Eliminating and preventing shoe odour

Where does shoe odour come from?

Shoes have their own odour once produced due to the various materials from which the shoe is made, and is particularly noticeable when these materials come into contact with adhesives. When stored in a shoebox for long periods of time, the odour of the shoes becomes stronger, but normally goes away after a day or two out of the box.

At uvex, we make sure - right from the selection of the materials - that our safety shoes are produced to be as odour-neutral as possible. We specifically avoid the unnecessary use of adhesives, keeping this to the absolute minimum. For many of our work shoes, our direct soling process allows us to completely do away with the need for adhesive when attaching the outsole. During production, the polyurethane outsole is foamed directly onto the outer shoe material - making uvex safety shoes largley odourless.

Our direct soling process allows us to completely do away with the need for adhesive when attaching the outsole.

uvex direct soling process

Most shoe odour only develops during use, When worn, every shoe has to absorb large quantities of sweat: during an 8-10 hour day alone, the human foot can produce up to 200ml of sweat. Your footwear must first handle this amount of liquid - some is converted to steam and released through the outer shoe material and some is retained in the individual components of the shoe (in the lining, the outer shoe material, the insole and the footbed).

Sweat itself does not smell, but unpleasant odours arise when it comes into contact with bacteria. Once the shoe becomes sweaty, the warm and humid microclimate inside the shoe creates the perfect conditions for the growth of bacteria and fungi. The bacteria break down sweat, creating fatty acids (among other by-products) as a result. These cause the unpleasant odour we can smell. But how do you get rid of this odour from your shoes? Below are some helpful tips:

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How can I prevent unpleasant shoe odour?

By doing the following, you can prevent the build-up of unpleasant odours in your work shoes or eliminate existing odours:

✔ Choose work shoes that offer the necessary ventilation for your workplace.
✔ Give your shoes enough time to dry out completely between uses.
✔ Always wear your safety shoes with socks or stockings with good moisture wicking properties. Mixed fabric socks that contain new wool are the best option.
✔ Change your socks every day.
✔ Use two pairs of shoes in rotation or a second pair of original uvex insoles.
✔ Wash the insoles by hand at 30°C if very dirty.
✔ Replace your insoles regularly.

How much sweat does your feet product in a day?

During a working day, the human foot can produce up to 200 ml of sweat

Perforated safety footwear

In addition to regularly taking good care of feet, certain shoes can of course also help inhibit bacteria growth and reduce unpleasant smells. For example, breathable linings and upper materials can allow water vapour to permeate through the material. Closed shoes prevent sweat from dissipating, which means they create the perfect environment for bacteria to thrive and generate foot odours. Insoles can also be effective, as they are able to absorb moisture, which not only removes the moisture from the skin’s surface, but also enhances wearer comfort.

uvex have a range of safety shoes made using perforated, breathable microvelour upper to help heat and moisture evaporate easier and faster, keeping your feet cool and comfortable:

uvex 1 x-tended support S1 SRC shoeS1 SRC; ESD; microvelour; metal-free toe cap; non-slip outsole, oil and petrol resistantuvex 1 x-tended support S1 SRC shoe
uvex 1 x-tended support S1 SRCS1 SRC; ESD; microvelour; metal-free toe cap; non-slip outsole, oil and petrol resistantuvex 1 x-tended support S1 SRC
uvex 1 ladies S1 SRC perforated shoeS1 SRC; ESD; microvelour; metal-free toe cap; non-slip outsole, oil and petrol resistantuvex 1 ladies S1 SRC perforated shoe
uvex 1 S1 SRC perforated shoeS1 SRC; ESD; microvelour; metal-free toe cap; non-slip outsole, oil and petrol resistantuvex 1 S1 SRC perforated shoe

Caring for your work shoes

Caring for your work shoes

Correctly caring for and cleaning your work shoes prevents the build-up of shoe odour and helps them last longer. Find out how to correctly clean and care for your safety shoes

Discover our range of insoles

Discover our range of insoles

uvex have developed a range of insoles to fit multiple widths as well as low, medium and high arch shapes to ensure a comfortable fit.

Contact us for more information

Contact us for more information

To find out more about uvex safety footwear, contact your regional PPE solution specialist who can advise on the most suitable footwear for your individual needs and arrange wearer trials.

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