Sweaty feet are a nightmare!
Wouldn’t it be nice if you could eliminate this with the help of a moisture-wicking and bacteria-repelling insole?
Shopping for insoles can be a pain, so we’ve compiled our top six picks here.
Check out these best insoles for sweaty feet in 2021:
Do Insoles Work for Sweaty Feet?
Yes, insoles work for sweaty feet since they wick moisture away, prevent odor and keep your feet fresher for longer.
There are 250,000 sweat glands in your feet, so naturally, they’re going to sweat. Trap them inside hot shoes all day, and those glands jump into action. It results in damp socks, damp shoes and an odor you can’t stand.
Most shoes come with some form of an insole, especially athletic shoes, so surely the padding or foam shoe inserts can wick moisture and eliminate odor?
Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. While some regular shoe inserts—again mainly in athletic shoes—can help, it’s not their main purpose. You need to look for more dedicated insoles if you want insoles to work for sweaty feet.
Plus, there are shoes with useless insoles for sweaty feet, like sandals, formal shoes and slip-ons. These shoes definitely need new insoles, preferably cloth ones with moisture-wicking properties like the ones we’ll be reviewing later on.
What Can You Do for Extreme Foot Odor?
You can deal with extreme food odor by:
- Washing your feet.
- Always dry your feet well.
- Not wearing the same shoes for several days in a row.
Can Insoles Combat Odor?
Odor is one of the main pain points of sweaty feet, outside of the discomfort. This is down to bacteria that create isovaleric acid. This acid, and the microbial substances it helps produce, are behind the smell.
It’s incredibly difficult to get rid of this odor, short of taking an internal deodorizer, but it doesn’t always work. Instead, consider investing in insoles that have odor-eating additives, so be sure to check out the reviews below on that.
Cloth insoles can also help combat odor, even without additives. The insoles will stink and may leave an odorous residue on your shoes—but it’s better than nothing. With the right insoles, it’s easy to air your shoes and wash the insoles for use another day.
How Do You Permanently Get Rid of Sweaty Feet?
Short of never wearing shoes and always walking in cool water, there’s not much you can do to permanently get rid of sweaty feet. However, you can take these steps to keep the worst of it treated:
- Using an insole.
- Preparing your feet before wearing shoes.
- Wear breathable footwear.
Using an Insole
Insoles can suck away sweat and stench promptly. They may not stop your feet from sweating, but they’ll make them feel dry. Plus, it’ll be incredibly difficult to sniff it out during the day since the odor is trapped in your insoles.
Using an insole is the closest thing there is to “permanently” getting rid of sweaty feet.
Prepare Your Feet
Set yourself up for success by preparing your feet before you put on your shoes and socks.
This preparation involves thoroughly washing and drying your feet, then applying powder. The powder should soak up sweat or keep perspiration at bay for longer than going without it.
We recommend this odor-blocking powder by Foot Sense.
Wear Breathable Footwear
Breathable footwear stops your feet from overheating as it lets air at your feet throughout the day. This isn’t always possible, though—for example, if you’re wearing work boots or snow boots.
However, wearing something with little air holes or mesh uppers is the way to go in everyday shoes.
Some shoes also have moisture-wicking properties, which is an excellent choice, especially if you’re an athlete or are on your feet all day.
Insoles for Sweaty Feet: Top Considerations
You can’t just choose any old insoles for sweaty feet. Though there are few in existence, consider these aspects of the best insoles for sweaty feet:
The number one focus when choosing insoles for sweat feet—avoid plastic and gel. If anything, they’ll make the sweating worse. They’re not breathable, and they won’t absorb any moisture or odor.
Furthermore, these are slick materials that your feet will slide around on, which is a recipe for disaster.
Terry Cloth Insoles
A common and highly effective material you’ll find below is terry cloth. This absorbent cloth is often used to deal with moisture. It can handle a lot of heat and heaviness, making it a prime pick for sweaty feet insoles.
The HappyStep Cotton Terry Insoles are a great example of high-quality terry cloth insoles.
If you dislike cloth, look for natural, cloth-like materials.
Leather absorbs moisture, making it excellent for use as an insole, as observed in the Shoeslulu Magic Absorbent Ultra-Thin Lambskin Leather Insoles.
Terry cloth and similar materials have incredible breathability thanks to their construction.
Fabric is woven rather than being a solid, sheet-like plastic, so you can blow through it and feel the breeze on the other side, unless it’s incredibly thick. This signals breathability, which is fantastic for your feet and shouldn’t cause them to overheat.
As proof of how wonderful fabric insoles are, customers found the HappyStep Cotton Terry Insoles to have incredible breathability.
Cloth insoles are like socks you can’t wear. There’s nothing better when it comes to washability!
Cloth and foam insoles for sweaty feet spend their lives sucking up moisture, bacteria and odor. Not a fun life, nor a clean one—so ensure you can wash your insoles.
