15 Best Breathable Shoes for People With Sweaty Feet

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Nobody likes sweaty feet—soaked socks can lead to smelly shoes, blisters, and just general discomfort while you’re working out, spending the day checking off chores, or exploring your neighborhood. It’s normal for your feet to perspire, especially in warm weather, but if the hot, slippery feeling is bugging you, it might be time to consider upgrading your go-to shoes to a more breathable pair that makes you less likely to overheat and sweat.

Choosing the right footwear is also important to your well-being—non-breathable shoes may exacerbate health ailments like athlete’s foot or nail fungus, especially if you have a condition like hyperhidrosis, which causes excess perspiration, Miguel Cunha, DPM, a sport podiatrist and the founder of Gotham Footcare in New York City, tells SELF. “What’s important is that you pick shoes with proper ventilation,” he says.

  1. Best Overall: Hoka Clifton 9
  2. Best Budget: ASICS Women’s Gel-Venture 8 Running Shoes
  3. Best for Road Running: Brooks Women’s Ghost 15
  4. Best for Trail Running: Saucony Core Peregrine 12 Trail Running Shoe
  5. Best for Racing: On Cloudbloom Echo 3
  6. Best for Walking: New Balance Fresh Foam X 1080 V12 Running Shoe
  7. Best for Hiking: Adidas Terrex Free Hiker 2
  8. Best for Weightlifting: Xero Shoes Forza Trainer
  9. Best for Gym Workouts: York Athletics The Henry Runner
  10. Best for Flat Feet: Kuru Atom
  11. Best for Odor Prevention: Skechers Slip-ins: Ultra Flex 3.0 Brilliant
  12. Best Slip-Ons: Allbirds Women’s Tree Loungers
  13. Best Waterproof: Merrell Women’s Bravada 2
  14. Best for Travel: On Cloud 5 Running Shoes
  15. Best for Running Errands: APL TechLoom Bliss

What to look for when buying breathable shoes

If you struggle with sweaty feet, the most important area of the shoe to consider is its upper (where it rests against the top of your foot). “Hot air rises, so [the heat] is going to go up, and if it’s ventilated on the top, you’re usually okay,” Jay Spector, DPM, an Atlanta-based sport podiatrist and former president of the American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine, tells SELF.

You’ll want to look for an upper made of lightweight mesh—some shoes use synthetic polyester and nylon, while others feature natural materials like eucalyptus fiber. In any case, the fabric should be “designed to wick away moisture from the skin so that it can evaporate,” Dr. Cunha says. This helps your body stay cool and minimizes sweat.

And remember, wearing shoes with good airflow can only go so far if you’re not pairing them with moisture-wicking, breathable socks as well—say, ones made of synthetic polyester or Merino wool. “I’m a marathon runner and I wear a brand called Balega. You would think after running for four hours they’d be dripping in sweat, but they’re not,” Dr. Spector says.

The best breathable shoes


We curated expert-approved breathable shoes that offer adequate ventilation for even the sweatiest workouts. We also added winners from our SELF Sneaker Awards and selected well-reviewed options from trusted brands like Hoka, Brooks, New Balance, and Ryka.


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