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Having been out in the recent wet weather lately I've started to notice (or rather it has been discreetly been pointed out by my wife) that my cycling shoes absolutely stink.

Now I don't normally have particularly smelly plates of meat and this doesn't happen to my other shoes but it seems the combination of sweat and rain water makes them honk. They are mid-range Northwave road shoes and they have an artificial upper which I suspect is the problem. They are currently stuffed with paper and in the shed, a safe distance away.

Does anyone else suffer this podiatry problem and what have they done about it?

13 comments

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dave atkinson [6210 posts] 4 years ago
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bicarb of soda is worth a try, give them a good scrub with some hot water (on the inside, natch) and that might help. One other thing i've heard to be effective is to put your shoes in an airtight bag and leave them in the deep freeze for a couple of days; the cold kills a lot of the bacteria  1

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londonplayer [620 posts] 4 years ago
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That's interesting. Surely the freezing cold might just stop the bacteria breeding whilst in freezer and it'll start again when you begin wearing them again? any microbiologists here?!

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londonplayer [620 posts] 4 years ago
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buy another pair of cycling shoes so you alternate and let them air? works with trainers. wear overshoes?

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londonplayer [620 posts] 4 years ago
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I've checked with a microbiologist. The act of putting them in the freezer is purely temporary. It won't kill any of the bacteria. However, I guess the fact that you get a temporary prevention of the whiff might be useful.

Two pairs and alternate is my solution!

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monty dog [455 posts] 4 years ago
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Microwaveswill kill the bacteria! (it will also melt the shoes)

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robert.brady [155 posts] 4 years ago
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Has anyone successfully put cycling shoes through the wash?

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Municipal Waste [238 posts] 4 years ago
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You can buy a shoe cleaning gel from Nikwax, I've not used it but might be worth a go.

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dave atkinson [6210 posts] 4 years ago
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has anyone tried an antibacterial surface cleaner, like dettol or maxima?

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nick_rearden [436 posts] 4 years ago
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dave_atkinson wrote:

has anyone tried an antibacterial surface cleaner, like dettol or maxima?

Dave's first instinct was bang-on; Bicarbonate of Soda is a brilliant antibacterial cleaner, cheap and also makes great toothpaste fwiw. Next best thing without resorting to nasty expensive kitchen cleaners is a vinegar solution but the smell of that might be just as unpopular with The Missus...

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arrieredupeleton [575 posts] 4 years ago
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Thanks for the all the help. Some more useful that others... I do use neoprene overshoes in winter but its not a good look good with shorts or 3/4s? Plus they act as two buckets which gradual fill with water/sweat. The Bicarb of Soda suggestion looks a winner and a good bit cheaper that just buying a pair of shoes (and cleats) to alternate with. having said that..... Can anyone recommend some decent winter boots? The Diadora Chili ones seem to be going for buttons but the reviews are not great. Once the mercury falls below zero those pesky bacteria with perish anyway!

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wyadvd [128 posts] 4 years ago
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ive just got a pair of shimano mw80s ( new version mw81) muts nuts for winter ---and so far they don't smell (leather uppers is what you need!)

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arrieredupeleton [575 posts] 4 years ago
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wyadvd wrote:

ive just got a pair of shimano mw80s ( new version mw81) muts nuts for winter ---and so far they don't smell (leather uppers is what you need!)

Thanks mate. I guess the RW80s are the road specific ones (I need them to accept a normal road cleat) so might give them a bash. You're right about the leather - far less pongy.

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lazyusername [101 posts] 4 years ago
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Having put my cycling gear ready last night I've discovered that I've got the same problem with my shoes (thought it was the cat at first!)

I've given them and the insoles a thorough spray with dettol antibacterial and going to leave them to dry completely it's got to be worth a go...