We’ve all been there … smelly, stinky, running shoes!

It doesn’t matter how fresh your new running shoes smell, how well you take care of them, or that you wear a clean pair of socks before each workout, eventually, most people’s shoes will end up smellier than they’d like.

Earlier this year we found ourselves in a really super-stinky situation.

We had just moved to a tropical island and unfortunately the rainy season came late. So instead of avoiding it altogether (as we thought we had so cleverly planned), we were stuck right in the heart of it!

Violent monsoonal rain pounded our bungalow and flooded the area around us.

And of course with monsoon rain comes … mold.

Smelly, sticky, mold. Horrible stuff.

Not long after the monsoon season hit, all our belongings started to smell moldy, and many items were actually covered in mold.

One of the effected items were our running shoes – they had that damp, moldy smell to them.

At this stage, Luca had owned his running shoes for 3 years, and although they didn’t smell like roses, they also weren’t deathly with foot odor.

After a few consecutive days of being cooped up at home, unable to go for a run because of the heavy rain, there was a small break in the weather.

However, with the weather being so temperamental, Natasha wisely decided to stay at home and not take the risk of going for a run.

Daredevil Luca on the other hand, decided to go for it. 

Sure enough, not long after he set out, he was caught in another torrential downpour.

By the time he came home, he was totally drenched – everything on him was saturated… including his running shoes.

Now, if you’ve ever lived in tropical monsoon season, you’ll know that nothing dries … seriously, nothing!

And so, his waterlogged running shoes had no hope.

What we soon found was that his wet shoes reeked a horrific smell!

The existing bacteria population that had accumulated in his shoes over the last 3 years had exploded in the wet conditions, and the previous, relatively innocuous, damp, moldy smell had become a revolting, vile one of old cheese! 

But, amazingly, we did manage to save the shoes!

Eventually the rain stopped and the shoes did dry, so that was step one. However the smell remained.

Here’s what we did… We removed and discarded the obnoxious smelling insoles – that’s easy enough to do.

As for the rest of the stinky shoes, we removed the laces, pulled back the tongues to provide ventilation to the soles, and poured baking soda over every square inch of the soles. Why?? Because baking soda absorbs odors!

We then left the shoes to sit with the baking soda and, every other day or so, we would pour out the old baking soda and replace it with a new batch. 

We just repeated this step until the odor had been absorbed sufficiently enough to make the shoes bearable. We then bought a new pair of insoles and, sure enough, the shoes were saved and can still be worn!

So, that’s our stinky running shoes hack … we hope your shoes never smell as bad as Luca’s did, but if they ever do, you know this hack will likely work for you too.

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