Why Do My Hiking Boots Stink?

Hiking boots are a necessary part of a hiker’s gear, providing protection and support during a long trek in the wild. Unfortunately, these boots can also become smelly after a few days of use. The smell is usually caused by bacteria that have built up in the moisture-filled environment of the boot, which is why it is important to know how to keep them from stinking.

The first step in avoiding stinky hiking boots is to ensure they are properly fitted when purchasing them. If they are too tight or too loose, your feet will be more likely to sweat and cause bacteria growth. Additionally, make sure there is enough room for your toes to move freely and that the heel fits snugly.

Another way to keep your boots from smelling is to wear appropriate socks. Synthetic materials are best for keeping moisture away from your feet and reducing odor-causing bacteria growth. Additionally, you should change your socks at least once per day while on a hike to help reduce the amount of sweat and bacteria build-up.

Finally, it’s important to clean and dry your boots after each hike. Cleaning them with mild soap and warm water will help remove any dirt or debris that may be trapped inside. Allow them to air dry completely before using them again as wet or damp conditions can cause bacteria growth.


Hiking boots can become smelly due to bacteria growth caused by sweat and moisture build-up. To prevent this from happening, make sure that they fit properly when purchasing them, wear appropriate socks during hikes, and clean and dry them after each outing. With proper care and maintenance, you can ensure that your hiking boots remain fresh and odorless for many hikes to come!

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Jennifer Watson