My boys love sandals.  And since we live in Texas, where sandal season is literally 7-8 months out of the year, they wear their sandals a LOT.  Lots of sandals and lots of summer means lots of sweaty feet and lots of STINK!  Last year, I really felt like the stink had gotten quite embarrassing.  Any one of the boys could clear out a room just by taking off their shoes.  It was awful.  Something had to change, so this summer, I have been on a quest for a stinky sandal solution!

The Stinky Sandal Solution

 First, let me say that our sandals are pretty much exclusively Keen Newport H2’s (Amazon affiliate link).  We’ve been buying them for years and handing them down.  They’re easy to put on, they protect the boys’ feet, and they last through an 8 month sandal season and can still be handed down!  I try not to pay full price if I can help it.  I got Aidan’s current pair last fall for $18 on clearance!  I don’t always do that well, but there are deals to be found if you watch for them.  (There are also a lot of knock-off versions available.  Not sure if any of those are worth it, so leave a comment if you’ve tried any!)

Anyway, the first few pairs of Keens that we owned did not smell as bad as the more recent pairs, so I’m not sure if they have changed their materials or what.  They are machine washable, which is great.  However, I have found that machine washing is not enough to keep the stink away for more than a couple of days!

The Stinky Sandal Solution

So I tried an experiment.  In May, I ran all of the boys’ sandals through the washing machine.  While they were still damp, I sprinkled baking soda inside each shoe and then sprayed them down with a mixture of 50/50 vinegar and water and let that sit for several minutes.  Then I rinsed the sandals and let them air dry.

IT WORKED!  We made it two weeks with no smell, unless you stuck your nose right in the shoe, and even then it wasn’t bad.  I ended up having to wash them again because of a very dusty hike we went on, and so I went ahead and did the baking soda/vinegar treatment again.  That was 10 days ago, and still no stink!  I’m not sure how long it will last – it will probably depend on each child’s sweat level.  But even if I have to clean their sandals every 2-3 weeks, that is a small price to pay for fresh feet!

I don’t know if this would work for leather sandals, but I imagine that it would work for any sandals that can be washed.

Does your household struggle with stinky sandals?  Please tell me we’re not the only ones!

Update:  There are some helpful tips in the comments, but one comment that I especially want to point out is from Leah – she says that it’s the neoprene that stinks and not the rubber sole.  This definitely seems to be true.  For my toddler son’s sandals, I did not get enough vinegar and baking soda on the neoprene part, and the stink was not totally gone.  I washed them better the next time, and they smell fresh!

79 Comments

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  1. Cindy {crazylou} Jun 12, 2013

    I have my son's sandals soaking right now! I will try your method next! Thank you!
    Cindy @ Crazylou

    Reply
    1. Allison Jun 12, 2013

      I think boys in general just stink! And shoes and sandals..yuck! We wear sandals almost year round here in California and with four boys like you, that is A LOT OF STINKY STUFF! Thanks, can't wait to try this!

      Reply
      1. R. DEE Dec 13, 2018

        HA! Then you need to have some girls to know what REAL stinky feet smell like. There are many little girls and boys in my household, and the little girls are always the one with stinky nasty rotten smelling feet, not the boys. lol

        Reply
      2. Kristen @ Busy Kids = Happy Mom Jun 12, 2013

        This is great! I will try your method too! I agree that they must have changed their sole composition. My boys had black feet by the end of the summer last year and they stunk. Thanks for the tip!! :)

        Reply
        1. Stacy RM Jun 12, 2013

          Thank you for this! My 2 yr old daughter also wears Keen sandals and despite the fact that they're supposed to have some sort of anti bacterial/anti-stink stuff in the actual rubber of the insole, her tiny, cute feet smell foul. Can't wait to give it a try.

