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Getting the smell out of climbing shoes?
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l3uddy789


Mar 28, 2011, 11:17 PM
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Getting the smell out of climbing shoes?
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Hey RC, so my climbing shoes have always smelt rank and I just thought it was because they were old. I got a new pair of shoes last week and have climbed in them about five times. They already smell dreadful and make me feet smell for hours after I wear them if I don't shower. So my question is, is there some type of really powerful cleaner I can use to get the smell out? My gym has some random brand spray they use for all their rental shoes but when I tried it on my shoes it made no difference in smell.


squierbypetzl
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Mar 28, 2011, 11:53 PM
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If the odor is really, really bad maybe the problem isn't the shoes? Thankfully I've never had smelly troubles with any of my shoes, but I have found that leather shoes tend to foster that problem more than synthetics, but that may be because I subject the latter to a harder wash. If your feet sweat a lot, that could be what's causing your problem, try different materials or foot powder (or anti perspirant if you're desperate). Non-oily climbing chalk also works well to help keep your toes dry, but excess use could easily cause your skin to crack, and hellooo infections.

I always open my shoes and leave them to dry for a while after use, preferably outside though not always directly in the sun (that tends to shrink the shoes a bit, which can either feel good or annoy me depending on my mood). I store them stuffed with newspaper, and occasionally give the insides a good hard scrub with liquid soap and a plastic brush. One of my students puts a little baggie made of a woman's stocking filled with potpourri in each of her shoes.


Bats


Mar 29, 2011, 3:59 AM
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Baking soda...its cheap. Leave it in a couple days, and knock the excess soda out. If you don't you will a paste in your shoes the next time you climb.


scottek67


Mar 29, 2011, 5:38 AM
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Re: [squierbypetzl] Getting the smell out of climbing shoes? [In reply to]
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squierbypetzl wrote:
If the odor is really, really bad maybe the problem isn't the shoes!



spikeddem


Mar 29, 2011, 7:13 AM
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Try showering before, rather than after.

FWIW, if they're evolv shoes, you will not get the smell out. I no longer buy evolv shoes. I've had four different brands, and evolvs are the only ones to ever stink.

Read about it from an OP rep on this board (do a search for stinky evolv shoes).


Rudmin


Mar 29, 2011, 7:41 AM
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I have sweaty feet and have had good success rubbing crystal salt deoderant on my toes before climbing. You can find it in most any hippie supply store and some drug stores. As I understand it, the idea is to basically turn your sweat into a salty brine that cannot sustain bacterial life.


ENARE


Mar 29, 2011, 8:13 AM
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l3uddy789 wrote:
Hey RC, so my climbing shoes have always smelt rank and I just thought it was because they were old. I got a new pair of shoes last week and have climbed in them about five times. They already smell dreadful and make me feet smell for hours after I wear them if I don't shower. So my question is, is there some type of really powerful cleaner I can use to get the smell out? My gym has some random brand spray they use for all their rental shoes but when I tried it on my shoes it made no difference in smell.

Cleaning your climbing shoes with water and soap should not be a consideration. The trick to getting rid of the smell is to clean your shoes without damaging the leather. As a disclaimer, you should not have high expectations for your shoes to smell like roses and anything you decide to do will probably not work as well as we would like, and I think it is good to expect that your climbing shoes are going to smell no matter how much work you put into them. But, this is definitely one of the joys of being a climber, and the worse your shoes stink the better a climber you probably are.

1. Pull your climbing shoes out of your bag after climbing and let them air out -bacteria grows less in drier environments.

2. Use a disinfecting and deodorizing spray but make sure you let them completely air out before wearing them again.
Lysol Disinfecting Spray or a bowling shoes disinfectant .
A more natural option is McNett MiraZyme (a naturally occuring enzyme based odor eliminator; requires you to purchase a a spray bottle sand mix the solution before hand )

3. Do not leave your shoes in your car.

4. Some people have recommended a sock ball of cedar chips – this will not kill the bacteria but it will help mask the smell effectively.

5. Wear thin socks or liners with your shoe -not recommended for aggressive shoes.

6. Do not wear open toed shoes on your approach – more bacteria and dirt will get on your feet and spread when you wear your climbing shoes.

