Got Smelly Cycling Shoes? Here Are Five Easy Ways to Fix the Smell

Got Smelly Cycling Shoes? Here Are Five Easy Ways to Fix the Smell

I have a cousin who doesn’t just ride his bike– oh no, this determined cousin of mine enjoys long cycles across entire states on his freakin’ bicycle. I kid you not, this dude can and has started from the northern tip of the United States and pedaled his way on down to Texas. 


The Rockies? Psshah, my cycle-crazy cousin can cover that distance in like a weekend(ish). The whole dry desert bit of Nevada? Honestly, I think that he probs biked across all of that faster than I could have gone with a car. Seriously, said cousin has an actual tent that folds down small enough to strap in next to his water bottle. 


Me, on the other hand? Ah, well once I managed a measly 8 miles and back again, but only because between the “there and back again” in the middle there was a Starbucks, and they had glazed donuts for me to snack on. So… I suppose I can’t really say that I’m as ardent a cyclist as my cousin.


BUT do you want to know what both my cousin and I have in common? We’ve got the same likelihood for getting stinky cycling shoes! 


I mean, granted his cycling shoes totally go through way more wear and tear than my own, but nonetheless, we’ve each got to deal with the dreaded foot stank.


Good thing that we’ve got these upcoming five ways to quickly and easily deodorize our smelly cycling shoes, am I right?


I am right, and you’ve got stinky shoes that you’ve got to deodorize, so read on!


Table of Contents

    1. Win the Day with White Vinegar

    2. Lose the Crazy Foot Smell with Lemon or Lime Peels

    3. Airing Out Absolutely is the Way to Defeat Dank Smells

    4. Freezer Fights Foot Funk like you Wouldn't Believe!

    5. Better Smells with LUMI’s Extra Strength Lemon Eucalyptus Natural Shoe Deodorizer

    1. White Vinegar

    Vinegar is totally kind of whiffy, I get it, but the rank bacteria think so as well!


    Let’s get into it with the first item up on our list: white vinegar. Yes, I’m certainly well aware that it's a mere staple in your kitchen or pantry, but trust me when I say that this stuff packs a bigger punch than most of us would ever give it credit for, particularly where pungent problems are concerned.


    It’s actually a matter of just a wee bit of science. You see, it’s not your poor pedaling feet that are making the shoes super rank– the stank is actually a byproduct of bad-smelling bacteria that live on your feet and feed off of the moisture leftover from any kind of sweating and also off of any spare dead skin cells which happen to be hanging about. *Read: basically, your feet are funky because they make for an utterly fabulous all-you-can-eat buffet for that stinky bacteria.


    Yeah, it’s totally not crazy-fun to think about. I mean, bacteria? Like, on our feet? WHY!? 


    Yes, yes, and to that last question, I totally don’t know, ma’ dude, like the smelly cycling gods that may be probably don’t even know why themselves.


    In the meantime, however, we can totally work to address the bad-smelling bacteria with the help of some vinegar; I’m just going to be recommending the plain old white kind of vinegar, simply because it’s usually what’s the cheapest available and/or already in your kitchen pantry (keeping it simple is the goal, yes?).


    All you have to do is soak some cotton rounds or pads in some of the white vinegar, and then in order to deodorize your stinky cycling cycling shoes just stick it all in and leave it to hang out overnight or longer if you can.


    The natural acidity in the white vinegar ought to really put a dent in the resident bacteria populating your poor pungent peds, and before you know it, you’ll be back to having your (not so) stinky cycling shoes smelling better than ever!


    2.  Lemon or Lime Peels

    Get yourself some citrusy zest for the best sorts of smells!


    Our next one, like white vinegar, uses its natural acidity to really show the stinky bacteria who’s the freakin’ boss– if you weren’t entirely positive, that’s you btw, and YOU are going to be the one save your smelly cycling shoes from their dank doom!


    That’s right, ma’ dear, yet quite likely just a wee bit rank reader! You’re going to save your stinky cycling shoes once and for all with these kinds of deodorzing strategies.