          Reply
          1. Becky Jun 12, 2013

            Oooh, I can't wait to try this! Our 4 kiddos also have stinky sandals!!! :)

            Reply
            1. Jen Jun 12, 2013

              My husband has a pair of sandals that he wore hiking, and then wading in a river. Big man smell plus stinky river water equals DIGUSTING stink! I soaked them in 50/50 vinegar and water for about 4 hours, then sprinkled them liberally with baking soda and let them dry in the sun. That was 2 years ago and they haven't stunk since even with him wearing them often. Drying them in the sun was key for us, as sunlight will kill many funky germs. Good luck fighting the stink everyone :)

              Reply
              1. Esri Jul 25, 2018

                Do you brush/knock off the extra baking soda after they dry?

                Reply
              2. Jenny Jun 12, 2013

                That is a great solution, I love baking soda and vinegar for a deodorizer too. I also use Borax in the washer for stinky smells. It will even get out the smell of diesel on clothing.

                Reply
                1. phillippa Jun 13, 2013

                  I'm also a fan of DIY baking soda and vinegar cleaning. I'm going to keep a spray bottle of vinegar and a shaker of baking soda on the balcony for handling immediately after they get taken off.

                  Reply
                  1. mandi Jun 13, 2013

                    Thank you! I can't wait to try it on some old ones from last year. Our three boys also have stinky feet and we actually decided not to invest in keens this summer (for the two that don't have hand me down ones) because we couldn't get rid of the stink last year and had to throw them away! I'm excited to have this solution because I'd much rather they wear keens running around than flip flops! Thanks!

                    Reply
                    1. Sarah Jun 13, 2013

                      That was the point we were at too! Couldn't stand the stink, but flip flops or open-toed sandals are an accident waiting to happen with my active kids!

                      Reply
                    2. aimee Jun 13, 2013

                      oh my goodness! thanks so much for sharing this! we too have a boy with keens and man oh man do they ever stink! I will be trying this asap!

                      Reply
                      1. marisa Jun 13, 2013

                        I have three sons also so stinky feet and summer here we are. I've had my son soak his fret in tea water for a half hour or so. No more stink! Saw it on Dr Oz. It works. Hope that helps.

                        Reply
                        1. JDaniel4's Mom Jun 13, 2013

                          I know a boy that could use having this tried out on his shoes.

                          Reply
                          1. Jennifer Jun 13, 2013

                            I love Keen sandals for my boys too and I have had the same problem! UGH! I tried to buy other sandals to see if we could avoid the Smell Of Death, but nothing I could find compared. So back to the Keens with one stipulation: I don't let them get the shoes wet. As long as they stay dry it seems to keep the nastiness away. We have crocs or flip flops on hand for wet activities. I will definitely keep your trick in mind in case the stink returns though! Oh, and we got the new lower profile sandals, I think they're called Whisper Lite or something, but they're great! Possibly still stink prone, but easier to put on. :)

                            Reply
                            1. Veens Jun 13, 2013

                              I hear you! My boy has the stinkiest feet ever and so does my Hubs, and I am going to try this definitely.

                              Reply
                              1. Adrienne Jun 13, 2013

                                We just did something similar with our flip flops! How funny. Those rubbery sandals are the worst!

                                Reply
                                1. bjk Jun 13, 2013

                                  I don't have kids, but I want to try these sandals for my own stinky feet! Your link goes only to kids sizes, but I see they have adult sizes. If I start from your link, then search for something else, am I still on your Amazon page?

                                  Reply
                                  1. Sarah Jun 13, 2013

                                    Yes, anywhere you surf on Amazon if you go through one of my links is still on my affiliate account. Thanks for asking!

                                    Reply
                                  2. Lane Jun 13, 2013

                                    We call them stinky Keen feet! Definitely going to try this!

                                    Reply
                                    1. Cindy {crazylou} Jun 13, 2013

                                      Stopping back over again to tell you that I am featuring this on my PINTASTIC Friday post, tomorrow, June 14th. Stop over to visit!
                                      Cindy @ Crazyloucreations.blogspot.com

                                      Reply
                                      1. Sarah Jun 13, 2013

                                        Wow, I am blown away by all the comments on this post, and SO relived that we are not the only ones with stinky feet! Here's to a fresher smelling summer!

                                        Reply
                                        1. DinoMama Jun 13, 2013

                                          Grabbing this great tips to share it in my fb page!

