How to Remove Insoles From Dress Shoes?

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The insole pertains to the material placed inside a shoe. It is mainly made out of a thin or heavy cloth that acts to give comfort and others to minimize the bad smell of the feet by adding deodorizer in the manufacturing of the product. Even so, you may want to take them off for some reasons such as to make space for the feet or to get rid of the bad odor from old shoes. The steps on how to remove insoles from dress shoes are as follows;

How to Remove Insoles From Dress Shoes

1. 3 Step Removal of Insoles from your Dress Shoes

You’ll Need: Hairdryer or screwdriver

  1. Grab the shoe, hold the posterior part of the insole and pull it just a little bit so that the sticking agent used to attach the insoles and inner part of the shoe is known and exposed.
  2. Prepare the instrument with regards to the type of material used to adhere the shoe and insoles. There are two situations. First is if you are sure that it is glued on, get a hairdryer and switch it on until you reach high heat. Direct it to the adhering agent and allow heat to lose it off. The latter is if you are sure that the tacks fasten it, put a flat screwdriver to the part where it sticks, and detaches each of the tacks to hold them.
  3. After you detach all the tacks or glue by following the procedures, remove the insoles out of the shoe. If you are not successful in pulling it out, you may add more heat to the glue or wedge the insole and the inner part of the shoe with a screwdriver. This is the final step in how to remove insole insoles from dress shoes.

2. How to Get Rid Of Odors from Your Dress Shoes

Considering you know how to detach the insole, you may also want to free the shoe of bad smell.

You’ll need:

Choose among the following:

  • Baking soda
  • Coffee grounds
  • Kitty litter
  • Old pantyhose
  • Plastic or paper bag
  • Elastic bands
  1. Select the items above that are appropriate for you to suck up moisture and minimize the bad smell of the feet.
  2. Scatter the selected item evenly by hand or by the use of a sachet to direct material to the interior of the shoe.
  3. If you may want to make a sachet, remove the toe part from a pair of old pantyhose. The measurement should be about 12-15 inches long.
  4. Select your type of odor absorber and stuff the pantyhose.
  5. Using a rubber band, surely lace the end of the pantyhose.
  6. Make some extra sachets so that you have spares for further use.
  7. Every time you don’t use your shoes, you may put a sachet within the shoe so that the bad smell build up during use is sucked up.

3. Steps to Remove Smells Out of your Dress Shoes

This type of shoe has sequin or another embellishment so some are not intended for machine washing because it is delicate. This has the same method of freeing from dirt the outer materials in ballet flats so see How to Clean Ballet Flats.

There are accessible cleaning items designed to clean dress shoes. These items will not damage the outer part of the shoe in spot cleaning most of these dress shoes.

Spot cleaning is the only choice in shoes that have embellishment. These shoes that have decoration on them may hand wash the shoe or immerse it in water that will soften the adhering agent used in attaching the embellishment to the surface. If you intend to machine wash it, don’ try because it might damage the embellishment.

4. How To Keep Your Feet Dry

You Will Need:

  • Sea Breeze or Hand Sanitizer
  • Antiperspirant

Feet perspiration is the main contributor to bad smell. By keeping the moisture away, you will keep your feet dry and rid of bad smells.

Put some Sea Breeze, a hand sanitizer on the bottom of each foot after washing and drying the feet. This can be done before putting on the shoes and throughout the day, reapplication is a must.

Putting antiperspirant on the feet’s bottom is the second choice because it is used in getting rid of perspiration and accumulated moisture in the shoes.

5. Tips You Must Note

  • The best solution for smelly feet is prevention. Every day you must wash your feet thoroughly to the bottoms and between the toes.
  • Using sheets is an easy way to rid the shoes of bad smell. Placing it in the shoe when not in use, deodorizes the inside of it.
  • Consult a podiatrist for examination if it is still smelly because of excessive foot perspiration.
  • You can also use inserts that contain activated charcoal such as Odor Eaters because it is proven to absorb odor.
  • In cleaning shoes, you may apply alcohol to the inside of them because there might be bacteria contributing to the bad smell. Do not use this process always, maybe once a week because it may dry out the materials present in the shoe.


Learning how to remove insoles from dress shoes is an essential work involving properly replacing or getting rid of the insole. The primary purpose is simple; it is to eliminate the odor or make room for your feet. But that does not stop there because even if you remove the insole, there may be a smell left in the shoe. You may try to put improvised deodorizer in the shoe, by cleaning it, similar to the process involved in ballet flats and keeping your feet dry at all times but prevention still is better than cure. Finally, personal cleanliness is an indicator of who you are as a person; it reflects your behavior as a whole.

Pamela Couch

I am a designer, shoe-obsessed lifestyle expert, and founder of, a shoe boutique located in Downtown Atlanta. I love shoes and I love being able to share my passion for them with others.

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