    Let’s talk about lemons and limes: basically, their peels are naturally sort of sour (a mind-blowing fact for *many* of you, without any kind of doubt). That natural kind of mouth-puckering vibe is precisely what stink-producing bacteria tend to abhor, and we want a whole lot of it to make sure that stinky shoes won’t ever get to the point where our poor nose hairs are just literally begging for mercy from the radioactive rank rising up from your stinky cycling shoes.


    First, get yourself a couple of heaping tablespoons of lemon or lime peels (either or is totally going to work just fine– go for what’s cheapest at your local grocery store this week, or like I guess with whichever is already stored up in your fridge). Then you’re gong to carefully spread out the lemon or lime peels inside of your stinky cycling shoes, making sure that they evenly cover the material where your foot normally goes, and afterward you’ve just got to leave it all to sit overnight.


    Go for longer if you can, of course, but you really have to make sure not to forget to leave the LITERAL AND ACTUAL FRUIT inside of your (hopefully soon-to-not-be) smelly cycling shoes.


    For real, fruit regularly goes bad if it’s not refrigerated, after a little while, m’kay? Be reasonable, and don’t leave the lemon or lime peels inside of your shoes unrefrigerated for any longer than you think is smart– I’m trusting you not to be dumb, got it?


    3. Airing Out

    Who doesn't love a good breath of fresh air? I mean, you're a cyclist, so I'm going to assume that's you too!


    Airing out stinky shoes is a sure-fire way to really make sure that your cycling footwear won’t smell foul ever again. 


    I mean, who doesn’t feel like a good, swift breath of fresh air isn’t what literally everybody needs? My old high school biology teacher used to have a saying for when we had to clean up acid off of those notoriously fireproof (but not necessarily acid-proof) desks in many a high school science class: “The solution to pollution is dilution!” It was what he said when I asked if the stuff (AKA the acid we’d been experimenting with but a moment ago) was safe to touch– it most certainly was not. Dilution time!


    But thanks to dilution plenty of bad things can easily become a pesky problem of the pungent past. Make way for the must more pleasant-smelling present, my dear yet quite likely stinky cyclers!


    All you have to do to fix those stinky cycling shoes is make sure to store them outside, where they can get plenty of sunshine and lots of moving air. NO GYM BAGS, alright? Only good, plain old fresh air.


    Storing your stinky cycling shoes outside might not precisely an option for you, however (which I can totally relate to, as I look outside to see a fresh pile of snow and ice in the yard outside my window that’ll probs be there for at least another week). If that’s you, or something like it, then you should totally and most absolutely feel free to store the smelly cycling shoes inside, but at least somewhere with lots of sunlight and perhaps a moving air current, like by a window that typically gets lots of bright sunlight, for example, or simply store ‘em by a nice air vent.


    4. Freezer

    Stinky shoe popsicles may not have been *exactly* what you thought you'd want to have in the freezer, but read on to learn why you should!


    Up next on our easy solutions for stinky cycling shoes is your very own freezer! Yes, you read that right, your eyes aren’t clocking out just quite yet (unlike your sense of smell, which we all know is pretty whacked at this point due to your poor pungent peds). 


    Now, I know that even being so bold as to state the word “freezer” on this here list of odor-eliminating hacks is somewhat mad, but trust me when I say that the method is not only sound, but actually quite effective. Like, really, really effective; and with this frigid lil’ tip up your bicycling glove, you’ll never ever have to worry about that crazy cycling shoe stank again!


    Said stank is smacked right up its grody face when the odor-producing bacteria are shivering their lil’ hinies off. Basically, what we’re going to want to do here is force the rank bacteria to freeze for as long as possible, so much so that when we haul our shoes out again for a bike ride, said bacteria will be in positively no condition to go about producing shoe stank rank enough to be considered utterly radioactive.


    First off, I’m going to suggest that you get yourself a pillowcase or some other bag to wrap up the stinky shoes with– I mean, I know that you take care of your beloved shoes and all, but still… I def ain’t one to go about putting any kind of shoe in right next to the ice cream, ya’ know? 