                                          Reply
                                          1. Jen Jun 13, 2013

                                            My husband's Keen sandals always stink too! I contacted the company about them, but didn't get any helpful response. I'm definitely going to try this!

                                            Reply
                                            1. Sarah Jun 15, 2013

                                              We have gotten good use out of Target's version of Keen sports sandals! I'm not sure how many pass-downs they can handle, but so far, so good!

                                              Reply
                                              1. Leah Jun 16, 2013

                                                It's not the rubber bottom that is stinking, it's the neoprene stuff that's between the canvas parts and the child's foot. You can also go to a dive store and get an enzyme cleaner- soak them according to directions and it will take the stink out. Neoprene is the stuff that wetsuits/sports braces are made of- and apparently the inside of Keens too. Enzyme cleaner will kill the bacteria (or whatever it is) that grows in it. The kind we bought uses a capful in a sink overnight. The bottle cost $7 and should last a looooong time. Not as cheap as baking soda, but it works!

                                                Reply
                                                1. Kam Jun 24, 2013

                                                  Tevas for us. They get funky! Especially if they go to the ocean. Last year we hit the 'find something or throw them away phase'. As a last resort I let them dry out completely, poured hydrogen peroxide over the liners and let that dry, then scrubbed them with the baking soda/vinegar, dry out again in the sun, and rubbed some lavender oil. Keeps them fresh for a long time. Getting them ocean/river wet definitely makes them stink faster!

                                                  Reply
                                                  1. Taneil Jun 27, 2013

                                                    Last year my oldest son's feet stunk. I then read "The Barefoot Book". He started going barefoot and his feet don't stink anymore. He wears shoes when necessary but other than that he is barefoot. Though it may sound unsafe, the book gives good reason to why it is a very good and safe to go barefoot as much as you can. His feet don't stink anymore and so his shoes don't stink either.

                                                    Reply
                                                    1. Nichole Jul 30, 2013

                                                      Here is the simplest solution ever.

                                                      Hydrogen Peroxide.

                                                      Spray it on anything that stinks... might spot test some fabrics.
                                                      Odor is a bacteria and Peroxide kills bacteria.
                                                      The spray bottle must be dark as sun kills Hydrogen Peroxide.

                                                      The stinker the item the more bubbles you get and so easy to use -- odor gone

                                                      Reply
                                                      1. Julie Jul 30, 2013

                                                        My friend just directed me to your post after untold her how stinky my 17 month old daughters sandals were!

                                                        Reply
                                                        1. Sarah Jul 31, 2013

                                                          Ha ha! That's great! My 18 month old had some of the stinkiest feet. Let me know if it helps!

                                                          Reply
                                                        2. Alison Aug 2, 2013

                                                          Oh this is marvellous! Brilliant tip & lots of useful comments - thank you all, & Sarah in particular, love your site! :)

                                                          Reply
                                                          1. Alma Aug 3, 2013

                                                            Thank you! I have been needing to de-stink my Keen type sandals! Im also thinking about trying this on my Tom's and other slip on flats. I'm going to try the cheep Target ones first though before my Toms.

                                                            Reply
                                                            1. Heather Aug 3, 2013

                                                              Thank you so much!!! We are a Keen family too and the stench has been worsening by the day around here. Will try this this weekend!

                                                              Reply
                                                              1. April Aug 4, 2013

                                                                My children also have this problem with their sandals. Another solution that works is sprinkling baking soda in them then putting them in a zip lock bag. From there put them in the freezer for the night. In the morning, take them out and you have 2 weeks of stink free shoes.
                                                                What a difference this has made for us!!!

                                                                Reply
                                                                1. don Aug 5, 2013

                                                                  GREAT suggestions and am so relieved that I'M NOT ALONE!!! I love my keen's but, my god, the smell!! What saddens me is it's just normal daily wear (here in the midwest) and not like i'm hiking, wading through rivers&streams, etc, etc. Is the key after cleansing to allow sun/UV exposure? Soaked them in peroxide last nite - and have tried b. soda repeatedly as well as machine wash, saturating them with febreze, etc, but.....the smell never quite goes away; 'suppressed' for a while but never quite disappears. I'm desperate and will try all solutions listed here. Is there a specific brand of 'enzyme cleaner' i should look for? I'm detouring through my tiny hometown so would like to know if i can buy this just over the counter at a walmart or something? Thank you and sorry for the ramble.

