Pickleball Shoe Odor or Unpleasant Smell: Proven Solutions

Not only is it embarrassing to have the pickleball shoe odor or unpleasant smell, but it can also cause skin infections and breathing issues if you’re an asthma patient. Therefore, getting rid of the smelly Pickleball shoe is crucial, or they’ll affect your overall performance in pickleball. So, what are the best solutions to the smell of a new pair of Pickleball shoes?

To eliminate Pickleball shoe odor, Regularly clean shoes, use deodorizer, baking soda, essential oils, or vinegar. Freeze shoes overnight, and wear moisture-wicking socks.

Pickleball shoes odor

Read this article entirely to know more about the tips and tricks to prevent shoe’s odor and smell:

Why Does a Fresh Pickleball Shoe Pair Smell?

It’s always confusing to know why, on Earth, new pickleball shoes are smelly even though you just bought them. Well, despite being new, they may smell because of these reasons.

Build Material

The materials usually used in making shoes are rubber, leather and synthetic fiber, which all have a natural smell. It’s because of the gluing, tanning and dyeing process that these materials are made.

For that reason, when your pickleball shoes are made up of any of these materials, it’s common for them to smell even when they’ve not been used once. But you don’t need to worry about this smell as it’ll go away when you expose the shoe to the sunlight and when the air passes through it.

Bacteria or Fungi

The other reason why your new pickleball shoe has an unpleasant smell is the bacteria and the fungi. When the stores store the shoes in dirty places, they may get fungi on them that create a strong smell in them. Moreover, when the shoes come into contact with any microorganisms in dirty places, that causes the shoes to have a smell.

Improper Size

Getting the wrong size of the shoe is what most beginner pickleball players do. One of the biggest causes of odor in shoes is determining foot size. When your shoes don’t fit you properly, or they’re too loose, they can cause friction and too much heat that makes your feet sweat a lot, which creates an odor in the shoes.

Lack of Ventilation

This is again a size thing, as the lack of Ventilation happens when your shoes are too tight. Because of being too tight, your shoes don’t have any airflow, which doesn’t let the sweat evaporate from your shoes. That causes the odor.

Poor Hygiene

If you play pickleball for long hours, but after the game, you just keep your shoes in the drawer and never clean them? Then that’s what the odor is for in your shoes. You must clean your shoes every day after each game so that all of the sweat, dirt and moisture that comes into your shoes after playing the game goes away.

Fungal infection

Sometimes, the shoe is good, but the odor is because of the athlete’s foot’s fungal infection. It’s very common for pickleball players to have infections on their feet due to the friction and heat in their feet. 

These are all of the reasons why there is odor in your pickleball shoes. But you don’t need to worry as I will now tell you about the best solutions for Pickleball shoe odor.

Pickleball shoe Odor or Unpleasant Smell Solutions

The odor in the pickleball can indeed be annoying and too embarrassing, but it’s something you have control over. I’ll now tell you some of the best methods to get rid of this smell and also prevent it.

Cleaning Your Shoes Regularly

Cleaning your shoes daily is a much-needed thing to not only remove the odor from them but also to make them last longer. After every game, clean them. To clean your Pickleball shoes, take a damp cloth and then wipe off the inside and outside of the shoes with it properly. 

If you have mild soap and water, then you can combine both of them to make a good paste and then use it to clean the dirt off the shoes. Let the shoes dry completely before storing them.

Use A Shoe Deodorizer

Shoe deodorizers are made to help you eliminate the odor in your shoes. You can get one from the market and then use it on your shoes, or you can use sparkling baking soda. That’s the cheapest and the easiest solution to pickleball shoe odor or unpleasant smell.

Use Essential Oils

There are many amazing essential oils with antibacterial properties that you can use for the odor. These oils include tree oil, lavender and peppermint. You can take some cotton, put in some drops of the oil on it and then leave it inside the shoes overnight. 

