Aargh! My boots stink!

I have neo boots which reek. I can’t get them completely dried out, as there is no zipper and the hard sole prevents turning them inside out. Now, I emit the occasional odor just like the next guy, but I don’t consider myself extraordinarily pungent. Any advice, or just chuck the damn things and start over?

Specific Cleaner
Check out any local paddle shops or online. There are products specifically made to rinse out the stink of neo clothing.

Get used to it…
all paddlers’ gear stinks. I used to hang my wetsuit in the bathroom to dry when I got home, but the wife put the axe to that. I don’t know why, that stuff is like boater’s cologne!

Look for a product from McNett called ‘MiraZyme Enzyme Based Gear Deoderizer’. Most paddle, dive or outdoor shops should be able to get it. Trust me… it will do the job on your manky, God-awful smelling, socially irresponsible footwear. Your friends WILL appreciate it and the wife will let you bring them in the house. Just do it. Thank me later.

Wait for a good sunny day and
then put them in a place where they will get the sun for most of the day.

I do that for my kickers in the summer, and in the winter I made a boot rack and put my NRS boundry boots on it directly in front of the blower on the wood burning stove. The x-country ski boots go on it also.



I forgot…
Invest in a good boot drier, you know, the kind that look like two tubes attached to a low volume blower. They work on very low heat and they will dry 'em out thoroughly. This combined with pretreatment in the above mentioned

‘Mirazyme’ should really do the trick. My ‘green whellies’ never smelled so fresh! UHMmmnn baby! You can find those driers at some outdoor or more frequently at hunting shops. Good luck to you and your manky boots!

Good ideas

– Last Updated: May-13-05 3:30 PM EST –

Jack's right.

I've tried commercial deodorizers and none of them work worth a damn. Vinegar and bleaching only work for a short time. There are two things that will keep neoprene boots from getting smelly:

1) Do not wear them over bare feet. Sweat, skin oils and dead skin cells make a perfect culture medium for bacteria. The boots I wear with my dry suit - which has latex socks - never get smelly.

2) Rinse and dry them THOROUGHLY after use. Bacteria need moisture and a food source to grow. Rinsing out any possible food sources and drying the boots quickly (within a few hours) and completely prevents bacteria from growing. If you don't have a boot dryer, stuff them with newspaper or cedar shavings overnight, then remove it and allow them to finish air drying.

Really Stinky
Jack, I thought I found a nice sunny place to dry out my wet booties by putting them in the sun on the dashboard of my car, then I rolled up the windows & it got parked in the sun, PEEYEW!!

Thanks a million
The sage advice is reassuring. Now I will not be forced to abandon my love of kayaking for a more genteel sport such as skydiving or cow-tipping.

…works for me, I almost always leave 'em out in the sun after a paddle and they still don’t smell…well, too bad anyway. Haven’t noticed a deterioration in the neo either. I was told that enough time in the hot sun will bake the smell out of almost anything.

Wet boots
Try putting news paper in them after use. Helps absorb the water and some of the smell.

Do ya think…
The newspaper thing will work in a cast??? HAHHAA

I can’t wait to get this thing off my arm!!

Paddle on!!



the smell out. I read some where that putting your shoes in the freezer kills the bacteria.So try washing them with commercial soap, stuff them with cedar chips, hang to dry then stick them in the freezer overnight and then let them air out in the sun.If that doesnt work give them to someone you dont like and buy yourself new fresh ones.

But you won’t have to worry about
any of those bean town crooks trying to steal your car!



Sink the Stink…
…is the name of the product that works for me. Let them soak in it overnight and don’t rinse. I get it at my local dive shop. Divers are the neoprene experts.


Rinse them out with vodka and dry them. Never wear them on your bare feet. Poly socks will keep the odor down. Same goes for your wet suit. Isopropyl alcohol would probably work too but cut it.

Stinky NEO booties
go to a Dive Shop and get a “drying hanger”, I got mine almost 20 years ago, and my boots are still in good shape. The hanger is a heavy plastic to hold your booties and gloves while they dry open end down.

Once you have the hanger rinse them well and dry.

I have always worn them with bare feet, and at one point was going diving 3 times a week in Saltwater.

Take good care of your gear, and it will take care of you!

Freezing prevents bacteria growth…
…but it doesn’t kill it. It also works for preventing mold and other gunk from growing in water bottles and hydration bladders. Just store 'em in the freezer.

I have used Listerine to great effect in many bacterial stink situations. Great for everything from Nalgenes and Dromedaries all the way to neo booties. Use your best judgement to dilute it to appropriate strengths.

White vinegar…
…besides not wearing them without a sock of somekind, I put a couple of Tablespoons of white

vinegar in mine.

The bacteria doesn’t live well in the acid environment of the vinegar.