • Composite safety toe caps don’t conduct heat like steel caps do and will reduce how much your feet sweat. 
  • If you require insulated boots in your job (i.e. if you work in a cold store), zip sided boots allow you to open the zip partially when your feet are overheating to allow ventilation.
  • Leather is less breathable than meshed/woven synthetic materials, so your feet will sweat more. If you require the advantages leather boots offer, such as its superior durability, ensure the tongue is a synthetic meshing of some sort, so your feet aren’t blocked from airflow altogether.
  • Cheap, synthetic leather is less breathable than natural leather, so isn’t generally a great choice!

2. Keep your feet clean

Obviously, the core reason for boots smelling comes from your feet perspiring. As they sweat and moisture seeps in the boot’s material, bacteria and fungi thrive in the warm, humid conditions. By washing your feet often with antibacterial soap you will kill bacteria and the smell that comes with it.

3.
Change your socks often and don’t wear cotton socks

Similarly,
to keeping your feet clean, changing your socks often for a fresh pair will
reduce the build-up of smelly bacteria. When you choose your work socks, avoid
cotton if you can, as it absorbs moisture (including sweat), rather than
wicking it away from your skin. This makes them smell more quickly and will
leave your feet damp and uncomfortable. Woollen or bamboo socks are best for
wicking moisture, which is why the military generally chooses merino wool socks

4. Alternate boot

In an earlier post we discussed how having a couple of pairs of boots and wearing them on ‘every
other day’ helps your boots last longer, as it gives them a chance to dry out
properly after each use. Another advantage of practicing this, if your budget
allows it, is as the moisture and sweat has a chance to evaporate, bacteria
will not build up as quickly and your boots will stay smelling fresh for longer.

5. Store your boots in a ventilated, light place

After each use, store your boots in a place where they can be ventilated and dry properly. Bacteria thrives in dark, damp locations such as outdoor cupboards. To accelerate your boot’s drying, you can fill them with newspaper or stockings filled with baking soda. There are a couple more tips on drying your boots in this post.

6. Boot Deodorizer

Like option 5 Boot Deodorizer are a great way to remove the odour from your working boots without the aid of harsh C02 sprays or chemicals.

By simply popping a Boot deodorizer in each book straight after use can help reduce the smell more than use ventilating the shoes on the shoe rack, removing the odour before its able to grow within your boots will help.

Following these best practices will reduce bacteria build up in your boots and will keep them smelling fresher for longer. However, over time your boots will inevitably develop smells and odours as they absorb moisture and other substances from your day to day wear. Maybe it’s time for new boots