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06 May 2012 @ 11:17 am
Shoe funk  
I have a pair of Keds that I wore without socks all last summer. I love them dearly, but they started to smell pretty rank after a while and I had to stop wearing them. I let them sit with baking soda for a week or two, and it didn't really help. I don't have laundry in my apartment, and I don't know if I'm allowed to put shoes in the machines at the laundromat.

Anyway, they're cheap so I'm thinking of just replacing them, unless you have any magic suggestions for getting rid of shoe-stink. The real question is, how can I prevent this from happening again? If I get two pairs and trade off (so that they dry out between wearing) will they still get smelly? My feet are always going to sweat in them, so is there any product that actually works to kill the bacteria?

why's everything gotta be so intense with me: purple porcupinecoendou on May 6th, 2012 03:20 pm (UTC)
Wear socks.

My shoes stank for years before I discovered that it was all due to the fact that I never wore socks. If you don't like how they look, you can get ones that don't stick up past the sides of the shoe.
☆: Art - snailtheidolhands on May 6th, 2012 03:23 pm (UTC)
My mother taught us this same thing as kids, and I'll recommend trying charcoal to OP if they still want to give it a go.


(hyper link removed to hopefully prevent comment from getting marked as spam)
Mimi: Sunflowersanimimi on May 6th, 2012 03:23 pm (UTC)
Yes, this. Unfortunately. I hate socks.
essos on May 6th, 2012 05:22 pm (UTC)
Yeah... I really hate socks. I actually hate shoes, too.
spaceprostitutespaceprostitute on May 6th, 2012 03:53 pm (UTC)
As already said, wear socks.

Also, don't wear the same shoes every day. Even with socks. Feet sweat. End of story. It takes a full 24 hours at least for shoes to dry out (even if the shoes don't feel wet). Don't want them to smell? Let them dry out. Otherwise you're just compounding the problem. I'm pretty sure there was a post about this in h_d within the last 6 months (might have been earlier) with a woman wondering about what to do with her husband's work boots. There were lots of responses to that post about getting rid of the existing funk, but the only way to actually prevent it is let the shoes dry out and don't wear them every day.

And if the shoes are canvas, they can be washed. Just don't use high heat on the dryer.
Kylakuenzi on May 6th, 2012 04:13 pm (UTC)
I've used Lysol disinfecting spray in my shoes before with some success, but as everyone else says, wearing socks is ideal. There are those really small, short socks you can wear that probably wouldn't be a problem with keds. My problem was always with shoes that you just can't wear socks with - like my flats that i wear with skirts. Those I use the spray with and let them dry out and not wear them every day. There are also some "odor-eater" insoles you can get, but they're not super effective in my experience.
essos on May 6th, 2012 05:29 pm (UTC)
Do you find that low-cut socks end up slipping off of your heel?
Rev. Otanaotana on May 6th, 2012 07:30 pm (UTC)
Not who you were replying to, but I found that with socks that were just slightly too big for me. If they're too loose or if your shoes are too big, they have a tendency to slip. Make sure your shoes fit snugly (buy some innersoles if you're not sure, the gel ones are super comfy too) and buy socks that fit comfortably tightly.
Plain Rebecca Janeannaonthemoon on May 7th, 2012 01:58 pm (UTC)
I find the cheap ones slide down, but the name-brand ones work pretty well, IMHO.
Novel deVicenoveldevice on May 12th, 2012 07:38 am (UTC)
Nope. I wear low-cut socks to the gym and often with my chucks, and I've never had a problem with them slipping around.
That One Girlmiddlegirl on May 6th, 2012 04:14 pm (UTC)
My solution for a pair of peep-toe flats has been to buy the cheapest insoles I can find and just replace them when they get too funky. That way all my foot sweat gets absorbed by the insoles and not by the shoe. It's worked for the better part of a year now, and I get just that extra bit of cushion, too.

