Day 3; Impatience and Ooh That Smell

Why is this taking so long?

As I went home after work yesterday, I was disappointed by how long this whole process is taking and I am growing antsy about starting to climb. My problem is not that I am still waiting for my shoes to break in, I have an extra pair of shoes to wear, but I am unable to wear shoes because I tore up my toes with blisters while trying to stretch my new shoes. With this said, climbing not only includes being on a rock but also preparation and planning. Part of this process for me included joining the Forum at and cleaning out my 5 year old 5.10 newtons that were caked with Odor Eating Powder and smelled like an outhouse.

Taking care of the smell and cleaning my climbing shoes

I approached this process very carefully because I did not want to ruin the rubber or shape of the shoes. But it needed to be done. See, I had the bright idea when I was climbing years ago, and my shoes were making my car smell like a week old dead person, that I was going to use some Dr. Scholl’s Odor Eater powder in my shoes. BAD BAD BAD idea. It sort of took care of the odor problem and my girlfriend (now wife) was placated, but the powder caked the inside of my shoes and the grime built up over time. While my passengers no longer cringed at the smell of my car, my feet were coated with the powder after every climb. Something needed to be done about this so I used my chalk brush and the water from my sink and scrubbed away. I put some water inside the shoe, no more than was needed and scrubbed until the powder turned up and I could see the sole. Afterwiping it out with a damp sponge, I used a dry cloth and wiped away any excess water and then left them out to dry.

Going forward, I have resolved to use a spray to take care of the smell but my expectations are not high. As far as using any kind of odor eating method, most are probably not going to work as well as we would like, and I think it is good to expect that your climbing shoes are going to smell no matter how much work you put into them. But, this is definitly one of the joys of being a climber, and the worse your shoes stink the better of a climber you probably are. You will just have to learn how not to care that people would prefer to be in the morgue than to go for a ride in your car with you. However, if you want to do something about it, I have listed some tips below for some things that you can do to help manage the smell.

Tips for climbing shoe smells

1. Pull your climbing shoes out of your bag after climbing and let them air out

2. Use a disinfecting and deodorizing spray like Lysol Disinfecting Spray; or a bowling shoes disinfectant which is safer than Lysol to use on Leather but not as easy to find in a store

3. Do not leave your shoes in your car

4. Wear thin socks or liners with your shoe -not recommended for aggressive  shoes

5. Do not wear open toed shoes on your approach – bacteria and dirt will get on your feet and spread when you wear your climbing shoes

6. If none of these work, try not smelling the shoes

7. Have a little fun with it  and next time you have a passenger in the car play some Lyryrd Skynyrd “That Smell”

I hope that this helps, you will likely still have problems with the smell even if you did everything here. But it may help ease your mind if you try them.

Remember, you can always smell a good climber.


2 Responses to “Day 3; Impatience and Ooh That Smell”
Check out what others are saying...
  1. […] article is an adaptation of a previous article I wrote  about cleaning the Odor Eating Powder out of my old climbing shoes. Many of you reading […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: