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A Fresh Step: How to Keep Your Hiking Boots from Smelling

There's nothing quite like the joy of hitting the trails with a sturdy pair of hiking boots. However, after a long trek, your trusty boots can sometimes develop an unpleasant odour. Fear not! With a few simple tips and tricks, you can keep your hiking boots fresh and ready for your next adventure.

Here’s how:

Proper Cleaning After Each Hike

Cleaning your boots thoroughly after each hike is the first step to preventing odours. Dirt, sweat, and moisture trapped inside can lead to bacteria growth, which causes bad smells.

  • Remove Insoles and Laces: Take out the insoles and laces to allow for a more thorough cleaning and drying.

  • Brush Off Dirt: Use a soft brush to remove dirt and debris from the exterior of your boots.

  • Wash Gently: For a deeper clean, use warm water and mild soap. Avoid submerging the boots; instead, use a damp cloth to wipe them down.

  • Clean Insoles Separately: Wash the insoles with warm water and mild soap, then let them air dry completely.

Drying Your Boots Properly

Moisture is the main culprit behind smelly boots. Ensuring your boots are completely dry after each use is crucial.

  • Air Dry: After cleaning, place your boots in a well-ventilated area to air dry. Avoid direct sunlight or high heat, which can damage the materials.

  • Use Newspaper or Towels: Stuff your boots with crumpled newspaper or towels to help absorb moisture. Replace them periodically until the boots are dry.

  • Boot Dryers: Consider investing in a boot dryer, which can efficiently remove moisture from the inside of your boots.

Regular Deodorising

Regularly deodorising your boots can keep them smelling fresh.

  • Baking Soda: Sprinkle baking soda inside your boots and leave it overnight. Shake out the excess before your next hike. Baking soda is a natural deodoriser and absorbs moisture.

  • Activated Charcoal: Place activated charcoal sachets in your boots to absorb odours and moisture.

  • Essential Oils: A few drops of essential oils like tea tree or lavender can add a pleasant scent and have antimicrobial properties.

Proper Storage

Storing your boots correctly can prevent odour build-up.

  • Keep Them Dry: Ensure your boots are completely dry before storing them.

  • Ventilated Storage: Store your boots in a cool, dry place with good air circulation. Avoid leaving them in damp or enclosed spaces like car trunks.

  • Use Cedar Shoe Trees: Cedar shoe trees can help maintain the shape of your boots and have natural deodorising properties.

Foot Hygiene

Good foot hygiene can significantly reduce the likelihood of your boots developing an odour.

  • Clean Feet: Wash your feet thoroughly before and after hikes.

  • Dry Feet: Make sure your feet are completely dry before putting on your boots.

  • Breathable Socks: Wear moisture-wicking, breathable socks to reduce sweat accumulation.

  • Foot Powder: Use foot powder or antifungal spray to keep your feet dry and odour-free.

Maintenance Tips

Regular maintenance of your boots can prolong their life and keep them fresh.

  • Rotate Boots: If you hike frequently, consider rotating between two pairs of boots to allow each pair ample time to dry out completely.

  • Inspect and Replace Insoles: Check the insoles regularly for wear and replace them if they become overly worn or retain odours.

Keeping your hiking boots smelling fresh is all about consistent care and good practices. By cleaning, drying, and deodorising your boots regularly, and maintaining good foot hygiene, you can ensure your trusty footwear stays pleasant for many hikes to come. Remember, a little effort goes a long way in preserving the comfort and longevity of your hiking boots, making every adventure as enjoyable as the first. Happy hiking!

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16 juin
Noté 5 étoiles sur 5.

Excellent tips!


15 juin
Noté 5 étoiles sur 5.

Must try the baking soda tip!


Membre inconnu
14 juin

Some top tips there!

Membre inconnu
14 juin
En réponse à

Thank you! I will definitely be using them more, I have a pair of boots that are getting a bit stinky so must clean them. Cheers, Jody

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