The Best Shoes For Sweaty And Smelly Feet – An Expert Guide

Finding the best shoes for dealing with sweaty and smelly feet can be a challenging prospect. Ultimately, everyone is different. With that in mind, as independent footwear experts, we are asked this very question every day by our customers and thought we would share our knowledge. Here is our guide on selecting the appropriate materials, reasons why your feet might be smelly or sweaty and our personal recommendations for different styles of shoes.

Best Trainers For Smelly Feet

Womens – Gabor Wisdom Gabor Wisdom White Leather trainers for sweaty feet


  • Soft Leather Upper
  • Padded removable footbed
  • Zip and Lace fastening
  • Available in twelve colours


Mens – Begg Exclusive VoxBlack Grey Leather men's trainers for sweaty and smelly feet


  • Leather and Suede Upper
  • Padded Footbed
  • Fully Lacing



Best Lacing Shoes For Sweaty Feet

Everyone needs a pair of comfortable casual shoes for weekend social meetings or holidays. You want to be sure that your footwear has been manufactured using breathable materials such as leather. We recommend:

Legero Tanaro 5 ZipLegero Tanaro 5 Zip Blue Grey Lacing Shoes


  • Soft Suede Upper
  • Removable Insole
  • Cupped heel
  • Built-in arch support
  • Shock-absorbent
  • Zip and lace fastening
  • Available in 11 colours


Lotus KatyaLotus Katya Silver Lacing Shoes for Sweaty Feet


  • Full leather upper
  • Perforated upper for increased ventilation
  • Leather footbed and lining
  • Bungee lace
  • Lightweight
  • Flexible


Best Closed-Toe Sandals For Smelly Feet

Women’s closed-toe sandals are always a popular style choice for the summer season. These are great for hiding your toes while still giving you a summery feel and cooler feet due to great airflow. Great brands for closed-toe sandals or espadrilles include Women’s Toni Pons and Women’s Earth Spirit Sandals. They make gorgeous summery styles in a variety of colours and silhouettes from canvas to suede leather uppers.

Rieker Vallzeb

Rieker women's Closed Toe Sandals for Smelly Feet


  • Leather upper
  • Laser cut design for ventilation
  • Velcro strap
  • Closed toe
  • Flexible hand-stitched sole
  • Leather lining and footbed


Earth Spirit Alexa

Earth Spirit Alexa women's light grey closed toe sandals for sweaty feet


  • Suede upper
  • Padded footbed
  • Grooved outsole for improved traction
  • Flexible woven upper


Best Flat Shoes For Sweaty Feet

Combining smart and casual, a pair of pumps are a great option for those who want a versatile style. A pair of leather pumps with perforations in the summer will allow for greater airflow.

Begg Exclusive Allday Wide

Women's tan leather loafers for sweaty feet


  • Leather upper
  • Easy slip-on fit
  • Leather footbed and lining
  • Also available in white
  • Padded footbed


Legero Tanaro 5 Slip

Legero Tanaro 5 Slip On Black Trainers


  • Leather upper
  • Textile lining
  • Removable insole
  • Built-in arch support
  • Cupped heel
  • Shock absorbent

Best Boots For Sweaty Feet

When it comes to boots that are breathable, a pair of GORE-TEX boots should be your number one choice. Leather uppers with TEX membranes help to keep your feet dry for excellent value for money. Leather footbeds and linings are also recommended as they will absorb excess moisture to keep your feet cool and comfortable.

Womens – Creator PeechleaCreator Peechlea Tan Leather Chelsea Boots


  • Buttery Soft Leather Upper
  • Easy Slip-On Fit with Zip Fastening
  • Available in 4 colours
  • Excellent value for money


Mens – Rieker Roused

Rieker Men's Black Leather Chelsea Boots for Smelly Feet


  • Full Leather Upper
  • Padded Footbed
  • Soft Lining



Do My Shoes Make My Feet Smell?

If you find that a number of shoes that you wear regularly all have the same issue, unfortunately it may be you and not the shoes.

In some cases however, we have seen in our stores that the adhesives and internal components of a shoe can start to break down (literally rotting inside) leaving you with a very strong smell from shoes.

The natural salinity of sweat is highly corrosive over time and when you wear the same shoes every day, sweat soaks into your shoes. If they don’t get a chance to fully dry out, this can encourage bacterial growth decomposition of the shoe interior. When it gets to this point – replacing your shoes is the only permanent cure. Some of our customers have politely described the strong small as similar to cat urine and sometimes the smell from the shoes can transfer to your socks or your feet.

If all of your shoes are the same, consider the alternative, that the smell may be you. Smelly feet are a common problem all year round and are medically recognised as bromodosis. The common causes behind this foot problem are a combination of sweaty feet and wearing the same shoes every day.  Anyone can get sweaty feet regardless of the temperature, although it does tend to be more common in teenagers and pregnant women. We recommend you check out our guide on the best shoes for pregnancy if this applies to you.

Other common causes include if you’re on your feet all day and wear shoes that are too tight, under a lot of stress or have hyperhidrosis. This is a medical condition which means your feet sweat more than usual. If you are concerned about this, we recommend you speak to your GP or a qualified podiatrist.


Wash Feet

How Do You Get Rid of sweaty or Smelly Feet At Home?

The good news is there are some things you can do at home to help prevent smelly feet.

1. Wash Your Feet

We recommend getting in touch with your local pharmacist who can advise you on the right antibacterial soap for you to wash your feet with once a day.  Additionally, our podiatrist-written blog on Top Tips for Summer Feet shares all of the information you need to get your feet summer season ready!

2. Dry Your Feet

It is really important to thoroughly dry your feet after you’ve washed them or any time they get wet, especially between the toes – easy to forget when in a hurry.

3. Wear the Right Shoes

One of the most effective solutions is not wearing the same shoes two days in a row so that they have at least 24 hrs to dry out between use. At the very least try to rotate insoles (swap them out) and leave them to air out every night. Now you have a good reason to go shoe shopping!

The best shoe material for sweaty feet is leather due to its breathability and its ability to absorb excess moisture. Certain shoes, typically featuring man-made materials can make your feet smell and sweat more due to them trapping in the heat and moisture. We recommend avoiding brands such as Crocs if you suffer from sweaty feet and instead look to brands that focus and specialise in leather uppers.

4. Wear the Right Socks

Along with changing your shoes regularly, it stands to reason you should also change your socks at least once a day. Ideally, you should avoid synthetic materials and wear wool or cotton socks as these natural fibres are absorbent and help maintain cooler foot temperatures.

5. Get New Shoes

If the shoes turn out to be the source of the smell, or have become unbearable there is no other choice. First, replace the insole (fillers) if you can remove them and if the problem persists dispose of the shoes and get some new ones. After a short period of time, this can be a manufacturing defect so it is worth speaking with the retailer where you purchased the shoes before disposing of them.


Suffering from sweaty feet isn’t the end of the world when it comes to choosing footwear. By understanding the importance of leather, its breathability, and what materials to avoid, you can make sure your next pair allows you to go about your day with confidence.