7. Not always practical once you have climbing shoes, but unlined leather shoes or shoes lined with natural materials seem to smell the least and look out for shoes with synthetic liners, they smell the worst.

8. If none of these work, try not smelling the shoes – this may be your best bet.

9. Have a little fun with it and next time you have a passenger in the car play some Lyryrd Skynyrd “That Smell”.
I hope that this helps, you will likely still have problems with the smell even if you did everything here. But it may help ease your mind if you try them.
Remember, you can always smell a good climber.

From: http://breakinginmyshoes.wordpress.com/...climbing-shoe-smell/


tower_climber


Mar 29, 2011, 8:14 AM
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Re: [l3uddy789] Getting the smell out of climbing shoes? [In reply to]
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Try storing them with a dryer sheet inside each shoe.


lithiummetalman


Mar 29, 2011, 8:51 AM
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Re: [l3uddy789] Getting the smell out of climbing shoes? [In reply to]
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-Freeze them to kill bacteria.

-Dryer sheets to make them smell fluffy.


(This post was edited by lithiummetalman on Mar 29, 2011, 8:51 AM)


l3uddy789


Mar 29, 2011, 9:38 AM
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Thanks for all the advice guys. I might have made this unclear but when I do not think the problem is my shoes, I know it's my feet...


csproul


Mar 29, 2011, 9:55 AM
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Re: [lithiummetalman] Getting the smell out of climbing shoes? [In reply to]
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lithiummetalman wrote:
-Freeze them to kill bacteria.

This does not work. I have tried it several times. If anything, it made my freezer smell, and the smell in the shoes did not go away.


lithiummetalman


Mar 29, 2011, 10:01 AM
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csproul wrote:
lithiummetalman wrote:
-Freeze them to kill bacteria.

This does not work. I have tried it several times. If anything, it made my freezer smell, and the smell in the shoes did not go away.

Freeze the freezer!Wink


dudlej01


Mar 29, 2011, 10:49 AM
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Re: [lithiummetalman] Getting the smell out of climbing shoes? [In reply to]
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I tried all of the traditional fixes (baking soda, freezing, etc.) on my old (5.10 synthetic) shoes, none of them worked.

I even tried this: http://www.mcnett.com/...Eliminator-P170.aspx
Which seemed to help a bit, but not enough, in the end I gave up and threw the shoes out.

I've found that leather shoes are better (less smelly), and what I do now with my shoes is give them a spray with this after each climb
http://www.mcnett.com/...Eliminator-P170.aspx
and then store them out of the bag with a shoe plug inside (you could also use a chamois, newspaper, just anything to absorb the moisture). So far that has done the trick.

I think in this case, as usual, prevention is better than cure. Smile


(This post was edited by dudlej01 on Mar 29, 2011, 10:50 AM)


aprice00


Mar 29, 2011, 11:13 AM
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Re: [csproul] Getting the smell out of climbing shoes? [In reply to]
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csproul wrote:
lithiummetalman wrote:
-Freeze them to kill bacteria.

This does not work. I have tried it several times. If anything, it made my freezer smell, and the smell in the shoes did not go away.

Why would you do this?
#1 its not going to take the smell away.
#2 As far a bacterial growth, freezing just slows down their metabolism, or makes them go dormant.

After you stink up your icecream samiches the condition of your shoes is going to be virtually unchanged.

Edit to elaborate


(This post was edited by aprice00 on Mar 29, 2011, 11:19 AM)


lithiummetalman


Mar 29, 2011, 2:37 PM
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   I stand corrected! (Shearing of cells can occur from freezing but not the most effective method)

Though, drying shoes out to reduce aW potential and then freezing them afterwards works, I can attest since my shoes don't stink to me...well...ehhh....food on the other hand...

Thank goodness for Appendix A!

http://www.fsis.usda.gov/oa/fr/95033f-a.htm

Happy eatings.


(This post was edited by lithiummetalman on Mar 29, 2011, 2:45 PM)


warrenw


Mar 29, 2011, 3:21 PM
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l3uddy789 wrote:
So my question is, is there some type of really powerful cleaner I can use to get the smell out?