    If you want to fix your stinky cycling shoes for good, stow ‘em on in the pillowcase and then stow that pillowcase right on into the freezer. Leave everything to *chill* while you sleep and dream of cycling down gorgeous rivers and winning ALL of the biking races (if that’s your thing), and then wake up to shoes that don’t smell like a physical punch to the nose. 


    Leave 'em in the freezer for longer if you really want to freeze out the stank, and give the bacteria a brain-freeze (or the microbial equivalent– do bacteria possess brains? I feel like if they did, they’d just spend all of their spare time evilly cackling in our poor shoes– at least, they did before you went on and froze ‘em out)!


    5. LUMI’s Extra Strength Lemon Eucalyptus Natural Shoe Deodorizer


    LUMI’s Extra Strength Lemon Eucalyptus Natural Shoe Deodorizer is the final trick we’ve got up our sleeves for deodorizing our stinky cycling shoes. LUMI is a simple, all-natural shoe deodorizing spray and trust me when I say that not only does this stuff get rid of the bad shoe smell, but that it also makes your cycling shoes smell better than they ever might have before.


    Ok, and I get that you might just want more than one opinion. How about 10,000 PLUS opinions over on Amazon? For realzies, those 10,000 happy customers have left utterly perfect 5-star reviews for LUMI’s Extra Strength Lemon Eucalyptus Natural Shoe Deodorizer, resulting in a solid 4.4 star-rating overall. It’s the company’s BEST-FREAKIN’-SELLING product; if that doesn’t tell you something, I think the funky footwear fumes may have gone straight to your head, and it’s totally easy to see just exactly why, I mean if you haven’t got LUMI at your back (and in your shoes).


    Amazon reviewer “SaraNYC” here says that she had tried basically everything,  from a million gazillion different shoe deodorizing sprays to charcoal inserts after working out at Soul Cycle, but that LUMI is the only thing that she’s found that can really clear out the shoe smell:


    D to the I to the double-T and O!!! DITTO!!


    It’s number one in her book and in ours! And for good reason, too! Not only is LUMI’s Extra Strength Lemon Eucalyptus Natural Shoe Deodorizer super-duper amazing at speedily deodorizing stinky shoes of all kinds, but it also hails from an extra fabulous company.


    LUMI is a small, family-owned business that only sources the highest quality of  all-natural ingredients, never ever ever (and that truly is ever) tests their products on any animals, and as an added bonus ALL of their products are made in the United States! Go on ahead– you can cue every sort of gospel choir, confetti cannon, and herd of sparkly, glitter-bedecked parade unicorns you’ve got, because yes indeed, they are quite literally and in all truth that fabulous.


    And do you want to know what else is pretty fabulous? The fact that you can spray LUMI’s Extra Strength Lemon Eucalyptus Natural Shoe Deodorizer ANYWHERE and spread that fresh-smelling deodorizing magic wherever it’s needed!


    Got a stinky sink in your kitchen? Yeah, I know, I know, we have no idea as to why, exactly, it smells like all of last week’s food is still hanging out in the drains, but somehow it does. Spray LUMI right on in there, and you’ll be smelling the lovely scents of both citrus and tea tree in no time at all!


    Do you perhaps have a bad-smelling bathroom that just refuses to properly air out? LUMI’s Extra Strength Lemon Eucalyptus Natural Shoe Deodorizer has got your back!


    And your feet too! If you’d like to make your cycling shoes smell better in literally the time it takes to shift up the gears on your bike, then simply spray LUMI’s Extra Strength Lemon Eucalyptus Natural Shoe Deodorizer directly into your stinky shoes a couple of times and voila! Stank salvation has arrived for your shoes! Go forth and smell better than ever while you cycle.


    But let’s just put the pedal on the brakes for a hot moment– I don’t know about all y’all, but I’m totally the kind of person who needs to have some sort of a neat lil’ summary at the end of everything. Yes, lists are totally great and all, but that roadkill you bicycled past a few miles back has a better short-term memory than I do, so I need ALL of the summaries. 


