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Author Topic:   Keeping boat shoes from stinking
jmarlo posted 02-12-2007 06:58 PM ET (US)   Profile for jmarlo   Send Email to jmarlo  
Any good ideas on how to keep leather docksider type shoes from stinking after a day on the water? Fresh water rinsing, drying out, sprays, etc. don't seem to work. Wearing socks is not an option (and does not help anyway). And no, my feet don't stink too bad in other type shoes (at least thats my perception).

Not the most important topic admittedly.

fno posted 02-12-2007 08:13 PM ET (US)     Profile for fno  Send Email to fno     
Ask your wife, or her mother.
Treypescatorie posted 02-12-2007 08:26 PM ET (US)     Profile for Treypescatorie  Send Email to Treypescatorie     
Try taking up golf!
BOB KEMMLER JR posted 02-12-2007 08:30 PM ET (US)     Profile for BOB KEMMLER JR    
Shoes stay at the dock,when on the boat i'm always barefoot.
Yiddil posted 02-12-2007 08:33 PM ET (US)     Profile for Yiddil  Send Email to Yiddil     
I wasn't going to but I just had to....ask your wife or4 her mother??????????? Holy Moly! did I get that right??????

Howsa bout you go bearfoot or go see a podiatrist...GEEEZE...

Does this only happen ona whaler??? cause Im not sure it belongs here if its not about whalers....maybe there is something in the refernece section on this very pressing issue....?


Kingsteven18 posted 02-12-2007 09:16 PM ET (US)     Profile for Kingsteven18  Send Email to Kingsteven18     
See the thread on pressure washing or the one on sand blasting....
13sport posted 02-12-2007 09:22 PM ET (US)     Profile for 13sport    
Stop using deodorant. Your arm pits will smell so bad that you'll forget about your shoes.


bms1939 posted 02-12-2007 09:32 PM ET (US)     Profile for bms1939  Send Email to bms1939     
Try a pair of sandals (not leather) instead of the boat shoes.
HAPPYJIM posted 02-12-2007 10:28 PM ET (US)     Profile for HAPPYJIM  Send Email to HAPPYJIM     
I have 3 pair of Sperry's that I rotate.

One pair is really beat and I just wear them around the shop.

Another pair are well worn but still wearable in public.

My good pair are for dress occasions.

They all stink and I am proud of them .

PeteB88 posted 02-12-2007 10:47 PM ET (US)     Profile for PeteB88  Send Email to PeteB88     
Wear socks - Bridgedale or Smartwool wool socks even in summer or get appropriate non leather footware - I totally love my Keen sandals and Chacos are strong second.

YOu are dealing with organic material, leather, which is likely to get stinky. YOu can scrub the leather and let dry which it will not totally in marine environment.

Barefoot, sandals, Gill boots, something non leather = no stink.

Jkcam posted 02-13-2007 05:30 AM ET (US)     Profile for Jkcam  Send Email to Jkcam

Forget the stinky boat shoes, for years they have been made cheaply and are iffy on a boat at best. Join the 21st century.

Socks do help, but bottom line, if the leather gets wet, stays wet, and your feet are in them, they will stink.

Beyond that, mix three bloody marry's. Pour one in each shoe and drink the third. The smell goes away.

ConnorEl posted 02-13-2007 07:28 AM ET (US)     Profile for ConnorEl  Send Email to ConnorEl     
1. Do not wear the same pair of shoes two days in a row. Let them thoroughly dry out before wearing them again. Two or three pairs of shoes will suffice even if you’re boating daily.

2. Use some brand of inserts WITH deodorizing properties (activated charcoal, etc.). These things really help and can be replaced in several months if needed. Don’t use inserts designed to provide ONLY “comfort” and with no deodorizing properties.

Erik 88Montauk posted 02-13-2007 07:32 AM ET (US)     Profile for Erik 88Montauk  Send Email to Erik 88Montauk     
Awl Grip the bottom of your feet. You won't need shoes this way and if you do happen to put them on, your feet won't sweat.
erik selis posted 02-13-2007 07:33 AM ET (US)     Profile for erik selis  Send Email to erik selis     
Charcoal inlays. Replace them every 6 weeks.


filthypit posted 02-13-2007 09:47 AM ET (US)     Profile for filthypit  Send Email to filthypit     
you can run them through the washing machine w/ hot/warm water, the normal amount of detergent & use the normal wash cycle.

it'll work - i guarantee.

and i would invest in a back-up pair as well. one can never have too many topsiders!

when you're fishing for big gamefish, it's pretty dangerous to go barefoot. you should always wear shoes then.