This is why we recommend cloth insoles so insistently. You can hand-wash them, they dry quickly and easily, both by air-drying and in a machine, and they’re all-around convenient.
Fabrics can do a fantastic job on their own—but if it was that easy, any piece of fabric could be an insole.
Manufacturers add extra substances to their insoles that further encourage airflow, moisture-wicking and antimicrobial properties.
These substances include:
- Baking soda.
- Activated charcoal.
Consider the Odor-Eaters Ultra-Durable Cushion Insoles if you want insoles with additives. They have baking soda, activated charcoal and zinc in them.
Reviews Of The 6 Best Insoles For Sweaty Feet
Now that you know what to look for, take the above points and work your way through these insole reviews:
These HappyStep washable terry cloth insoles are great for use with socks and bare feet. They’re fantastic for wicking away moisture, are soft against bare soles, and lightly cushioned for those who need it.
It’s the latex sole that provides the additional cushioning, turning any hard shoe into something you can wear for long periods. Despite the latex and terry cloth combo, the insoles remain thin and light at only 0.05 pounds. Being so thin, the insoles can fit in all types of footwear, from sandals to high heels.
Once you take them out of the shoes, you can hand wash these under the cold tap, air dry them and wear them again and again.
Thankfully, this packet comes with two pairs, so you still have one left to use when the other is drying. Users particularly like the flexibility of using both pairs and moving insoles from shoe to shoe.
Customers also rave of these insoles’ flexibility—no matter what shoe shape, these insoles can bend to fit it. They’ll never restrict your movement, either.
Be aware that some users found their footwear slightly tighter with these insoles if they were already form-fitting, but they didn’t find it uncomfortable. They had nothing but a positive experience comfort-wise and found the insoles a great replacement for socks.
The insoles also stop bare feet from sticking to shoes that are typically worn sock-free. The sticking-prevention lasts the insoles’ entire lifetime, though users noted that the comfort aspect doesn’t. The cushioning eventually starts to flatten out, and the latex on the bottom becomes less grippy.
- Incredibly comfortable on bare feet.
- Comes in a pack of two.
- Cushioning wears out.
- Bottoms lose their grip.
If you want something that takes away the scent and the sweaty sensation, consider these Odor-Eaters insoles.
The material wicks away moisture and contains substances that kill smells—zinc oxide, activated charcoal, baking soda and two unnamed substances.
These substances also control and draw-in sweat, keeping you comfortable and dry all day. Customers report they work for about 90 days before you need to replace them—note that they aren’t washable, though.
Customers also state that people with a bigger sweating issue will need to replace the insoles every month, instead. They didn’t mind this given the insoles are cheap and functional.
Note that you only get one pair per pack, which questions value for money, but they’re priced accordingly. We recommend buying in bulk, so you’re not caught short without replacement insoles.
However, we only recommend purchasing one pair as a first-time buyer. You need time to try them, as they may bulk-up your shoes.
If your shoes have a removable liner or insole, customers recommend removing it before using these Odor-Eaters insoles. This will give the thick, cushioned insoles a better chance at working for you.
Customers also feel these insoles pack in tons of value, especially given how bulky they are. They’re heavy-duty and meant to cushion your feet so are great for people who stand all day or athletes who put their feet through a lot regularly.
They’re not suitable for everyone, though—mainly people with feet larger than a men’s 11. Large-footed people should consider the Pedag Summer Pure Terry Cotton Insoles instead.
- Highly affordable.
- Last 30–90 days without washing or replacement.
- Adds cushioning.
- Can replace original insoles.
- Unisex and one-size-fits-all.
- Upper size limit is only a men’s 11.
- Stick to socks but not shoes.
For customers who want cotton insoles but dislike our top pick, check these out.
They’re made of terry cloth, which is absorbent, and they feature a breathable bottom to help prevent your feet from overheating. The bottom is also designed to stick to your shoes, making them excellent for not slipping around in your footwear.
Meanwhile, the insole is soft and comfortable on top with some minor padding, so there shouldn’t be any friction. The lack of friction is fantastic as you won’t get any friction blisters going barefoot in the insoles.
The soft surface and sturdy underside are great with and without socks. Although, frequent sockless use shortens their lifespan, according to customers. They’ll need replacing every six months if worn with thin or no socks often. For less frequent wear or thicker socks, they can last years.
Customers also don’t recommend wearing them with bare feet, despite the insoles’ suitability for it. If you do go barefoot, wash the insoles well and try not to go barefoot too frequently.
In terms of washability, the manufacturer recommends washing them after a single day of wear for best results with warm water and gentle detergent by hand, followed by air-drying. Unfortunately, you only get one in a pack, so it’d be smart to purchase two or more.
Customers note you should buy a few sizes when buying, though. One lady found the size 8 insoles work best in size 9 shoes. They also say that you should look elsewhere if you want flexible insoles—they recommend the HappyStep pair above for that.
They also say these insoles are thinner than HappyStep’s, so these Pedag insoles are good if you want ultra, ultra-thin insoles.