    Let's go through 'em all one by one, and work our way through all of our extra amazing tricks for deodorizing cycling shoes that A) Stink, B) Can knock out the other cyclers in your marathon by mere proximity to the stink, and/or C) The *very-nearly* radioactive stinky cycling shoes of yours that ought to be on some kind of international hazard ban list.


    First up, we have white vinegar, which can easily fix funky footwear because of its natural acidity being really quite dreadful for the dank-smelling bacteria– for real, this stuff and bacteria simply don’t mix well, which is absolutely amazing for all of us who want to learn how to fix stinky cycling shoes ASAP. All you have to do is soak a few cotton rounds or pads in your white vinegar (or whichever variety of the helpful sour pantry staple you already have on hand), and then stick all of that right on into your smelly cycling shoes. Leave everything in there for at least overnight, but go for longer if you can spare the time.


    Lemon or lime peels also can pack a sour punch right at the stinky bacteria who have the freakin’ audacity to go about musting up your poor cycling shoes. Inherent acidity really helps us on out when we put a couple of tablespoons of either lemon or lime peels directly into your stinky shoes (trying to evenly distribute across the material of where your foot normally would go) and then leave everything be overnight or longer (same drill as the last option– longer will work to save your stinky shoes that much better, if you can spare the particular set of stinky shoes for more time). Just make sure that you don’t go about forgetting that you’ve put the lemon or lime peels in there, else they could go bad and then they’ll totally make the cycling shoes smell even worse! Remember that food usually needs to be refrigerated, and sadly enough, even food that is helping us to fix our stinky cycling shoes is no exception.


    Allowing your stinky cycling shoes a good chance to properly air out is also key to achieving better smells for our presently funky footwear. Good old-fashioned sunshine and fresh air are sure to help put a dent in the dank smells currently emanating up from your unfortunately rather rank cycling shoes. All you have to do for this option on how to quickly deodorize your smelly cycling shoes for good is store your stinky shoes outside, or at least in a sunlit area where they can get some nice airflow, all of which can help make your cycling shoes smell better than ever. 


    Freakishly funky smells stand positively NO chance once you stuff the source straight on into the center of Dante’s frigid center of Hell– or just your freezer. Yeah, that works too, should you not have direct access to the frostier alternative. Freezing temperatures seriously work well to fend off the wack wafts spreading up from your stinky cycling shoes. Bad-smelling bacteria totally doesn’t know how to bundle up when the temperature plunges, meaning no more pungent punches to endure from entirely encumbered cycling shoes! For realzies, all you need is a pillowcase or like a bag maybe (we just need to make sure that the ice cream is safe from all of those dang stinky shoe cooties, am I right?), and then obvs you should likely have a freezer that’s in proper working order. Use said fabulous freezer to easily deodorize those stinky cycling shoes after you’ve got them all wrapped up in the pillowcase, and then chuck them (and the unsuspecting smelly bacteria) right on into the cold depths occupied only by ancient casseroles and some lovely Ben and Jerry’s encased by only a wee touch of severe freezer-burn. Leave everything in there for at least overnight, but just tiny bit longer won’t hurt the stinky cycling shoes, and it will definitely be the stank salvation we've been hoping for to save us all from your funky footwear!


    Or just try LUMI’s Extra Strength Lemon Eucalyptus Natural Shoe Deodorizer! This truly fabulous shoe spray is all we need to wrap up this summarized list of easy ways to fix smelly cycling shoes. The extra fantastic shoe spray takes literal moments to take out the deadly dank rank rising up from even the funkiest of footwear. Spritz LUMI right on into your stinky shoes and be fully prepared to head out on ALL of the most amazing cycling adventures, whether that be at your nearest-located gym, a couple of state-wide slogs, or anything in-between!


    Use any of these super amazing options to deodorize cycling shoes quickly, and most importantly, supes successfully. You could even try using two at a time if you’d like to doubly make sure that stinky shoe smell never comes back again! Just like a good old sub sandwich at your fave snack stop on a bike ride, combos are always just kind of the best, and that goes for easy smelly shoe hacks as well! Maybe even go for tripling up on these terrific footwear deodorizing tricks if you’d like to be sure that you’ve deodorized your smelly cycling shoes for good! 

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