I've got pair of Specialized Rockhopper SPD shoes that, aside from their smell, work great. But... they came new with a very distinct and unpleasant rubber smell, which has since morphed into a rubber-mildew-wet feet-general nastiness funk. Literally smells like dog feces. As I enjoy wearing these shoes in social settings as well as cycling settings, I'm very interested in being rid of the smell.
So far, I've tried Dr. Scholl's Shoe Powder, vinegar (only on rubber parts, tho), stuffing them with newspaper (repeatedly), and crossing my fingers that the smell will just disperse, all to no avail. If anyone here has suggestions, I'd gladly field them. I've been hesitant to try super-duty cleaners from fears that they would break down the shoe.
Thanks in advance... and in case you were wondering, I mainly commute in these shoes (hence, the forum).
Alochol (the kind we call methylated spirits, and what you may called denatured alcohol or rubbing alcohol). It helps kill the bacteria causing the smell. I've had some success with this.
I have heard borax is good for getting the stink out of polypro and polyester tops. Maybe the same thing for these shoes -- mix a batch, pour into the shoes, and pour out again. Wash insoles separately in the solution. Trouble is, I've never been able to find borax at the supermarket.
A second insole designed specifically for reducing odor (Odour-Eaters, with a high carbon content?) may help, too.
Do you wear synthetic socks? Maybe a switch to cotton, but more preferably pure wool socks might help if you do.
12 Y.O. Litespeed MTB, IRO Jamie Roy fixie, Custom Habanero Ti 'Cross, No name SS MTB, Old school lugged steel track bike (soon)
I had this problem with all of my cycling shoes, until I found this Dr. Scholls Shoe shot powder. It looks like talc, and it works increadibly well. I put a shot in my shoes once every couple weeks, and they don't smell at all.
It's not so much a sweat problem (I've got Dr. Scholl's Shoe Shot for that, and wear wool socks) so much as it's an off-gassing problem. You know how car tires and other rubber objects just have a certain smell to them? You know how new carpet smells when it's first laid down? You know how anything vinyl has a distinct smell? Certain products release chemicals into the air that muck up air quality, and that's off-gassing. What I think is going on with my shoes is that the rubber soles are off-gassing as rubber is apt to do, but for some reason moreso than other shoes I've had (different type of rubber? Beats me...)
I'm wondering if anyone here has had similar experiences and can suggest some means of getting the rubber to stop stinking. Thanks for the sweat, wetness, and bacteria suggestions; I'll definitely thoroughly clean my shoes to make sure it's not any of those.
rockhopper, delta V, cannondale H300, Marin Mill Valley
Return them, it sounds like a manufacturing defect. Specialized is probably aware of the problem. See if you can find an 800 number for Specialized if your dealer won't help you. When my dealer (Larry Black of College Park Bikes) refused to deal with my broken frame, I called Specialized and they hooked me up. They even asked if other parts had failed and ended up sending me a new saddle and hub with my new frame! Larry Black told me my warranty was void because I was a messenger, Specialized said "We do not discriminate against messengers". They are a good company, they don't want to sell smelly shoes, probably something wrong with the adhesive or other materials used.