Just throw them in the washing machine with a small amount of mild soap. I use roughly a 1/8 cap of Woolite because I think it's mild. Not sure why I think that, though. Any shoe stink has gone away.

You just have to allow time for them to dry. Put them on a fan and they're dry in 12 hours. Hang them up and they're dry in 48 hours. (May vary with local humidity.)

I've never had problems with shoes shrinking or growing or getting funky-shaped. I've washed these at least twice each:

Evolv Optimus (synth)
Scarpa Vision (leather+synth)
Acopa Spectre (canvas-lined leather)
Scarpa Techno (leather+synth)
Sportiva Testarossa (leather+synth)

I have never washed a completely leather unlined shoe, so I cannot attest to that being a good idea.

Also, some say wash them in a mesh bag cuz the rubber marks up the washer a bit. I used to but stopped cuz the marks are few, disappear over time, and seem harmless to clothes washed later.

w


special_blend


Mar 29, 2011, 4:28 PM
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Re: [l3uddy789] Getting the smell out of climbing shoes? [In reply to]
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The answer is Tea Tree Oil. All the other suggestions here are just crappy, dryer sheets use perfume, lysol smells horrible and is bad for the environment. Lots of other solutions like washing them can also damage the suede and rubber in your shoes.

Put a few drops of TeaTree oil into a spray bottle with water and spray the inside of your shoes with it. It's natural, cheap, kills bacteria and actually smells nice without being perfumey.


(This post was edited by special_blend on Mar 29, 2011, 4:28 PM)


robx


Mar 29, 2011, 4:31 PM
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spikeddem wrote:
Try showering before, rather than after.

FWIW, if they're evolv shoes, you will not get the smell out. I no longer buy evolv shoes. I've had four different brands, and evolvs are the only ones to ever stink.

Read about it from an OP rep on this board (do a search for stinky evolv shoes).


absolutely agree. I don't buy leather so I bought a pair of evolv shoes, and they are, by far, the worst smelling shoes I've ever owned. They started smelling faster than any pair of shoes, and they've kept the smell longer than any shoes.


milesenoell


Mar 29, 2011, 4:48 PM
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ENARE wrote:
1. Pull your climbing shoes out of your bag after climbing and let them air out -bacteria grows less in drier environments.


3. Do not leave your shoes in your car.


I'd amend the first one to keep your shoes out of bags (clip 'em to the outside), but these two practices have made a huge difference for my shoes.


WoogieMonster


Mar 29, 2011, 5:06 PM
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washing machine. cold water, NEVER THE DRYER> NEVER. you do not want the shoe to heat up it will cause the glue to delaminate. This method is what I do for my shoes. Never had a delamination. The contact cement should not weaken do to water. Heat is a different story.... Your friends will thank you for it.


JokerRick


Mar 30, 2011, 6:43 AM
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I don't remember where I read it, but when searching I came a cross a guy who said that he got the idea from a ballerina friend: stuff wads of newspaper in the shoes after climbing. My feet sweat a good bit, and I tried that. It apparently helps soak up the moisture.

My Evolvs still smell, but only if I put them close enough to my face to intentionally sniff-test them. They don't stink up a 30' radius at the gym anymore.


ENARE


Mar 30, 2011, 7:37 AM
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special_blend wrote:
The answer is Tea Tree Oil. All the other suggestions here are just crappy, dryer sheets use perfume, lysol smells horrible and is bad for the environment. Lots of other solutions like washing them can also damage the suede and rubber in your shoes.

Put a few drops of TeaTree oil into a spray bottle with water and spray the inside of your shoes with it. It's natural, cheap, kills bacteria and actually smells nice without being perfumey.

I have never heard of using tea tree oil but that is definitely a good idea. I have also heard that McNett MiraZyme works as well.


byran


Mar 30, 2011, 12:13 PM
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In my experience there's only two things that help the stinky shoes problem:

1. Wear socks while climbing
2. Don't wear Evolves


WoogieMonster


Mar 30, 2011, 1:22 PM
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byran wrote:
In my experience there's only two things that help the stinky shoes problem:

1. Wear socks while climbing
2. Don't wear Evolves

truth!


fxgranite


Mar 30, 2011, 1:41 PM
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milesenoell wrote:
ENARE wrote:
1. Pull your climbing shoes out of your bag after climbing and let them air out -bacteria grows less in drier environments.


