Foot odor is a common pitfall of wearing sandals. This pernicious odor is caused by bacteria that invade the shoes and the soles of the feet in warm, damp conditions. Foot odor is usually not noticed until the sandals are taken off, but if it’s present, it won’t be long before everyone in the room knows about it. This can be embarrassing to say the least. Fortunately, there are many ways to prevent foot odor in sandals.

Things You'll Need

Use a high-quality foot deodorant on a daily basis. Make sure the foot deodorant contains zinc oxide, as this ingredient is key in keeping odor-causing bacteria away.

Scrub your feet thoroughly with soap and water every day. Clean feet aren’t as susceptible to odor-causing bacteria infestations.

Get at least 15 mg of zinc every day, either through your diet or through supplementation. Zinc creates a hostile environment for odor-causing bacteria and helps prevent it from attaching to your feet.

Wear socks with closed-toe sandals. The sweat from your feet will get absorbed into the base of the sandals if you’re not wearing socks, allowing odor-causing bacteria to breed. Socks form a barrier between your feet and the sandals.

Wear open-toed sandals whenever possible. Closed-toed sandals create a warm, wet environment that is perfect for the formation of odor-causing bacteria. Open-toed sandals let fresh air circulate between the foot and the shoe, which helps to prevent the bacteria from forming.

Select sandals made of cotton or leather. It is easier for odor-causing bacteria to grow in synthetic materials.

Buy odor-eating insoles for your sandals. These insoles are infused with bacteria repellents that will help keep your feet from having any sort of odor when you remove your sandals.


  • Put your sandals in a clean, cool, dry place each night to let them breathe. This will discourage the proliferation of bacteria on the sandals and keep them smelling fresh.

  • Air out your odor-eating insoles each night. Leaving them in the sandals makes them lose their effectiveness sooner. Allowing them access to air circulation at night will keep them operational for a long time.