Smelly shoes after rain

After a rain soaked ride, I stuffed the shoes with newspaper. It took them 1.5 days to dry out. Now they have a bit of mildew smell. Any recommendations to fix the funk? I have put some odor eater powder in.

Whenever I get done running/riding, regardless of weather conditions, I put my shoes on a shoe drier. They are often sold as wader driers at outdoor stores such as cabelas or bass pro. I trail run occasionally and run through creeks. Put the shoes on the shoe warmer, and within 24 hours, they are completely dry. They also make the shoes nice and warm before putting them on. I don’t know if it will help with the smell, now that the smell has impregnated the shoe, however. It might be worth looking into.

A thorough cleaning might be in order. Pull out the insoles. Soak them and the shoes in a sink of warm water with a couple tablespoons of gentle detergent like Woolite. Throw in a glug of white vinegar. When you take them out, hang the insoles to dry on a line. Open the shoes wide as you can. Do the newspaper thing to soak up what you can but then run a fan on them to dry them thoroughly. They will be much fresher.

I find a liberal application of Scholl Fresh Step normally does the job when they’ve got really stinky : Scholl Fresh Step Shoe Spray, 150ml

You need to dry them quicker in future, 1.5 days is way too long and gives bacteria time to breed, hence the smell. Ideally use overshoes to avoid getting them so wet in the first place. Take the inner soles out to speed up the drying process and ideally get them somewhere really warm like an airing cupboard or laundry room. Or if you don’t have anywhere suitable then a shoe drier as suggested above is a good idea. I think the newspaper trick only really helps if the shoes are somewhere warm enough to dry the newspaper out quickly so that it wicks the moisture out of the shoe. And/or change the newspaper regularly. If it’s not warm enough to dry the newspaper out quickly then you just have soggy newspaper sitting in the shoe and probably making things worse not better.

Would suggest you to buy some shoes dryer. Preferable with UV. And with air flow if you can afford it.
You’ll dry your shoes within hours instead of days, sanitize them and get rid of odor.

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Can’t help with the smell, but switch the newspaper out a few times. 1.5 days of damp paper inside the shoe is bad. In fact, once the paper stops absorbing much, say after an hour, it’s probably better to stop stuffing it and let air circulate inside and out.

If it’s sunny outside, they might dry faster there. In the fall I dry my cx shoes on the forced-air heat vents. Since I discovered the insole comes out (duh, stupid me) I always remove that for the drying process as water can easily pool under it.

I pull the insoles out and throw everything in the wash on an easy cycle if they get smelly.

Best way to prevent the smell is to get them dry quickly. I point my blower fan directly at the shoes on a high setting immediately after a wet ride and they’re dry within an hour or two.

On long trainer rides, my shoes used to get drenched with sweat. I bought a shoe dryer and it helps tremendously.

One other DIY solution I’ve used for the past several years is to fill some socks with cedar fill like you would find at a pet store. The socks and cedar will soak up the moisture and the cedar has some anti-microbial properties that prevent it from getting funky. Plus it has a nice smell.

Liberal amount of baby powder into the hoes works very well. Sometimes needs two applications a day or two apart. Absorbs the moisture and smells fresh.

I use these after most every ride and also for everyday shoes. Get it, you won’t believe you ever went without.

PEET, The Original 2-Shoe Electric Shoe and Boot Dryer and Warmer, Black

FWIW, I dry my shoes (biking, running, etc) after every workout using a simple 6 inch fan. I have it connected to a smart plug to turn off automatically after a set period of time. You can see the setup in my “paincave” (aka storage closet), third pic, top left corner.

A generic fan will work surprisingly well and its also something most people doing indoor training already own.

I added two 3m hooks to my fan and simply hang my shoes on them after each training session for about 15 min while I’m stretching and rolling.

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Whenever we have any clothes that get a funky smell, I rewash them in laundry detergent plus half a cup of Borax. If shoes smell funky, it means they have bacteria growing on them. I’d soak them in something that will kill the bugs - like the Borax.

Drying them a bit faster than 1.5 days might also help.

my dad bought me this years ago and I thought it was the dumbest gift; it has been THE BEST gift ever. The way it heats, it won’t ruin your shoes at all. Makes them bone dry. Absolutely must have for people that ever get caught in the rain. Works 100X better than the newspaper i used to use.



I think just about everyone has that initial reaction. This silent thing is supposed to do something?