Favorite of water-lovers everywhere, from lake to ocean, boat shoes are a smart choice for men who value comfort and style in equal measure.
But, as a shoe that looks best when worn without socks, how do you keep your feet and shoes smelling fresh? Here are our top ten tips for odor free boat shoes.
1. Stay clean
It’s the multiplying bacteria present in sweat that feeds foot and shoe odor. Use a quality foot scrub or an abrasive tool like a pumice stone or a bristle brush to give your feet a good scour, and always keep your toenails trimmed. Not only does this remove germs, it also stops hard skin build-up which looks unsightly and can be uncomfortable.
2. Dry your feet
Because warm, damp skin provides the perfect growing medium for smelly bacteria, make sure your feet are thoroughly dry before putting your shoes on. Use a soft, absorbent towel to give your feet a thorough dry. Get right between your toes, and if possible, let your feet air for a while afterwards.
3. Rotate your shoes
Stop your boat shoes becoming swamp shoes by giving them a rest between wears. They might not feel damp, but every time you use your shoes, the leather absorbs some of the moisture from your skin. Rotate through your shoes giving each pair at least 24 hours between wears. What better excuse to own more than one pair?
4. Apply foot and shoe powder
Talcum powder or any brand of foot powder helps to stop smells before they start by keeping your feet dry. Find a product that works for you and stick to it. Also, try sprinkling your shoes with baking soda which, because it’s alkaline, makes your footwear an unattractive place for bacteria to set up home.
5. Get some odor-eating insoles
An antibacterial in-sole, or activated charcoal insole, is an excellent option for anyone wearing shoes without socks. Bear in mind that one of the things that makes boat shoes so comfortable is that they feature a leather inner – if you’re using an insole, make sure it’s a breathable one.
6. Wear invisible socks
Invest in several pairs of invisible socks, also called loafer-liners, to help absorb sweat throughout the day. Breathable cotton is easy to wear and easy to wash.
7. Freshen up with hand sanitizer
Any product suitable for use on hands is likely to be beneficial to your feet too. For a quick freshen up on the move, a small bottle of hand sanitizer does wonders for hot, tired feet. Just remember to go easy on alcohol-based products because these can dry out the skin leading to cracking.
8. Try natural remedies
Fill a little cotton bag with lavender, cloves, or other pleasant-smelling herb and place in each of your shoes overnight for fresh footwear every morning. Not only does the leather absorb the natural smell, herbs contain bacteria-beating essential oils which help to neutralise bad smells.
9. Freeze your boat shoes
A great way to treat smelly shoes is to put them in a bag and place them in the freezer. Because bacteria are living organisms, giving them the cold treatment vastly reduces their number, helping to keep your boat shoes odor-free.
10. Retire your old boat shoes
If the stubborn smell of your old boat shoes is proving difficult to eradicate and they’re past their best, it might be time to get a new pair and retire your old ones.
We hope our top ten ways to keep your feet and boat shoes smelling fresh has the desired effect. Want to know more about this versatile shoe? Check out our ultimate guide to men’s boat shoes.