filthypit posted 02-13-2007 09:48 AM ET (US)     Profile for filthypit  Send Email to filthypit     
BTW: filthypit is a place, not a physical attribute
BOB KEMMLER JR posted 02-13-2007 09:50 AM ET (US)     Profile for BOB KEMMLER JR    
Friends don't let friends wear crocs.
Whaler_bob posted 02-13-2007 10:29 AM ET (US)     Profile for Whaler_bob  Send Email to Whaler_bob     
There's no way to keep leather shoes from stinking once you perspire in them (especially without socks). Getting them wet in salt water only makes it worse. Some people put stinky leather shoes in a plastic bag and shove em in the freezer for a day or two- it's supposed to kill the bacteria that causes the smell?? Never tried that one.

Best bet is to but a cheap pair of "water shoes" like the ones pictured here: sr=1-87/qid=1171379476/ref=sr_1_87/104-8002232-3555913?ie=UTF8&s=apparel
Nice thing about them is that they dry almost instantly due to the nylon mesh uppers and most have slots in the rubber bottoms to drain out water quickly unlike the leather boat shoes that stay damp for many hours. When you get home, just spray em down with the garden hose and leave em outside to dry. If for some reason they smell after that... just leave them outside- it's ok... they're not leather. It's got to be better for your feet too, not being in that damp, dark, warm environment.

I usually buy a new pair of "water shoes" at Wal-Mart, Target, or BJ's every spring. Usually under $10, last spring I bought two pairs so I wouldn't have to get one this spring.

PeteB88 posted 02-13-2007 12:00 PM ET (US)     Profile for PeteB88  Send Email to PeteB88     
KEEN's When they start to ferment, throw them in the washer.

If you are out on an adventure, scrub them with beach sand, let them dry.

There is NO such thing as waterproof leather, ultimately and finally.

Perry posted 02-13-2007 12:04 PM ET (US)     Profile for Perry  Send Email to Perry     
Go barefoot.
jmarlo posted 02-13-2007 12:31 PM ET (US)     Profile for jmarlo  Send Email to jmarlo     
Thanks for the great responses. I will try throwing them in the washing machine--dont know why I never thought about that. Barefoot is not an option, especially when trying to negotiate the tip toe around access to the bow on my Revenge (too slippery). Do the charcoal inserts work when saturated with water? Other synthetic shoes do work without the stink, but they are so darn ugly.
sternorama posted 02-13-2007 01:08 PM ET (US)     Profile for sternorama  Send Email to sternorama     
(with props to Bob Kemmler Jr)...friends definately don't let friends wear Walmart water shoes!

cgodfrey posted 02-13-2007 02:45 PM ET (US)     Profile for cgodfrey  Send Email to cgodfrey     
Washing Machine's not going to be any more effective than hosing them out. Trust me. They might smell vaguely detergenty for a few hours, max.

I vote for the Crocs.
-Laces? Pff!
-They float
-They dry fast
-Good wet deck grip.
-When ELSE are you going to have perfectly good justification to wear high visibility orange or yellow shoes?

And if BW and Crocs were to sign a licensing agreement, odds are half decent you'd see Bob Kemmler in a hat, sunglasses and fake mustache, standing in line for his BW logoed crocs. Hehe.

Leather boat shoes are for yachting, not Whalering.

The Judge posted 02-13-2007 02:59 PM ET (US)     Profile for The Judge  Send Email to The Judge     
Leather is still better than canvas. I have a few canvas pairs that I leave outside. Then again I get them on clearance at Boat US or West for like $10 a pair(Sperry) so i have no qualms kicking them to the curb. The best way to keep them "fresh" is to wear them loose so they breathe. Washer owrks but for a day or 2 max, same as hose. Those gellin like felon insoles work pretty good but cost $8 pair.
minitauk85 posted 02-13-2007 05:57 PM ET (US)     Profile for minitauk85  Send Email to minitauk85     
Dunk them in a 10% bleach solution, wait about 1/2 hour, rinse thoroughly,and then let them air dry in the sun. You won't have to do this but maybe once a month. They won't last as long, usually the stitching gives out first, however boat shoes are just that, boat shoes! If your scared to dunk them completely then use a cloth to wipe them out with the same bleach solution. This should be easier on them than the washing machine.-k
kingfish posted 02-13-2007 06:22 PM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     
Get rid of those leather shoes and get the Sperry Topsider SB870. They are made in conjunction with New Balance so they have great foot support, they're lightweight, and when they need to be cleaned, throw them in the washing machine. They are all I've worn for years around boats (although there are some Keen sandals that have caught my eye), and I'm always rotating through 4 or 5 pair of them Great shoes!


bkovak posted 02-13-2007 06:30 PM ET (US)     Profile for bkovak  Send Email to bkovak     
Leave some old bait or bunker out on deck. The smell will make you forget about the shoes ... Or, you can always try sprinkling some baking soda or baby powder inside before wearing them, helps absorb the perspiration and the odor.
A2J15Sport posted 02-13-2007 07:29 PM ET (US)     Profile for A2J15Sport  Send Email to A2J15Sport     
Leather is the problem.

