It’s the dirty little not-so-secret of high end running shoes. They are notorious for developing and retaining unpleasant smells that are difficult to eliminate.
Are You Running “Barefoot”?
The trend today is for minimalist shoes, very light and flexible models that mimic bare feet. Some of the shoes available look a lot like traditional athletic shoes while others are articulated in the toe area. Both kinds are used by serious and recreational running enthusiasts. No matter the level of commitment, the intensity of the odor coming from the shoes poses a real problem.
A lot of runners prefer to do their workouts without wearing socks which contributes to the problem. Using clean, dry socks during every run helps immensely in limiting the stink, but it just is not some runners’ style.
Shoe Solutions -- Part I
If possible the shoes can be washed, either by hand or in the machine. Depending how dirty and smelly the shoes have become this may help. It is usually not recommended to machine dry the shoes, however, which will mean your favourite running equipment may be out of commision for a day or two until they dry out thoroughly.
Other experts suggest the shoes “sunbathe” after use to dry out and use the power of fresh air and the sun to eliminate odor. If shoes are just slightly odoriferous this may be a help, but not unless it is done from the first time they are worn and then every time afterward.
Shoe Solutions -- Part II
All is not lost if you cannot wash the shoes after every use or bathe them in the sun. After all, the weather does not always cooperate and it is not affordable to invest in a half dozen pair of shoes to rotate as the others are washed and dried. We have sourced a number of effective and naturally based shoe care solutions that can keep the smell at bay and you on your daily runs.
Tea Tree Oil and Other Natural Odor Banishers
Allpresan and Footlogix are two options harnessing the power of tea tree oil, a proven deodorant that can be sprayed directly into your shoes to eliminate odor at the root cause -- the bacteria that grows in damp and dark places.
We also have a premium product in Collonil Shoe Fresh, using the naturally occurring compound Farnesol, derived from essential fragrance oils, to fight odor.
Moneysworth & Best, Canada’s own footwear specialists also offers a 48 hour shoe deodorant, while Germany’s Woly Bio Fresh comes in lavender and grapefruit for fresh smelling footwear.
Basic Foot Care May Be The Real Answer
Many experts feel that a thoroughly clean foot will go a long way toward eliminating shoe odor. Consider a pre and post run soak or bath in Gewohl Foot Bath or Salt Bath to ensure your feet are cleansed and bacteria free. Browse our other foot care options to deal with the causes of foot odor rather than covering them up.