Although, it’s a shame that customers describe the Pedag insoles as being too narrow in sneakers, for men and women. They work so well for flats and heels that it’s unfortunate they’re not great for every shoe type.
- Ultra, ultra-thin.
- Stiff, if you like a solid base to your shoe.
- Clings to shoes well.
- Padded for extra comfort.
- Not recommended for use with bare feet.
- Very narrow.
These Dr. Scholl’s odor-eliminating insoles feature activated charcoal, which keeps your feet dry as well as smelling fresh as a daisy—or rather, fresh as whatever powder you use on your feet.
Customers note that these aren’t great to use in shoes you’ve owned for a while. While it’s true that the insoles function as they should, the insoles don’t eradicate odor in shoes that had a stench before. These insoles take the scent away from new sweaty sessions and nothing more.
If you need something to take away pre-existing foul smells, customers recommend Odor-Eaters.
Customers also found that the cushioning aspect works well if the insoles fit in your shoes. They’re thick at around 0.25 inches, so it’s a good idea to take out your shoe’s regular insoles and replace them with these.
Though, be aware that they aren’t very cushioned so aren’t the best for athletic shoes. Athletic shoes often have cushioned foam insoles, which these can’t replace.
Instead, look to use these insoles in dress shoes and pumps, which often feature thin and unsupportive insoles that you can remove and potentially discard.
Having to remove your pre-existing insole may be an asset to you with these Dr. Scholl’s, though. You can get a perfect fit by drawing around the old insole onto the new one before cutting the new ones to size.
We recommend keeping the old insole around so you can use it to size the rest of the insoles in Dr. Scholl’s four-pack, too.
- Easy to cut to size.
- Absorb new odors and moisture very well.
- Contain activated charcoal for enhanced performance.
- Great value in a pack of four.
- Very thick—need to use in place of your pre-existing insoles.
- Not cushioned.
- Won’t relieve pre-existing odor, where Odor-Eaters do.
Leather is a porous material that absorbs moisture well, with customers backing this up with these insoles, saying they do a great job at removing smells and sweaty sensations. They function as they should and do the trick for thin insoles with a little padding—they add comfort, and customers note that they extend your shoe’s lifespan, too.
Although, they’re not something to use barefoot. We also don’t recommend wearing stockings with these, ladies, as your feet will slide against the breathable leather.
Pairing them with stockings and matching leather with leather makes these great for dress shoes, and customers agree.
Unfortunately, they’re not great for regular-width men’s shoes. Customers state the insoles fit perfectly in D-width or regular-width shoes for women, though. Check out our guide on what does shoe width letters mean for more information on width sizing.
Despite their compatibility with women’s shoes and their functional nature, many customers complain that the insoles only last a month. So, only choose these if you have your heart set on leather.
To finish more positively, the arch support is excellent if you wish to use them in place of your regular insoles. They work well for support as well as their designated function.
- Great for dress shoes—match their look well.
- Fantastic for people wanting leather insoles.
- Minor arch support.
- Extend your shoe’s lifespan.
- Too narrow for most men.
- Only last a month.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is the Best Product for Sweaty Feet?
The best products for sweaty feet include insoles, moisture pads, anti-sweat powders, lotions and antiperspirants. Anything that keeps your feet dry, wicking away moisture and eliminating odor, is a very helpful product.
What Can I Put in My Shoes To Keep My Feet From Sweating?
Using moisture-wicking insoles is a pretty safe bet to stop your feet from sweating. You can also use a powder in your shoes or socks, as well as spraying your feet with antiperspirant before going out.
Are Cotton Socks Good for Sweaty Feet?
Cotton socks aren’t the best for sweaty feet. While breathable, cotton doesn’t wick moisture, and it keeps your feet quite warm. This warmth can cause excess sweating. If you want socks for sweaty feet, go for Merino wool to control temperature and wick moisture.
Can I Put Deodorant on My Feet?
Yes, you can put deodorant on your feet. You can use deodorant anywhere on your body so long as the skin is unbroken and not as sensitive as facial skin is. Although, consider a deodorant/antiperspirant combo for best results if you really want to combat foul-smelling feet.
Does Putting Tea Bags In Your Shoes Work?
Putting tea bags in shoes does work to remove moisture and, ultimately, prevent odors from forming. However, this isn’t as practical a solution as using insoles is. Even though some may like their shoes and feet smelling of tea, you’ll save time and effort using high-quality insoles.
Best Insoles for Sweaty Feet: The Bottom Line
For us, the best insoles for sweaty feet are the HappyStep Cotton Terry Insoles. They’re thin and flexible, so they work with any shoe, and they’re straightforward to trim if you buy them too large.
Customers also find them incredibly comfortable with and without socks, and report that their feet stay dry and smelling fresh. Also, the fact that you can wash them really makes them an excellent buy. Plus, they pack tons of value in as you get two pairs in a pack.