I've resorted to the canvas shoes available at Wal Mart. They do not mar anything and are about $8.00/pair.

If they get funky, they go in the trash.

Kingsteven18 posted 02-13-2007 09:36 PM ET (US)     Profile for Kingsteven18  Send Email to Kingsteven18     
Just use them for shark bait.
ConnorEl posted 02-14-2007 02:50 AM ET (US)     Profile for ConnorEl  Send Email to ConnorEl     
In my experience any shoe made from any material can stink. I’m stickin’ with my traditional leather boat shoes with odor neutralizing inserts and frequent rotation of multiple pairs. This has worked well for me, even when feet and shoes get wet.

I can’t imagine going barefoot. Well, OK, I can imagine doing so but in the imagining I’m persuaded to not boat sans shoes. Too many opportunities to slip or to injure my tender feet!

To each his own.

mobey posted 02-14-2007 08:12 AM ET (US)     Profile for mobey  Send Email to mobey     
In the kitchen sink: Water with dish soap and a little bleach for a few minutes- then outside to dry in the sun. This is the only thing that has yet to work for me. Either take off your shirt, or be very careful not to get a drop of bleach/ bleach water on you clothes- I've paid the price of the menacing bleach drips a few times...
esakca posted 02-14-2007 01:53 PM ET (US)     Profile for esakca  Send Email to esakca     
How about these top-sider's that have an anti-stink footbed? Sounds great to me!

So do these:

And these:

Depends on whether you're looking for a boat shoe, a fishing shoe or something more athletic.

JustinAndersen posted 02-14-2007 02:19 PM ET (US)     Profile for JustinAndersen  Send Email to JustinAndersen     
Why do you think that a pair of Topsiders fits so perfectly in the storage area of the back of your RPS? Why do you think that the BW sole is white or desert tan? You're meant to be barefoot while on your Whaler!
skiprobinson posted 02-14-2007 03:16 PM ET (US)     Profile for skiprobinson  Send Email to skiprobinson     
I vote for Crocs, they are cheap, they float and they are amazingly comfortable and non slip...who gives a rats are if they are UGLY.
Yiddil posted 02-14-2007 03:25 PM ET (US)     Profile for Yiddil  Send Email to Yiddil     
I second the crocs:)..yes there ugly but man are they easy on the feet and water slip proff1!!
poker13 posted 02-14-2007 04:44 PM ET (US)     Profile for poker13    
The Sperry Fathom Fisherman looks ideal: jsp?itemID=954&itemType=PRODUCT&iProductID=954

Scott Grey posted 02-14-2007 10:01 PM ET (US)     Profile for Scott Grey  Send Email to Scott Grey     
Crocs work! They don't slip when on the deck and are easy on you feet. Mine are a light grey/white and don't get hot no matter how long you leave them in the sun. Not sure about the other colors but mine don't leave any marks being white.
bretm1 posted 02-14-2007 10:29 PM ET (US)     Profile for bretm1  Send Email to bretm1     
I find this topic disturbingly unavoidable. Kind of like that show "Deal or No Deal". Something strange is compelling me to participate in this.

Firstly, you may have athletes foot or possibly a bacteria under your nails. This needs to be addressed and treated using solutions and sometimes medication. Some of these conditions often go unnoticed and they are nothing to be embarrased about.

Secondly, drink lots of water. Everything you put into your body is processed and secreted in various fashions. Your pores are one of these. You eat garlic, you sweat it. You drink gin, you sweat it. You get the picture. A gallon of water a day can help offset the odor you emit from all of those smelly things we ingest and ultimately make your feet smell less.

Lastly, shoes as probably mentioned already are a haven and breeding ground for bacteria. You have the three "D's",dirty,damp and dark going on in there and if you are not wearing socks it is comparable to not wearing undergarments with your pants. That's O.K. but if you are going to do this, you need to constantly wash whatever item you are wearing with out undergarments,like your shoes in this case.

crabby posted 02-14-2007 10:41 PM ET (US)     Profile for crabby  Send Email to crabby     
Leave one pair on the boat and put something else on your feet when you leave it. Leave the boat shoes on the top of the console to air out between runs; leave the other shoes outside when you get anyplace.

