Bacteria are Most Common Cause of Shoe Odor: MD Podiatrist

One of the best-kept secrets that podiatrists know about promoting foot health and extending the longevity of your shoes is to invest in a shoe deodorizer. This type of product is designed to kill bacteria, fungus, and viruses that can grow in moist environments, especially in shoes that we work in or wear for long periods of time, says Dan Michaels, DPM.
“Upon swab testing, the bacteria found in shoes with bad odors was Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) and S. epidermidis, which can come off of the skin and onto the shoes,” Dr. Michaels says. “To effectively kill this bacteria, you would need to heat or vacuum dry the shoes, which shoe deodorizers cannot provide, but they can decrease the bacteria from flourishing within the shoe in the first place by creating a drier environment.”