It happens to the best of us: eventually, you may end up with insoles that have a bit of wear and tear, or smell past their prime.

It’s not your fault! 

Insoles take a pounding over time. From providing support and cushioning for your feet to absorbing moisture, along with oils, dust, and dirt particles that make their way into your shoes, your insoles have quite the job ahead of them.

If you’re wearing insoles with your shoes all day, the effects of wear can compound even quicker with added use.

Insoles, like shoes, will periodically wear down over time. It makes sense, they bear with a lot whether you wear them for your morning walks around the neighborhood or weekend hikes up the local trail. 

Much like shoes, there are ways you can prolong the life of your insoles to keep them feeling and smelling just as fresh as when they came out of the box. This is especially important if you’re using insoles to relieve or prevent a painful condition. 

How to care for insoles

Insoles, much like shoes, need regular care to ensure they are providing the proper spring in your step, and the support you need to stay on your feet. Here are our recommendations to prolong the life of your insoles.

Air your insoles out regularly

Much like shoes, sometimes your insoles need a break away from your feet to get some air. Airing your insoles out allows them to dry and release the moisture they absorbed as well as help any odors dissipate from them.

Alternate your insoles

Always keep a spare pair of insoles around so you can alternate your insoles and keep each pair fresh. Sometimes your insoles need a day off, so having two pairs is a great way to keep them good as new if you wear them often.

Clean them often

Remember that moisture and oil absorption? Clean your insoles regularly to ensure they don’t take on any unwanted odor and stay fresh. We’ll break down how to clean your insoles a bit further down because it depends on the material. 

Can insoles be washed?

Insoles can be washed, though there are a few things to bear in mind depending on the material your insoles are made out of. You can even put some materials in the washing machine on the gentle cycle, though we’d recommend hand washing them to avoid damage.

Gel or Cloth insoles

Gel and cloth insoles can be washed with soap and water (or any of the methods below). These durable insoles are hearty enough for a good scrub, though as always be gentle.

Leather insoles

Leather insoles require a delicate touch. They can be cleaned with a damp rag and soap, or vinegar, or baking soda. Be careful, and do not over-wet them as this could ruin the leather. Never apply heat to dry, leather insoles especially need to air dry. 

Foam insoles

Foam insoles can be cleaned with soapy water or a mixture of vinegar and water and left to air dry. They can also be cleaned with baking soda. 

How to clean your insoles

Soap and water

Warm water and a mild soap or detergent is a great place to start - it’s important to carefully scrub them and not saturate your insoles with water. After they’ve had a good rinse, let them air-dry overnight. 

Vinegar and water

A 50-50 combo of white distilled vinegar (only this vinegar, do not use other kinds of vinegar) and water makes for a great cleanser. Vinegar is a natural cleaning product and kills bacteria and fungi (often the culprits of smell). A spritz of this mixture and a light wipe-down will keep your insoles smelling fresh (don’t worry, they won’t smell like vinegar).

Baking soda

For tougher smells, baking soda is a great odor-neutralizer (and bacteria-killer). Pour 1-2 teaspoons of baking soda into a large bag, drop your insoles in and give them a good shake. Let your insoles sit in the bag overnight, and then take them out and wipe the baking soda off in the morning. They should be good as new.

How often to replace insoles

This depends on a number of factors:

  • What material the insoles are made of

  • The quality of the insoles

  • How much you walk with them

  • The intensity of your activity with them on

  • How well you maintain them

But from experience, most of our customers report replacing their insoles once or twice per year. We’ve written on this topic in depth so be sure to check out our full guide if you’re wondering if it’s time to replace your pair of insoles.

Insole care do’s and don’ts

Suddenly a simple pair of shoe inserts seem to require a heck of a lot more effort than initially thought. Don’t worry, here’s a quick list of do’s and don’ts to summarize our guide to insole care.


  • Let your insoles air out when not in use

  • Alternate pairs of insoles if you wear them often (every day to the office or for a walk)

  • Clean your insoles often

  • If you do wash them in the washing machine, use the gentle cycle and do not put them in the dryer

  • Periodically sanitize them to prevent any bacteria or fungal growth


  • Wash insoles that are not meant to get wet

  • Put your insoles in the dryer or on any heated surface

  • Go too long without washing your insoles

  • Go too long without replacing your insoles

How will you care for your insoles?

We hope this guide sheds some light on the best ways to keep your insoles feeling, and smelling, fresh!

If your insoles are a bit worse for wear, or you need a backup pair then browse our collections of insoles to find the right pair for you. From men’s and women's to insoles for activity or pain relief we have the insole for every need.