Wear moisture-wicking socks

If you wear normal socks while playing pickleball, the moisture in your feet will always create an odor. Therefore, switch to Moisture-wicking socks that are specifically made for sports and can absorb moisture and keep your feet dry. They’re also great for the blisters.

Air out your shoes

When not wearing your shoes, air them in a well-ventilated area. This will prevent bacteria and mold from growing.

Treat your feet with an antifungal spray

A fungal infection on your feet can cause odor. You can treat the infection with an antifungal spray like Tinactin or Lotrimin. These are the best methods for pickleball shoe odor or unpleasant smell. I have some other DIY solutions as well.

Pickleball shoe Odor or Unpleasant Smell Solutions

DIY Solutions for Pickleball Shoe Odor or Unpleasant

There might be many people who don’t want to spend so much money on buying products to clean their shoes. For such people, I have the best DIY solutions or pickleball shoes with unpleasant smells.

Freeze your shoes

Freezing your shoes overnight can also be a good solution for the odor, as that will kill the bacteria causing the odor. This method is best when your shoes are too smelly, and you must wear them the next day.


If your shoes are wet or sweaty, you can dry them out with some newspaper. Just crumple up some pages and stuff them inside your shoes. The moisture and odor will soak up overnight. You can throw away the newspaper in the morning and enjoy your dry shoes.

Baking Soda

Another way to eliminate the smell is to use baking soda. You can absorb odors and keep things fresh with baking soda. You can sprinkle some inside your shoes and leave it there for a day. It’s easy to make your shoes smell nice by adding a few drops of essential oils. Remember to shake out the baking soda before you wear your shoes again.


If you have some sun outside, you can use it to dry and disinfect your shoes. Just take out the laces and open up the tongue of your shoes. Then, please place them in a sunny spot or near a heater. Heat kills the bacteria that cause odors and makes your shoes dry faster.

Dryer Sheet

You can also use dryer sheets to mask the odor of your shoes. Dryer sheets have a pleasant fragrance that can cover up the smell of your shoes. Just roll up two dryer sheets and put one in each shoe. Leave them there overnight or until you need to wear your shoes again. Then, take out the dryer sheets and enjoy the fresh scent.


Salt is another natural way to reduce odor and moisture in your shoes. Salt can draw out moisture and neutralize the odor in your shoes. Put some table salt in your shoes and let it sit for a day. After that, shake out the salt before you put on your shoes again.


Rubbing alcohol is a good disinfectant that can kill the bacteria in your shoes. You can use some cotton pads or balls soaked in rubbing alcohol to wipe down the inside of your shoes. It will help remove the odor and sanitize your shoes.

Washing machine

Washing your shoes is the most effective way to clean and remove the odor. You can machine-wash your shoes with some detergent and vinegar if they’re machine-washable. Vinegar can help remove the odor and disinfect your shoes. Scrub dirt and stains off the shoes with a brush, rinse them well, then let them air dry.  If, for any reason, you don’t have a washing machine at home, then you guys can use soap and water. That will do the same thing. These are all effective and household methods you can use For Pickleball shoe odor or unpleasant smell. 

Final Words

Pickleball shoe odor or unpleasant smell is a common problem for all players. However, it’s not a problem to worry about as it can be avoided by cleaning the shoes regularly, using deodorizer, baking soda, essential oils or vinegar. Furthermore, you can freeze the shoes overnight and wear moisture-wicking socks. 

Ameli Jame
Ameli Jame

Meet Ameli Jame, the Pickleball Maestro! With a paddle as her wand and the court as her canvas, Ameli has honed pickleball into an art form. Whether you're a seasoned player or a novice, Ameli's expertise and passion will elevate your game. Immerse yourself in the world of pickleball through her insights, strategic tips, and spirited stories. Get ready to smash, volley, and dink your way to pickleball glory under Ameli Jame's guidance. Let's score some points and have a smashing good time on the courts!

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