Keeping shoes smelling fresh?

Recently picked up a 1 year old pair of Bontrager XXX shoes from a buddy, and they have a bit of an odor, similar to my 4 year old old shoes but more potent. Looking for recommendations for a good deodorizer/fungus killer, and maybe some tips for how to keep them fresh going forward. Got them for $100 (MSRP $399) so couldn’t pass it up but wondering if there’s something I can do to make and keep them smelling better. Wife is concerned about potential fungus and me getting a foot infection or something so not sure if there’s a specific spray product or something I can leave inside of them to absorb the nasties

baby powder always work for odor.
I use it from time to time on my running shoes.
Goldbond has an antifungal blend. Thats the one i used.


following this. So far I’ve been unable to get odors completely out. May not be possible.

I’ve used baking soda, vinegar, deordorizing spray. I’m tempted to try bleach, but not sure about dropping my pricey fizik’s in a washing machine with bleach yet.

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I pop my insoles out after every ride and hang them up so they dry completely. Every few weeks I put the insoles in with the laundry and they don’t seem to stink or seem any worse off for it.

Do you just sprinkle the baby powder in and let it sit there?

getting them clean/odour free is very different to keeping them that way.

I’d recommend a big bowl/bucket/sink and soaking them in warm water with plenty of soap before scrubbing them with a big soft brush

I use one of these for drying. Works well and can do 2 pairs at the same time

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I would clean them well first removing all the hardware first. Then put them in a box with an ozone generator

I think the smell is inside not out. He said he cleaned them weekly with dawn dish soap and a microfiber but that must have been the outside. For 1 year old white shoes they look pristine

Also removing the insoles does little to help I think it’s in the inner liner

Same applies. Warm water, soap and a brush

I guess there’s no harm sticking them in the sink?

Definitely not. The beauty of doing it by hand is that if the water is too hot, you’ll burn your hands before your beloved shoes :rofl:

The soap will help clean/disinfect and de-odourise and the brush will help agitate any stubborn bacteria

This product was just posted on Cycling Tips…could be a solution to the smell, certainly the drying function would be nice.

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Advertised as a preventative, not a remover though. I would be curious if anyone has any success with UV technology for this purpose. Not a big risk at $35, but I already have a shoe dryer for when I need one. The issue for me is you can prevent the odor until you don’t. However, what do you do then?

Zinc Oxide Powder (non nano) rescued my hiking boots that were just about ready to get up and walk away on their own. Applied a liberal amount to the inside of the boots along with talc powder and within about 3 hikes they were cured. Continued to use it thereafter and the odor never returned.

I do more than sprinkle…
but yes…
I just put the powder and make use the whole inner shoe get some…
The powder will absorb the moisture and make the smell less annoying.

Some people use boot drying things to dry running/cycling shoes.

something like this.

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An old theater trick for shoes was cheap vodka. Spray it, it dries fast and kills everything. You can likely use a more liquid than gel sanitizer too.

Wouldn’t rubbing alcohol works better? something like a 90% version of it (similar to what’s used on hand sanitizer)

That stuff is too precious right now, but also imagine alcohol may dry and/or damage some materials

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I absolutely do. It helps drying and prevents the old boot smell, as well as drying the shoes off in a reasonable amount of time.

@Cleanneon98 I don’t know if this works, but baking soda in the laundry takes out all the funky smell in my clothes, socks, and towels. I don’t know if it’s worth it to give them a dunk in a baking soda + water solution.

I would also change the insoles, and ring your buddy and let him know you can smell the stink on his feet miles away.

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