                                                                  Reply
                                                                  1. Mkpics Aug 6, 2013

                                                                    I was so surprised to see this post . I too, have a big problem with stinky Keens! It doesn't happen with any other shoe of any brand. Only my Keens. I love them for sailing because they are cool, yet protect my toes. It must be something about their process. I am rethinking whether I'll buy another pair.
                                                                    I'll try soaking them, and definitely the sunshine. Thanks for posting this.

                                                                    Reply
                                                                    1. mumoffiveboys Aug 7, 2013

                                                                      My five boys wear Stride Rite washable sandals and it is the same problem. I find that prevention is best. We start with new sandals and wear socks with them. No smell! Once they get wet (water table, etc.) or stop wearing their socks (mid-summer laziness) then the smell comes. Last summer I tried vinegar, baking soda and sun. It helped, but did not make them odor free again. I had to toss them in the fall. I will give the enzyme cleaner a try this year!

                                                                      Reply
                                                                      1. Jen Sep 2, 2013

                                                                        Thanks so much for the tip! My son's feet were fine until he started wearing the Keen sandals... now it's intolerable! I will try this for sure.

                                                                        Reply
                                                                        1. Myca Sep 6, 2013

                                                                          Funny! I have all girls and our keens smell awful. I agree that is was getting embarassing to wear them anywhere and especially if someone took them off. Yikes! I tried washing machine, but that only lasts a day. I also tried washing with a stiff brush, inside and out. I love the shoes for my kids but they quit wearing them by the end of the summer because we couldn't stand the stench when they came off. Going to try all the methods! Thanks!

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                                                                          1. Peiyin Hiew Oct 6, 2013

                                                                            I had a good laugh when I read your posting! I thought I was the only one with awfully stinky boys feet problem. For a while I was thinking how can their little feet stink so much and I kinda blamed it on my hubby thinking they've all got it from his genes. Haha! Thank you so much for this post and this great solution. I will definitely try it out :)

                                                                            Reply
                                                                            1. Sharon Nov 5, 2013

                                                                              I can not wait to try this! Thank you! We live in those same sandals and the stink is awful. Thank you!!

                                                                              Reply
                                                                              1. Sisi Apr 18, 2014

                                                                                I buy tevas. They hardly smell at all

                                                                                Reply
                                                                                1. Sarah Apr 18, 2014

                                                                                  Will this work on Toms?

                                                                                  Reply
                                                                                  1. W. May 26, 2014

                                                                                    Thanks for this. I just bought my second pair of Keens. I owned my first pair for eight years, and they never got stinky one time. This new pair got funky after just a couple of weeks, and I had to machine-wash them. (I agree that maybe they did change the materials of the shoes--either that, or I am beginning to decompose!) if/when they get smelly again, I will try your baking soda/vinegar fix. Thanks again.

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                                                                                    1. Kerri May 27, 2014

                                                                                      Just want to add that this is the exact same formula that I use to rid furniture and carpet of vomit and urine smells. As a mom of 3 kids and 1 large dog, my furniture has been puked on more times than I can count. The smell is horrendous, as most of you know. I saturate the area with straight vinegar, then sprinkle baking soda to cover completely. I let it dry for a day, then vaccuum. Ta da! Smell has completely disappeared!

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                                                                                      1. Cooper May 29, 2014

                                                                                        I have a stinky feet problem myself. A few years ago I was thrilled to buy a pair of Tevas that boasted a "Copper impregnated foot bed to prevent odors". I've never had footwear stink so bad in my life.
                                                                                        I wear nothing but Keen now and I did figure out a trick similar to yours. I buy Arm and Hammer baking soda stick deodorant. Once every couple days I take a minute to rub it on my feet and it does a great job of stopping the stink! Only downside is that for the first few minutes your feet feel like they are sliding around in your sandals.

