In-Network with all major PPO Insurances. Anthem, BCBS as well as CIGNA

Dr. Frederick N. Fedorchak &
Dr. Veronica A. Kacmar-Fedorchak

Board Certified Podiatric Physician & Surgeon

Spring is right around the corner. And with spring comes spring cleaning. So as you clean the house, empty your closet or organize your desk, don’t forget spring cleaning for your shoes!

Good foot hygiene is crucial when you have diabetes. Diabetes puts patients at increased risk for neuropathy, poor circulation and more. Keeping your feet clean is one part of keeping them healthy. So you wash your feet with warm, soapy water every night and wear the appropriate footwear and socks. But how do you care for your footwear? 
No matter what footwear you choose, keeping your shoes clean is essential. Below, Dr. Fedorchak offers simple solutions to clean your shoes this spring so that your feet stay healthy. You don’t want to miss these easy tips, from cleaning the outside of your shoes to cleaning your insoles.

Simple Cleaning Solutions to Protect Your Feet

Keep the outside clean.

Keeping your feet healthy on the inside of your shoes starts with keeping the outside clean. Different materials need to be cleaned in different ways. Generally, leather and patent leather shoes should be wiped off with a damp cloth, then dried with a soft towel. But for tennis shoes and sneakers, you might be able to toss them in the washer with towels! Check your shoe care instructions for each pair to decide how best to clean them.

Sprinkle in some baking soda.

If your close-toed shoes have an odor, baking soda is a cheap, natural solution. First, measure out a tablespoon for each shoe, then drop the baking soda in. Then, shake the shoe to spread the baking soda throughout. It is best to do this step over a trash can or sink. Let the baking soda rest in the shoe for 12-24 hours, then dump the contents into the trash. You may also use a damp paper towel to remove the excess baking soda. You can repeat this process as often as needed to keep your shoes smelling clean!

Spray a water-vinegar solution inside.

Another method to combat odors in your shoes is to use a water-vinegar solution. Most odors come from bacteria on your feet, but excessive sweating can also cause smelly shoes. Vinegar naturally disinfects and neutralizes odors. First, mix three parts warm water and one part apple cider vinegar in a spray bottle. Then, spray the insides of your shoes until they are fully covered. You don’t want the shoes dripping or soaked, but you want to dampen them. If the outside of your shoe is made of fabric, you can also spray the outside. Let the shoes dry for 12-24 hours before wearing them again. 

Wash your insoles.

If you have removable insoles, these can be washed by hand for deeper cleaning. There are several ways to clean them. One way is to spray a mix of rubbing alcohol and water all over the top and bottom of the insole. Another option is to use mild soap or detergent and warm water. Then, gently scrub the insole to activate the cleaning agents. Rinse the detergent entirely and let the insoles dry before inserting them. 

Always wear clean socks.

Another solution for cleaning your shoes starts with your socks! Always wear clean, appropriate socks with your shoes. Even if you wear flats for an event or party, you should wear socks to protect your feet. There are low, no-show socks for almost any type of shoe. When you start with a clean pair of socks every time you wear shoes, you decrease how much bacteria and sweat build up in your shoes. You should also take an extra pair or two whenever you wear your shoes for an extended period. That way, you can change your socks before they become uncomfortable or wet from sweat.

Use appropriate products to keep shoes intact.

Good shoes can be expensive. So take care of them! Consider getting creams for leather shoes; leather dries and cracks over time, and cream can prevent this. You might also use a spray to waterproof suede and other materials. 

Contact the friendly professionals at Dr. Fedorchak’s for podiatric care, including custom orthotics and diagnostic services.