Or get a dog that will take possession of them as soon as they are ripe enough for his or her liking.

MattInSanDiego posted 02-15-2007 02:31 AM ET (US)     Profile for MattInSanDiego  Send Email to MattInSanDiego     
Load em up with baby powder before you leve the house.
tombro posted 02-15-2007 06:08 AM ET (US)     Profile for tombro  Send Email to tombro     
I got on board with the Crocs last year and never looked back. Just hose them off.
chopbuster posted 02-15-2007 03:53 PM ET (US)     Profile for chopbuster  Send Email to chopbuster     
laxbill posted 02-15-2007 09:13 PM ET (US)     Profile for laxbill  Send Email to laxbill     
I have white, navy and tan em approx $29. They are non marking and have a good grip on deck.
They are also excellent to absorb shock while standing at the wheel. I don't have a great back and they help as much as any shock mat I have tried.
Many different styles... check out the croc site

You can also get a spinoff style of crocs at Target for approx $8....great to fish in, launch and retrieve the boat.

Every pair of docksiders/topsoiders etc will smell once you get them wet..they can't breathe.

It's 2007 you need to try the crocs. At 57 I did and I'm hooked.

Good luck

Riptide23WA posted 02-17-2007 09:30 PM ET (US)     Profile for Riptide23WA  Send Email to Riptide23WA     
I suppose I could get behind the Croc movement...

... if I only boated in the dead of night, slinking back to the car past all the fishermen that spend the weekend at the dock, wearing a Bayliner jacket, with hood up of course...

Otherwise, I'll stick with my Dubarrys...


placerville posted 02-18-2007 02:51 AM ET (US)     Profile for placerville  Send Email to placerville     
I bought this stuff called Myrazime from a diving catalog.
It supposedly works microbially instead by sterylization like soap. My neopreme dive booties use to smell like death. Now they smell like, well not quite as bad.
myakka posted 02-18-2007 07:50 AM ET (US)     Profile for myakka  Send Email to myakka     
Bayliner doesn't have logo'ed Crocs yet.
WhalerAce posted 07-04-2007 12:52 AM ET (US)     Profile for WhalerAce  Send Email to WhalerAce     
I saw this thread when it first came out, read it a few times, and then dismissed it. Everybody knows that REAL boaters wear TopSiders.

That is until the Sarasota rendezvous this year. When Joy and I went out for breakfast Saturday morning, we stopped by the West Marine. One of the great bargains that rhwy had that day was Crocs (weird color like Yellow) on sale for $10.

Joy got me a pair. They are, without a doubt, the most comfortable shoes I have ever worn!. We went back the next day and bought three more pair (different colors), all with the holes in the top for ventilation.

Now that I am back home, we have bought five more pair from the Crocs folks in more traditional colors like tan, blue, black, etc., and I wear them to work. Some of our days are 18 hours, with LOTS of walking, and my feet feel more rested than with any other shoe.

I have no connection with the Crocs folks, but if you have never worn any, get some and try them. They are great.

And to tie it in to this article: if you get the hole-topped ones, you can go barefoot with no odor problem, but I wear socks with the full-topped ones because they are rubber/plastic/"space-age-stuff" and don't breathe, so you need some kind of air gap.

I forget who said it in another thread, but TopSiders are for YACHTS, Crocs are for BOATS.

Happy Fourth.

--- WhalerAce

HAPPYJIM posted 07-04-2007 02:06 AM ET (US)     Profile for HAPPYJIM  Send Email to HAPPYJIM     
I broke down and bought a pair of Croc's after 3 trips to the shoe store, trying them on. They are BUTT UGLY!

I bought a pair of the dark grey. I just wore them around the house and in the yard for a few weeks. My brother made remarks that will ruin this thread if I tell you. These are the Geekiest shoes that I have ever seen. They sure are comfortable though.

I wear them out in public now. They look a little like clown shoes. I'm not sure but it feels like my feet are being messaged when I walk in them. Nicest ugly shoes I ever had.