                                                                                        Reply
                                                                                        1. Stacy Jun 2, 2014

                                                                                          My kids sandals are soaking in the baking soda/vinegar spray right now! I have one girl and two boys. The boys sandals are worse than my daughters, but I figured it doesn't hurt to do hers as well. :o) Thanks for letting the world know about your solution!

                                                                                          Reply
                                                                                          1. Rubina Jun 2, 2014

                                                                                            Thank you for this! Girls' feet can smell just as bad, and my daughter has stopped wearing her sandals because of this. I can't wait for us to wear them once they dry!

                                                                                            Reply
                                                                                            1. dt Jun 24, 2014

                                                                                              Thanks for this. On the way to camp this morning I had to stop the car and seal the sandals in a bag. Even with the windows down it was too much.

                                                                                              I've also been thinking a mild TSP solution might help. Either way, I think I'll give the kid a spray bottle of vinegar solution to use daily.

                                                                                              Reply
                                                                                              1. Alyssa Jun 28, 2014

                                                                                                This totally worked for us! Thank you so much!

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                                                                                                1. Jenny Leonard Jul 5, 2014

                                                                                                  I wonder if this would work on furnature to eliminate pet smells? I may have to try it!

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                                                                                                  1. Sarah Jul 6, 2014

                                                                                                    I have used a similar cleaning process on a throw-up mess in our stroller. It worked! We also mix baking soda, vinegar (1/4 cup of each), 1/2 cup borax, and two gallons of water to make a cleaning solution for the floor mats in our van. If you add the borax, you will definitely want to test a small patch first to make sure the borax won't take the color out!! I accidentally took the color out of our carpet with borax. :-( But it helps to deodorize and disinfect.

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                                                                                                  2. Lauren Jul 6, 2014

                                                                                                    Thanks so much! My husband & I have been wearing Keens for a long time. Have always noticed the stinch with Keens but it's been horrendous this year. We've heard several others complain & I knew we couldn't be the only ones! Thank you!

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                                                                                                    1. Captain Ryan Jul 15, 2014

                                                                                                      I am a boat captain and deal with wet feet on a daily basis. I haven't tried this method but for me, Lysol works like a charm.

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                                                                                                      1. Amber Jul 17, 2014

                                                                                                        Our keens seem to only stink after they got wet and then dried while they were wearing them. So I washed them with a toothbrush size scrub brush with hot water and dish soap, and they NEVER smelled again unless they got wet again and dried while while wearing them. Easy permanent fix!

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                                                                                                        1. Alexa Aug 1, 2014

                                                                                                          I think one of the problems faced here is that people don't bathe often enough. Feet are one of the most neglected body parts that need urgent attention while showering. In the hot summer months I take as many as five showers a day and I have built in contoured seating in my shower which aids in my essential foot cleansing. My husband also showers several times a day. He's an avid sandal wearer (Birkenstocks) almost all year long, and I have never had a problem with his sandals, nor his feet having odors.

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                                                                                                          1. Giacomo Aug 2, 2014

                                                                                                            While I agree that you shouldn't neglect your feet when showering or washing yourself, your "solution" is a tad excessive. Not only do most people not have contoured seating in the shower, but most would not even have the time to shower this excessively or be even allowed to, since in many areas water consumption is limited and five showers in a day sounds like a whole lot of wasted water that could be used for other useful things. Maybe to drink...?

                                                                                                            Also the use of that much shampoo and shower gel (or whatever else you use) is not good for your hair and skin either, usually drying them out. Which will then result in more lotion having to be applied and you just get into a whole circle of frivolities, of paying for water, paying for shampoo and shower gel, paying for lotion, how can you afford all of these products when you spend most of your day in the shower...?

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                                                                                                          2. Danielle Aug 2, 2014

                                                                                                            Thank you so much! Doing this tonight. I've washed and then done baking soda, but vinegar may be the thing I was missing. I hope this is the answer I have been looking for!

