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General Climbing Discussion

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The horror!
5:53:49 PM
Hi all,

I'm currently battling the worst case of smelly climbing shoes I've ever had, although not the worst I've ever encountered. Well maybe it is, its hard to tell, but the other day I could smell them while I was climbing, and it disturbed me, and grossed me out. And that hot chick at the gym wrinkled up her nose and stopped talking to me...

I know I'm not on my own here, and I'm hoping for some support. Not a pat on the back and she'll be right, but some specifics:

Does anyone have a tried and true remedy for stinky climbing shoes?

Does anyone have any untried or not true remedies, old wives remedies, things you'd heard or tried yourself, or just generally think you have an opinion that everyone is going to hear whether they like it or not?

Much appreciated

The Dreamer

6:43:29 PM
Wash them?
7:20:19 PM
Do as Wombly said.

Another good method -

Mix rubbing alcohol with your choice of essential oil in a spray bottle.

Spray the mix into your smelly shoes, the alcohol will kill the nasty things inside then evaporate leaving the pleasant smell of sandlewood.
7:56:20 PM
I used this sort of stuff. It was great but would cake up a bit.

Really dried the sweet up and had only a slight perfume.

8:00:49 PM
Another secret is to keep your feet as clean as possible. At the gym when ever I take my shoes off I put a pair of thongs on to walk around in. Same at the crag, thongs on straight away. Once every couple of months I take them into the shower and give them a scrub with my climbing toothbrush and a bit of soap or citrus hand degreaser. Keeps all the smellies away. I like the idea of the alcohol mixed with an oil. Would keep the shoes a little supple as well.

Eduardo Slabofvic
8:49:22 PM
Just stop talking to women at the gym, and focus on the plastic, and let her have at least one experience
in the day that doesn't involve being pestered by men.
8:55:11 PM
Pour some baking powder into them and shake all around the inside and allow to dry and get crusty. Should also help and is easy to do reasonably frequently.


11:13:35 PM
Less fancy that the other suggestions and perhaps less stylish, but wear thin socks? They absorb the sweat, your shoes stay dry, smelly bugs cant grow. Side benefit of being more comfortable.

11:23:39 PM
Totally agree with socks, and the odd wash if you sweat heaps! beware the alcohol on real leather
climbing shoes, as it tends to dry them out too much and they'll get hard and even crack, unless mixed
with the aromatic or similar oil to re-hydrate the leather, it may also dissolve the glue that holds all the
rubber together and you'll get delaminating of the sole from the upper, just warm water and a soapy scrub
will work wonders, maybe some anti fungal powder if you already have smelly feet to start with!
6:44:06 AM
I had a climbing partner whos shoes were religated to the roofracks on the way home.

9:03:47 AM
Wash them or go do some DWS. Once they are unsmellafied make sure you wipe them out after use and keep them aired. Dont store them in your backpack.

10:22:09 AM
The horror huh?

much as Marlon only appeared for a total of six mins in the film I can only stand around for six minutes in my shoes before I have to climb to cleaner air. ;)
11:54:06 AM
G'day Josh,
As I said to you at Nuna on Tuesday night, regular showering is an excellent preventative measure ...... but obviously it's too late now!
"The Horror" is a good description of the problem though. Desperate measures for a desperate problem? We were helpful on Tuesday though. Some of these suggestions included urinating on said offending articles, dousing in coke/shellite/metho/vinegar .... and so on. Options also included 'odour masking agents'. Use your imagination here! Something will work.
What we need is feedback from other stinky climbers who have tried these methods.

All I've tried is the washing in water (tap), and drying in the sun. The result was a pair of shoes that I could barely wear - not because of the odour, just the stiffness and change to their shape (they smelt marginally better).
Good luck in your quest though Josh ..... although doing nothing will increasingly free up space around your preferred climbs when Nuna is crowded on Tuesdays. But you will end up having to solo the routes.
ps I was wrong though - I thought that you would have 10 pages of suggestions on Chocky by now!
12:32:24 PM
No one mentioned the ethics between washing and not washing.
12:56:48 PM

Someone once told me to put gum leaves in my shoes after climbing. I was a bit sceptical, but it turns out it actually works. Best to put them in when your shoes are still wet and gross at the bottom of the crag, then by the next day your shoes will smell bearable.
3:22:42 PM
How about just ...

Harden the FUC|< UP?

3:20:21 PM
On 11/04/2008 uwhp510 wrote:
>How about just ...
>Harden the FUC|< UP?

The anti-sock league bears its ugly head again. Can't we just all get along [sob]

4:32:36 PM
I've found that my shoes stink if I keep them/transport them in my pack. Ever since I started clipping them to the outside the problem has gone away.

No cleaning or washing (of the shoes) required.

4:43:44 PM
The Rubbing alcohol suggestion works, which is the same as sanatising hand gel or metho. Spray it in your shoes and on your feet. It kills the bugs that make the smell.
For 98% of climbing the thin socks in shoes are good also.

1:07:22 PM
^^ see both posts above

Intertesing, they are saying the same thing.. its not the sweat which smells, it's what come after. Either kill it, or let them dry out ... no problem..seems to be the story.

I take my shoes off between climbs, as that helps keep them and my feet dryer..

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