Stinky Water Shoes

In the summer I wear Salomon Tech Amphibian water shoes in salt water without socks, because I figured they are ventilated enough not to smell. Wrong. They stink. I tried just letting them air out a few days without wearing them, then I tried soaking them in cold water with baking soda and detergent, and neither of those worked. Finally I washed them in the clothes washer on hot, but air dried them, and that seems to have gotten all but the slightest trace of funk out of them. Trouble is, I imagine if I did that a lot, it would shorten the life of the shoes. Anyone have any suggestions?

Mild solution of bleach.
Then sun dry isf possible, but I don’t think anything really gets it out.

Oxy-Clean and a boot dryer
Works for me.

Sink The Stink
an enzyme (sp?) deoderizer. bleach actually makes it worse.


Vinegar, water and hot sun.
I’m in the salt with no socks and when I start noticing the funk I soak the booties in vinegar and water then let dry in the sun. It always leaves them daisy fresh. :slight_smile: Vinegar is easier on the neoprene than bleach and doesn’t leave a detergent residue. It’s easier to find than some of the special funk eaters and it will kill all the nasties that cause the funk.

Wear socks, rinse and dry thoroughly
Bacteria feed on skin oils and dead skin cells. Wearing socks prevents most contamination of the shoes. Rinse them and dry them THOROUGHLY, and they won’t become funky. I’ve tried STS, Mirazyme and other treatments and none of them are any more effective than the recommendations above. They’re basically a waste of money.

Gotta second the sock idea
When I finally de-funkified mine, I started wearing socks. (Thin, lightweight polyester ones during the summer)

The funk has not returned.

What’s the formula?
> I soak the booties in vinegar and water then let dry in the sun.

What mixture do you use? Half & half? 10% vinegar?

Would sock liners do?
I know polypro retains odors, maybe capilene or coolmax?

How about cycling socks?
Would cycling socks be a good choice inside paddling shoes? Places like Performance Bike sell Coolmax/nylon/spandex socks for $5-10 a pair.



– Last Updated: Sep-14-05 5:30 PM EST –

And if that doesn't cut it try a splash of Wild Turkey ;)

At the risk of sounding like the Coffee of days gone by…

Coolmax, Polypro, Silk, imported asian spider-web???

5 Dollars…A PAIR???

C’mon now, I love good gear as well as…well let’s be honest, I like good gear more than is financially wise for me at times.

But we’re talkin’ liner socks here. I went down to my local Megamart and picked up several pair of 100% polyester dress socks. Black ones will blend best with black neoprene if you’re fashion concious. Avoid the gold toes if you wanna appear cool ;^)

I wear neoprene boots so all my sock is hidden, it may be a bit tougher for those who wear short shoes - even then Megamarts carry synthetic shorty socks in their athletic section

Go with heavy wool socks in the cooler weather…That’s where 5-7 bucks a pair seems reasonable.


Got the point :slight_smile: I’ll head out to Kmart after work

Maybe I just can’t tell the difference between all the fancy trademark names of materials.




– Last Updated: Sep-14-05 4:54 PM EST –

My dad wears Gold Toes and he's VERY cool. Those things stay up on your leg and never slip down and bunch around your ankles. Of course, it looks like years of wearing them has rubbed off patches of leg hair permanently.

Actually, in winter I wear my amphibious shoes with Sealskinz socks over hiking sock liners, or my Gill sailing booties from college.

Usually the synthetic athletics are too thick, so they feel soggy, but you're right, a synthetic dress sock is a darn good option, and almost cheap enough to be disposable.

Think I’ll try the socks too.
I’ve heard that before but it seems like wearing underwear under a wetsuit. More to bunch up. The hiking sock liners would probably be the best choice. Glad I don’t have that problem with wetsuits. I kinda’ like that free feeling.

I left my booties in the SUV for a couple days last summer. Took days to air out the lingering funk. :o

Uhhh…no offense intended for those who have gold-toe preferences or emotional ties. Knock yourself out.

Here’s another vote for Sealskin socks for winter paddling. They also work great for winter running or cycling (if a bit bulky)

Rocky makes a pair of gore-tex oversocks. They seem a bit more streamlined than my sealskinz.

You go commando
under your wetsuit? It’s an appealing idea because I hate how my bathing suit can bunch up, but I like having somehting on undernearth if I want to peel it off before I get home.

a cap full of …
bleach in a couple of quarts of water. Dip, rinse, air dry.

Bleach kills the bacteria. The UV kills them again. I put some newspaper in the shoes to assist in drying the inside quicker. Good to go for a few more times.

The funk always comes back so I try to semi regularly give them a bleach dip.


stench foot
One day for the heck of it I used Odor B Gone-about a tablespoon in a gal of water and it worked great! Have used it on the inside of kayaks when they get a little ripe too. Find it at pet stores. When I used to use bleach on my gear I noticed it really shortened the life of some materials and stitching so be very stingy if using bleach.

Switch to Chaco sandals. I rinse mine with clean water and put them in the sun to dry. No funk.