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                                                                                                            1. Randy Oct 3, 2014

                                                                                                              I found out quite by accident after my Keenes developed the smell of death that wearing them while washing my car with Blue Coral car wash solution in water, that spilling a fair amount of suds by accident on the sandals wiped out the odor. Made the sandals slippery to wear, so I rinsed them off well after finishing washing the SUV car, and let them dry outside. It's been a week now, and they still haven't developed the funky odor again.

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                                                                                                              1. dotlizard Feb 28, 2015

                                                                                                                I'm a grown adult woman who wears Keen boy's sandals (they're cheaper than the adult kind and they work just as well) and I have bought a few of them off of eBay. I had one pair that had that sneaky smell that comes back (they didn't smell when they first arrived, but began to smell intensely afterward). I know it's not me because none of my other shoes smell like that. I don't know why I feel compelled to mention that.

                                                                                                                Anyway, so I washed them, and it helped a little, not a lot. Still disgusting. Then I made a spray, using rubbing alcohol, tea tree oil, and eucalyptus oil, and sprayed the inside of the shoes. The alcohol evaporates quickly but the oils (which are both antimicrobial and antifungal) seem to absorb into the footbed, without making them oily or greasy at all. It's been a month and I can still stick my nose right in the shoe and it's fine, even though I wear these things while sweating on a bicycle for hours at a time. I've taken to using my shoe spray in all my shoes, to keep them fresh and because you want to use antifungal stuff around feet as a general rule.

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                                                                                                                1. Sharon Salisbury Sep 19, 2016

                                                                                                                  What are the measurements that you use to mix these 3 products. how much alcohol , tea tree oil and eucalyptus oil.
                                                                                                                  Thanks for the information.

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                                                                                                                2. Liz May 12, 2015

                                                                                                                  I can't wait to try this! My son just nauseated me with his stinky sandles!!

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                                                                                                                  1. mamabadger May 18, 2015

                                                                                                                    I'm so glad to find this! My son just told me this morning he doesn't want to wear his Keens anymore because kids tell him his feet stink in them! Nooooo!

                                                                                                                    I also try washing them with amonia, that seems to help quite a bit.

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                                                                                                                    1. Misun May 29, 2015

                                                                                                                      Thank you for your solution. I also had the same problem. I really like my sandals but they stink bad.
                                                                                                                      I will definitely try this!

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                                                                                                                      1. Dawnette Jun 22, 2015

                                                                                                                        I was told when you first get your keen sandals to place them in freezer for 24 hours... We had a pair years ago that was rubber smelling that made kids feet stink like it

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                                                                                                                        1. carolyn Jun 26, 2015

                                                                                                                          If you find a solution to soccer cleats, please share. My kids both boy & girl , soccer cleats will run you out of a car! They can't be washed.....

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                                                                                                                          1. Mary Jul 27, 2015

                                                                                                                            I find it interesting that Keens are a huge problem with sweating feet. We brought a pair home for the two of us. When we weren't sure they were what we wanted, the store said to try them at home for 30 minutes. Within no time at all, we both noticed that our feet were much hotter than in normal sandals. Yes, it could be the neoprene, but we're also concerned about the anti-bacterial/anti-microbial stuff they put on/in the soles. When your feet sweat, it's probably possible for that chemical to go into your system as feet are quite absorbent when it comes to taking in medications, etc. It's one reason people have, for decades, been using medications ON their soles to treat certain ailments IN the body.........Dang! And they are comfortable! But I am 64 years old, and my feet have NEVER sweat in ANY other shoe or sandal. It isn't surprising to read how much trouble people have had with sweaty stinking feet in KEENS.

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                                                                                                                            1. Sandra Sep 17, 2015

                                                                                                                              This summer I was allowed to wear Keen Sandals to work. I wore the H2's. A very comfortable sandal to wear. I like that it protects the toes from getting bumped. The sandal tends to get warmer then other open sandals, do to the neoprene lined straps. There was a few days this summer, after walking and carrying boxes and other equipment around in 90 to 100 degree temperatures that I had to remove the sandals from my feet to let them dry out during my brake time. I have to say that my feet can get really sweat in them at times. Just wash them regularly and you should be just fine. Just don't wait to long.

