Smelly Paddling Shoes

Anyone have a method to get rid of the stink in my paddling shoes? I almost can’t stand to wear them. Is there something to soak them in?

There is
You can get some stuff at most outfitters for that. I can’t remember what it’s called, or you can soak them in a solution of baking soda after you wash them in laundry detergent.

Things that work for me
Mcnett wetsuit wetsuit shampoo. Gets em really clean. Mcnett mirazyme. Sink the stink is OK too.

You can try something called Mirazyme
(?) but I’ve hadn’t had great luck with it. Supposed to be good for neoprene and similar stuff.

washing neoprene
Do you have to use special detergent to wash neoprene? I just bought a shorty thru E-Bay and really want to wash any…ummm…“cooties” out before i put the thing on. Can I just wash it by hand with some regular laundry detegent?


Funghi hates sunshine and a medicated powder such as Ammens or Gold Bond took the stink out of my boat shoes and Tevas.

Bleach didn’t seem to phase the stinch


I’ve been using
some stuff called Odo-Ban that I purchased at Sams Club. It has a smell of it’s own that I don’t care much for but it’s better than the road kill smell of the shoes.

Quickie Prevention
This seems to extend the “clean duration” time of neo shoes. When you’re done paddling simply rinse the shoes in the water and attach them securely to your roof rack to blast dry them on way home. Seems to make for longer periods between chemical warfare sessions on the stink.

See you on the water,


get some crocs

– Last Updated: Jul-29-04 10:04 AM EST –

closed cell mini-foam shoes, very light, very comforable. no stink. get the kind with the sliding strap...up for clogs, down for paddling.
and they protect your wittle tootsies from stubs too.

we got ours at our local outfitter...great outdoor provision co in nc

Soak in vinegar overnight. Rinse well. Then leave in the sun to dry. Or you can just buy new shoes.—Rich

no thanks

Most of us already have shoes and would rather clean them than tossing them to get new ones :stuck_out_tongue:

My new Teva water shoes that I’ve worn a grand total of 4 times already stink. I always rinse them out when I get home, too. A little disappointing.

Love my Crocs
Catch alot of grief from the friends but once they try them on they understand how comfy, non-odor absorbing and handy to wear as a paddler.


Here’s what I do
Put a few drops of scented shampoo in them, then rinse them out in the bathtub. Squeeze out excess water, then stuff with wadded newspaper overnight (this dries them amazingly well). Remove newspaper and stick a “Bounce” dryer sheet in each shoe to store. Voila, stink gone. The key is to do this right after returning from your paddling trip. If you leave them overnight or longer without rinsing them out thoroughly, you’ve got two mini toxic waste dumps for shoes.

Yes, vinegar.
The best natural sporicide around. Will kill most bacteria as well. Mix with a little lemon juice and your paddling shoes will be daisy fresh ; ) I actually use this for all household cleaning/disinfecting. It’s alot better for me and the environment.


I thought…
the smell in my car would surely take care of my saddle stink. Then I realized it was my saddles!? Go Play Outside!

since i’ve been using cheapo wal-mart
beach shoes, it was a no-brainer for me to get the crocs.

the main reason i hadn’t bought teva or beene or whatever was this very problem.

don’t have the problem with the crocs.

all shoes wear out so try them next time.


I foudn a product at the local dive shop called “sink the stink” , it seems to work pretty well. Reports are that “New Dawn” aslo does the trick, I havent tried it yet tho…kim

Prevention is key
What I’ve found is that the stink in paddling shoes is generally caused by skin oil, perspiration, skin cells and whatnot that are a perfect food source for bacteria when you combine them with moisture. Here are a couple of things you can do to prevent the stinky shoe problem.

  • Wear socks. This may sound silly, but it works, especially if you wear something that completely isolates your feet from your footwear. Since I installed latex socks on my dry suit, my neoprene boots never get smelly. Sealskinz may work well for this. Anything helps, even cotton or wool socks.

  • Rinse your footwear THOROUGHLY after use. You don’t want to leave anything in there that can grow or decay.

  • Dry your footwear COMPLETELY between uses. Leaving it damp not only encourages bacterial growth, but it also encourages mold and mildew. You can buy or make boot dryers if necessary. A simple, cheap alternative is to stuff your boots/shoes with newspaper. I know some people who use cedar shavings rather than newspaper. Either will absorb moisture and both have anti-bacterial properties. Whatever method you use, the important thing to remember is that bacteria, mold and mildew cannot grow in a dry environment.

  • Foot powder can help reduce odors and speed drying of footwear that’s not quite dry.

    If your footwear is already stinky, I’ve found a mild bleach solution to be the best cure. I haven’t tried vinegar, but it seems like it should work. Don’t waste your money on overpriced products like “Mirazyme” and “Sink The Stink”. I haven’t found them to work any better than thorough rinsing and complete drying, which they both recommend BTW.

teva must infuse stink into thier shoes
thats pressure activated,only extended periods of direct sunlight seems to help.

Woolite works for me.