But for a pair of shoes like yours, I'd wear socks, but that's just because I always wear socks with shoes like that.
mmhmsupermelanie on May 6th, 2012 11:34 pm (UTC)
If you get nicer ones with a cloth top, you can just chuck 'em in the wash when they get funky! I put insoles in all my shoes and just wash when they get, um, fragrant.
Plain Rebecca Janeannaonthemoon on May 7th, 2012 01:59 pm (UTC)
You can get those kinds of socks made out of the same stuff pantyhose is, too. I wear them all the time with my ballet flats.
Chérielutine on May 6th, 2012 04:28 pm (UTC)
Pour vodka in and let it dry.
Bubblesbeezelbubbles on May 6th, 2012 04:49 pm (UTC)
I'd spritz 'em with vinegar with a few drops of tea tree oil in it. That should kill off the odor causing bacteria. You could also try wrapping them up pretty well in a bag and tossing them in the freezer for a day or two.
I get you on the lack of sock wearing. I hate the way socks feel.
chezaleechezalee on May 6th, 2012 05:17 pm (UTC)
Put them in the freezer for a few days! It kills the bacteria.
Like a cheese stick836am on May 6th, 2012 05:20 pm (UTC)
Burn a piece of toast, halve it and place each piece in a shoe. Leave overnight. The carbon works to absorb the smell.
essos on May 6th, 2012 05:23 pm (UTC)
WHAT. I don't know whether to believe you or not, but it sounds fun anyway.
Like a cheese stick836am on May 6th, 2012 05:24 pm (UTC)
I've done it before and it worked! It's worth a try :)
Lauraeightydollsyell on May 7th, 2012 01:35 am (UTC)
What about the crumbs??
Like a cheese stick836am on May 7th, 2012 01:36 am (UTC)
? Tap them out of the shoe when you're done?
Lauraeightydollsyell on May 7th, 2012 01:47 am (UTC)
I find toast crumbs extra sticky, like more prone to sticking to things not tacky to the touch.
A Self-Made Manhugh_mannity on May 6th, 2012 05:21 pm (UTC)
Wear socks. Make sure though, that the socks are cotton. Artificial fibers stink when sweated on.
ugly bag of mostly water__bin on May 6th, 2012 05:42 pm (UTC)
I buy my shoes a little big and put washable insoles in them. So far it's worked pretty well and I've been able to keep a pair of flats for longer than a year!
Dinidamedini on May 6th, 2012 05:48 pm (UTC)
Put a squirt of cheap baby shampoo in each. Swish about and soak in a sink of hot water, rinse well, then air dry. Should do it.
lilsongbird: pic#117179060lilsongbird on May 6th, 2012 06:06 pm (UTC)
I use the same mix I use to deskunk dogs to destink shoes. This formula works well on both I find

1 quart peroxide
1 box baking soda
2 drops of dawn soap

Peroxide bubbles stuff to the surface where baking soda nutralizes is and dawn breaks up the oils. I mix this in a bowl and toss the whole shoe in after washing it in warm soapy water first to get rid of the worst of the dirt. This mix gets cat urine out of leather shoes too I discovered after my cat literally told my bf to piss off lol
Kymberleeetxeberria on May 6th, 2012 07:28 pm (UTC)
Wear socks. That smell is from bacteria!

A nice thick sock made to wick away moisture would help you out A LOT.

My little sister has some pretty stinky feet and we find that if she uses a foot powder every day, it makes her feet (and her shoes) sweat a lot less.

Lissa Jo: Senior picmelissabee on May 6th, 2012 07:59 pm (UTC)
Deadeafelis on May 6th, 2012 10:26 pm (UTC)
Foot powder definitely helps reduce sweating and stink build-up, as well as not wearing them every day.

I don't have any suggestions for your current pair, but I think you should be able to wash them at the laundromat - maybe throw them in with a load of jeans to help absorb the thumping around. :) I think they'll behave better in a top-loading machine, but I've only ever washed mine in front-loaders, so I don't know for sure. If you use a front-loading machine, be sure it's one with a locking door. ;) Then air dry, or dryer on the air-dry setting.

Good luck. :)
mmhmsupermelanie on May 6th, 2012 11:36 pm (UTC)
Foot powders and sprays help a lot, BUT put them on on your feet and then your feet into socks, then your powdered, stockinged feet into shoes. If you use the powders or sprays without socks, it just gets gunked into the shoe with your sweat and gets really gummy and nasty.
your bright silver grinarlen_esq on May 7th, 2012 12:57 am (UTC)
I posted a similar question on my facebook account awhile ago, about my dansko clogs. I ended up spraying them out with lysol, which worked wonders. However, one of my friends (who's a shoe salesman), said that filling them with (clean) cat litter for a few days, then emptying them out, takes care of any smell.
vidiva.vidiva on May 7th, 2012 01:20 am (UTC)
i am too lazy to read all the comments, so i don't know if this was already suggested....

when i wear ballet flats, i have the same issue. it's hard to wear socks with ballet flats. but i have found that oder eaters foot SPRAY powder helps. it's doesn't completely prevent the bad smell but it cuts it down greatly for me. i have tried a foot powder before, but the spray helps much, much more. good luck!
vidiva.vidiva on May 7th, 2012 01:22 am (UTC)
also, oder eaters brand is great. i tried a doctor shoals brand and the smell when you sprayed it was overpowering and kinda gross.
AH-HAjohnadreams on May 7th, 2012 01:33 am (UTC)
If you don't want to wear socks, sprinkling baby powder inside after each wear will cut out the smell.
Lady Crimson Tide: Batzclynne on May 7th, 2012 04:37 am (UTC)
I have the same issue with my keds, and there are no good "hidden" socks that I've found so far.

As everyone else says, washing works best to get rid of the funk -- and I think your laundromat should be fine with them. Certainly you should be able to get away with the washer, and if you think the thumping in a dryer will be a problem, them just air dry them.

I put Lush powders in my shoes in the interim, and keep my feet clean. That helps mitigate the smell a bit. But ultimately, just washing them is the best thing, if you can't wear socks.
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