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                                                                                                                            2. Joni Oct 19, 2015

                                                                                                                              Dotilizard said she mixed up the following as a spray solution -- rubbing alcohol, tea tree oil. and eucalyptus oil.
                                                                                                                              My question, how much of each, (equal parts)?
                                                                                                                              I've also heard about laying paper towels in a white vinegar and water solution, (equal parts) then put the paper towels in the Keen foot-beds, leaving them to soak overnight. Let them air dry the following day.

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                                                                                                                              1. Judy Oct 30, 2015

                                                                                                                                I also used very hot water, but presoaked the neoprene with Tide, scrubbed with brush, rinsed twice in hot water. Then soaked in vinegar and water, rinsed again. Didn't use the washer, just by hand. Worked great, stink was gone.
                                                                                                                                Wishing these expensive sandals did not stink!!

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                                                                                                                                1. Amy Robinson Mar 3, 2016

                                                                                                                                  I found that the removable(washable) Dr Scholl's inserts are wonderful! You cut them to fit. And did I say they were WASHABLE?! Yes!! They keep your feet from being so sweaty too!

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                                                                                                                                  1. Cortney Mar 15, 2016

                                                                                                                                    How about Ugg style boots? I can get the smell out by washing with vinegar and baking soda. However, they take DAYS to dry...and end up with a horrible wet stench that is actually worse than the original smell. Even putting baking soda in the shoe and using a spray wont get rid of the smell.Advice? Ive even tried drying them in the dryer....bad idea.

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                                                                                                                                    1. Matty j Apr 5, 2016

                                                                                                                                      Wash in white vinegar
                                                                                                                                      Air dry
                                                                                                                                      Use a tea tree oil spray
                                                                                                                                      Also only wear shoes when needed as you need to air your feet
                                                                                                                                      If all else fails quality insoles

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                                                                                                                                      1. Jo Jul 27, 2016

                                                                                                                                        We use the same sandels and have also noticed the more stink prone nature of the newest pair. So I'm looking forward to trying your tip. Thanks!

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                                                                                                                                        1. CeeCee Aug 2, 2016

                                                                                                                                          I am having the same stinky problem with Spenco sandals I use for going to the pool. I am sure it has to do with the material used to make the sandals since none of my other shoes stink like that.

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                                                                                                                                        2. PAULETTE Aug 25, 2016

                                                                                                                                          Where do I see the neoprene?

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                                                                                                                                          1. Scott King Jan 8, 2017

                                                                                                                                            My daughters sandals are the worst. This is next on my list to try and hopefully solves the issue. Thanks! www.carpetcleaning-lasvegas.com

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                                                                                                                                            1. Brice Rasmussen Jun 8, 2017

                                                                                                                                              I love my Keen sandals but yeah, the smell can get bad. I find that the washing machine works for about 2 weeks. I also wish I could find your super low price on them (it probably has to do with my size). I typically spend around 100$ for mine on oddball.com(I wear a 16Eee)

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                                                                                                                                              1. Dave Shivas Jul 20, 2017

                                                                                                                                                The solution to stinky sandals is rubbing full strength blue Dawn dish soap into the soles and straps of the sandals and letting them sit overnight. Wash off with a garden hose the next morning and you're good for the summer. I've tried peroxide, isopropyl alcohol etc and the blue Dawn works......easy to use and the price is right.

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                                                                                                                                                1. Dana Sep 4, 2017

                                                                                                                                                  I'm having the same problem with my new keens. Is it my imagineation, or did they used to come with a note saying the plastic footbed was impregnated with an odor reducer?

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                                                                                                                                                  1. Michael Dec 25, 2017

                                                                                                                                                    I had a pair for two years no smell. Just got a new pair at the end of 2017 and they smell terrible after about a week of wearing them. I don't know what to do.