3. Do not leave your shoes in your car.


I'd amend the first one to keep your shoes out of bags (clip 'em to the outside), but these two practices have made a huge difference for my shoes.

I actually wrap my shoes in my rope back and stick them in the trunk specifically so they stay damp. It's much easier for me to get them on again next time. Do not ask me how they smell Wink


aprice00


Apr 9, 2011, 7:45 AM
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lithiummetalman wrote:
I stand corrected! (Shearing of cells can occur from freezing but not the most effective method)

Though, drying shoes out to reduce aW potential and then freezing them afterwards works, I can attest since my shoes don't stink to me...well...ehhh....food on the other hand...

Thank goodness for Appendix A!

http://www.fsis.usda.gov/oa/fr/95033f-a.htm

Happy eatings.

Just in case you are interested, if you freeze them slowly you can form larger ice crystals that will rupture the cell. If you freeze them quickly to -80C or so the ice crystals stay small and more bacteria survive.
Although freezing will kill some its not a good method of sterilizing because of spores. Spores have dehydrate cores.
Source: ME


fermat


Apr 11, 2011, 8:08 AM
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biggest part is brushing i think. some warm water, rubbing alcohol (ideally - i tried listerine and it worked fine) and scrub the inside. went from evolv's stinking up the entire apartment to a pleasant minty odor on my feet after every climb.

also shove some newspaper each shoe after you clean them. let it sit, take out the soggy newspaper and put in some fresh paper for the night.


kobaz


Apr 11, 2011, 9:34 AM
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ENARE wrote:
8. If none of these work, try not smelling the shoes – this may be your best bet.

CoolCool

Trophy!


cjarvis810


Nov 15, 2012, 8:49 AM
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http://stinkyshoo.com

Created especially for climbing shoes.

No sprays, no powders, no fragrance.


marlene


Nov 16, 2012, 10:45 AM
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My climbing partner makes these for climbing shoes and ballet shoes. They work really good.

http://drypointe.com/


tutugirl


Jan 8, 2013, 10:26 AM
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DryPointe they shape to the shoe and they recharge easily...Wink Odorless shoe inserts.

https://www.etsy.com/listing/117401452/drypointe-shoe-inserts-large-pair


brinosaur


Jan 8, 2013, 2:26 PM
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Getting a well established funk out of older shoes is tough, to say the least.
What I prefer is to give my shoes regular deodorizer spray-downs and periodic washing (every 1.5 months or so), rather than waiting for the odor to become unbearable.

To wash, here's what I do:
1.Remove laces (makes working under the tongue easier and drying faster)
2.Immerse shoes in lukewarm water.
3.With soft toothbrush or bare hands, scrub with anitbacterial dish soap (gentle enough on leather/synthetics, no moisturizers like hand soaps, lovely scent, etc)
4.Rinse
5. Hang or otherwise position shoes in front of a fan to dry, with the toes pointing up (allows for better drainage)

For really nasty shoes, I'll let the shoes soak in soapy water for a few hours following the initial scrub and rinse. Putting the shoes in a mesh bag and throwing them in the washer on gentle (cold water!) is way faster, but loud. My apartment uses a shared laundry facility, and the noise is not well-liked by the neighbors, so I wash my shoes by hand.


wivanoff


Jan 8, 2013, 3:12 PM
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I haven't tried this yet.... But, someone told me to put some kitty litter into a Knee-Hi stocking, tie a knot in it and place that in your shoe. The kitty litter absorbs moisture. I'd guess a scented or charcoal infused kitty litter would be even better.

Knee-Hi stockings are rip-your-head-off strong and cheap ($0.59/pr at Walgreen's for knockoffs). I use them for "hop bags" when brewing and dry hopping beer. I bet they could make a decent chalk sack for inside your chalk bag, too.


fingerincrevice


Jan 8, 2013, 7:49 PM
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I spray febreeze in mine, kinda works


spiderman5


Jan 17, 2013, 8:06 PM
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i found some stuff called 2 toms shoe spray that has worked pretty well


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