bad smelling soccer cleats

How often have you come home from a soccer game to find your cleats giving off a terrible smell?

Smelly soccer cleats are a problem most athletes face and have to deal with themselves. There’s no escaping it, and since you can’t play soccer with just any shoes, having the perfect pair of soccer footwear is essential to deliver the best performance on the pitch.

Your cleats go through a lot, from experiencing various weather conditions to enduring constant kicking. Often during the monsoon, you have to play through mud, and all these factors come together to create a foul concoction of smells.

It’s hard enough evading your opponents, so you don’t need the added burden of having to play with smelly cleats.

To help you, we have narrowed down the factors that lead to the smell and also included some preventive steps you can take to keep the odor away.

Also some people are saying that the more expensive soccer cleats from Adidas, Nike or Puma do not smell so bad, you might keep that in mind when purchasing a new pair.

Also a warning, whatever you do, do NOT put your soccer cleats in the washing machine. It’ll destroy them and you’ll have to buy new ones.

Without further ado, let’s begin.

Reason For The Foul Smell

The most common cause of smelly cleats is sweat and moisture. Playing a dynamic sport like soccer leads to a lot of sweating, and there’s substantial sweat build-up around your feet. It seeps into the padding, and without the proper measures, leaving your boot like this creates the ideal conditions for bacteria to grow.

The moisture and heat generated from your body make the inside of the boots wet and need enough sun exposure for drying. Don’t make the mistake of being lazy and stowing them away; otherwise, you’ll be left owning an unhygienic and foul-smelling pair of soccer cleats.

Preventive Measures

There are specific steps you can take to ensure that your cleats remain in prime condition. Firstly, the odor inducing bacteria needs moisture to stay alive, so the best thing to do is leave your boots to dry in the sun. You can also use newspapers, paper towels, fabric softeners, or tea bags to make the process more efficient.

Moreover, you can buy a deodorizing spray from your nearest sports store to spray on your boots if they are still smelly after completely drying. If using a spray seems like an expense, any household freshener will do the trick as well.

And if still there’s no respite, it’s time to bring out the big guns and give the cleats a thorough cleaning. Remember to soak them in a mixture of warm water and soap for close to half-an-hour. Proceed to brush the boots both inside and out and leave them out to dry.


We hope you have a better understanding of what makes your soccer cleats smelly and how to solve the issue.

It’s not exactly rocket science, and keeping away the odor emitting bacteria is no big task. Don’t let laziness get the better of you because you need your cleats in top condition to deliver the best on the pitch.

It’s time for you to get back to scoring goals.

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