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                                                                                                                                                    1. Neets Jun 30, 2018

                                                                                                                                                      Ah, the Smell of Death. Here’s what works for us, not only on Keens but stench from leather sandals as well: The Walking Store sells an enzyme spray that I use in combination with a microfiber towel to remove surface crud. Do a final spray with the enzyme and let them air dry. You do have to stay on top of it, like every third wearing, or the bacteria builds up again.

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                                                                                                                                                      1. IGBTQ2 Jul 18, 2018

                                                                                                                                                        By Richard-T [1 Comment]
                                                                                                                                                        June 23, 2010
                                                                                                                                                        I work in a biological research institute. As two of us have Tevas and both have the same problem we set about finding out why. The smell is caused by bacteria which live in and feed on the sweat and skin cells which accumulate on the sandals. This is by no means unusual and most forms of footwear are susceptible to the problem, but we wanted to find out why the problem seems worse with Tevas than other types of footwear. The smell is actually caused by the waste excreted by the bacteria as they feed. Through taking swabs from the Tevas and growing the bacteria found on agar we were able to isolate the strains of bacteria present. Although several strains were found, the predominant strain was Corynebacteria. This bacterium is known to thrive only in acid conditions, and a simple litmus test confirmed the Tevas to be slightly acidic with a pH of 5.5. In further tests we discovered the acidity had been absorbed by the thick skin on the soles of the feet and the Corynebacteria were also present there.
                                                                                                                                                        It seems the materials used in Tevas are slightly acidic and so encourage the Corynebacteria bacteria to live on them, which in turn causes the Teva smell. There are many ways to reduce acidity, but most of the methods we use in the laboratory would not be suitable for use on footwear and feet. After trying several ways of tackling the problem we decided to try Marmite, yes I do mean the stuff you put on your toast. Marmite is slightly alkaline with a pH of around 8 but also acts an antiseptic due to the high salt content. Marmite is just alkaline enough to neutralize the acidity present in Tevas, and the mild antiseptic effect is all that is needed to kill the Corynebacteria bacteria. After treating both the sandals and soles of the feet by coating with Marmite for about ten minutes then rinsing in water we found the problem of the smell was completely gone. Tests by taking further swabs from the sandals confirmed the Corynebacteria bacteria were no longer present. The pH of the sandals was found to have shifted to almost 7 which should prevent the Corynebacteria bacteria from returning. It's too early to tell how long this treatment will work for, but our best guess is about three months before needing to be done again.

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                                                                                                                                                        1. lorna mohi Aug 21, 2018

                                                                                                                                                          come on keens never had stink feet until I purchased very expensive Keen sandals to travel oversea in.what a mistake they smell so bad embrassed to wear them not a good selling point .

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                                                                                                                                                          1. Sarah Aug 21, 2018

                                                                                                                                                            So happy I came across your article today. My daughter's keen sandals reek ! I tried what they recommend on their website, using tea tree oil, but it didn't work well. Going right away to try your method. Fingers crossed.

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                                                                                                                                                            1. R. DEE Dec 13, 2018

                                                                                                                                                              I feel your pain or shall I say SMELL it lol. Same issues with all my girls in my household. The boys are the one with the fresh smelling feet. Little girls feet are WAY nastier and cheesier.

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                                                                                                                                                            2. Maggie Oct 4, 2018

                                                                                                                                                              Thank you I’m struggling to deal with my latest Keens sandals (purchased last year in Minnesota) they are definitely worse than my first (few years old but still going) pair. I’ve put them in a plastic bag with either garlic or bi-carb and all to no avail, just washing didn’t help. yesterday I wore them out for lunch and first gave a wipe inside with eucalyptus oil then sprayed with vodka! By late afternoon the full stink was back. Blimey! I’m an Australian living down under so our summers are extreme. I shall try your remedy otherwise I feel I just can’t wear them in public and they were not cheap. I love my Keens cos they fit me perfectly having wide feet.

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                                                                                                                                                              1. Rachel Stuart Jun 7, 2019

                                                                                                                                                                This post was the top Pinterest result when I searched “how to clean keen sandals”!!! You’re so famous Sarah!

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