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RWBlue01 07-18-13 07:08 PM

smelly shoes
I don't know where to post this, so I am posting it here. Please move if there is a better place.

This started out earlier this week. I put my bicycle gloves up to my face to wipe some sweat away and they smelled like rotting flesh. So I washed them. It made a ring around my sink.

Today, I went to work on my cleat on my bicycle shoes and they smell bad. I mean from 3 feet away I can smell my shoes. I have never had REALLY smelly shoes. Is there anything I can do about this?

I think something has changed in my sweat it has changed to something that is more than just BO.

Myosmith 07-18-13 09:08 PM

Pull the liners out and let the shoes and liners air out and dry independently. Replacing the liners is a good first step if they still smell bad. Fog the insides of the shoes with disinfecting deodorizer and let them air out/dry some more. From now on wear clean socks for each ride and pull the liners out and air out your shoes well ASAP after a ride. Don't stuff your sweaty shoes into a duffle bag and leave them in the trunk or on the floor until the next ride.

Stick deodorants (not antiperspirants) that have a waxy look usually have very similar ingredients to products like Glide (wax, glycerine, mineral oil, etc.) and you can swab the sole of your foot and under the toes with one (please get a separate one from the one for your armpits) before putting on your socks. It will help with the smell and also prevent hot spots and blisters. Try this with regular shoes one day to test for irritation before trying it on a long, hot ride. If you have a tile or other smooth floor, remember to put your socks on immediately after applying or things could get slippery. Some people like foot powders, which can be medicated or anti-bacterial, but I find them messy and of questionable value. Washing your feet with anti-microbial soap between rides might be a helpful.

There is a product that looks like a pair of perforated Ping-Pong balls that hold good stinking stuff. The idea is to stick one in each shoe when they are being stored. The same can be done with scented dryer sheets.

Kai Winters 07-18-13 09:12 PM

Hmmm laundering is not a strong suit me thinks...

RWBlue01 07-18-13 09:33 PM

Originally Posted by Kai Winters (Post 15865934)
Hmmm laundering is not a strong suit me thinks...

Jersey, sure after every ride.
Shorts, sure after every ride.
Gloves, I have always destroyed/lost them before they smelled.
Shoes, as far as I know shoes were not made to be tossed into the wash. Hose off mud and continue to go. Again, they have always worn out before they smelled very bad. Dress shoes don't smell bad. Cross trainers don't smell.

Looigi 07-19-13 06:55 AM

I've had a couple of instances of really smelly shoes after multi-day rides in unrelenting wet/damp conditions. I mix up a solution of Oxiclean or borax in a bucket and immerse the shoes overnight (remove the insoles and immerse them too). Rinse them thoroughly the next day, allow them to dry, and they are completely free of odor. I've done this a several times with one pair of shoes with no issues. These, like the vast majority of cycling shoes, are mostly synthetic materials. What looks like leather is lorica or similar synthetic leather. They had already been ridden soaking wet for days so there was no fear that soaking them in water overnight would be an issue in itself.

I find Oxiclean to be somewhat more effective than borax. Don't use chlorine bleach. It would be effective at killing the odor, but can also degrade some of the materials.

Jimi77 07-19-13 08:07 AM

Put hydrogen peroxide in the shoes and put them out in the sun to dry out. This kills the smelly bacteria in the shoe. Next start using baking soda as a foot powder in the shoe - this raises the PH of the shoe preventing the smelly bacteria from coming back. :thumb:

I assume this would work with the gloves too.

RWBlue01 07-19-13 08:47 PM

I washed the gloves with Dr.Bronner's Magic Soap. They turned out great. When they are up to the nose it smells like peppermint, not death.

I am trying the same thing with the shoes tonight.

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