HAPPYJIM posted 07-04-2007 02:07 AM ET (US)     Profile for HAPPYJIM  Send Email to HAPPYJIM     
I'll keep the Sperry's for sailing and drinking.
17 bodega posted 07-04-2007 05:00 AM ET (US)     Profile for 17 bodega  Send Email to 17 bodega     
Crocs rock!
lakeman posted 07-04-2007 06:42 AM ET (US)     Profile for lakeman  Send Email to lakeman     
Got to go with CROCs. I also have a pair of washable leather dexters boat shoes which I use occasionally, when I forget the crocs. They do wash well, but not as comfortable in the boat.
tombro posted 07-04-2007 06:51 AM ET (US)     Profile for tombro  Send Email to tombro     
Crocs rule!
cotton posted 07-04-2007 02:17 PM ET (US)     Profile for cotton    
Crocs....hottest new things for medical personnel on floor duty!
elaelap posted 07-06-2007 04:27 PM ET (US)     Profile for elaelap  Send Email to elaelap     
Not to rain on anyone's parade, but I was just about to order a pair of Crocs online when I came upon this review:

" Croc Islanders June 03, 2007
Reviewer: J from Southern Florida
Shoe Size: Felt true to size
Shoe Width: Felt true to width
I bought these shoes to wear for work that requires a lot of standing. They are comfortable and don't need to be "broken in". Because of the material they are made of, they seem to retain foot odor more than most shoes even though they are perforated." [emphasis added]

I wear rubber boots during the cold season and any old sneakers when it's hot. Fresh socks have kept the boots from stinking, and I wash the sneakers alone with a little bleach every now and then in the washing machine and let them dry in the sun.

I still might buy a pair of Crocs for the cushioning and comfort, but it looks like they need to be hosed down after each use sans socks, which ain't no big deal.


poker13 posted 07-06-2007 05:45 PM ET (US)     Profile for poker13    
I have a pair and they have never stunk, but I guess some people's funk is stronger. You just have to try them.
elaelap posted 07-06-2007 08:17 PM ET (US)     Profile for elaelap  Send Email to elaelap     
Too bad they don't have half sizes. I wear size 11 shoes, 11 1/2 boots, and 10 1/2 sandals. Should I go with the 10s or 11s? I just got back from SportsMart trying to get a fit, but the less expensive ones sold there only come in 'Medium', 'Large', 'Extra-Large', and like that. I like the 'Islander' style that Poke linked above, but apparently you've gotta order those online, and with exact shoe size. So do they size big or small, Croc fans?


PeteB88 posted 07-06-2007 09:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for PeteB88  Send Email to PeteB88     
Leather is organic - it will absorb and harbor bacteria MICROBes- - microbes and stink more than likely.

How many times have you seen mugs putting silicone or some mink oil or some "waterproofing" stuff from some stupid MALL store on leather boots and then complain that the boots leak? Same with those expensive Gortex jackets and then ya all go out in a driving rain and bitch because the $450 high tech sucker leaked while you were fishing?

If you were fishing right you will have been moving constantly and what you think was a leak was sweat.

Back to the boots - if you want waterproof get rubber, vinyl, poly something or whatever is impervious to water - leather fails the leak test and harbors enough bacteria to stink - Smell-O-Vision - STink Foot as Mr Zappa said - you or me aint' doin a damn thing about that. SO you know what you gotta do - get Keens. or Chacos or La Crosse or commercial foot ware. Same w/ jackets- get Helly Hanson commercial fishing gear, green, jackets and bottoms, neoprene waders hardcore and you will never get wet in driving rain - only moisture inside will be whatever leaks and your perspiration. The baddest stuff I ever used was Hubert's Shoe Grease - made for Oregon logger's boots - cake the stuff on your leather and go for it - or your climbing boots and head for Mt Hood Summit.

Now go for it!!!!

JayR posted 07-06-2007 10:20 PM ET (US)     Profile for JayR  Send Email to JayR     
"but it looks like they need to be hosed down after each use sans socks, which ain't no big deal."

Been wearing mine for weeks without socks and they still smell like new. (and my sneakers are as bad as they get)

They have an "Rx Croc" line with more cushion. Unbelievable is all I can say.

wywhaler posted 07-06-2007 10:47 PM ET (US)     Profile for wywhaler  Send Email to wywhaler     
You might try SAM's Club and check out the Lewis & Clark Outdoors moccasins. Work just fine for me on the boat.
Jkcam posted 07-07-2007 06:13 AM ET (US)     Profile for Jkcam  Send Email to Jkcam     

Wear clean socks.

While working on a charter boat I always wear socks and frequently get my Sperry's wet. I let the wet ones dry 100% and they are as sweet smelling as a strawberry pie.

My informal study determined that, for me, wearing clean socks is a 100% cure.

When not working, and out on my boat, and no wet feet, it is either socks and Sperry's or Crocs.

Bottom line:

Clean socks every time I wear Sperry's.

poker13 posted 07-09-2007 05:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for poker13    
Speaking of clean socks, I hope nobody here has this kind of problem:

Man's smelly feet trigger police raid
Mon Jul 9, 8:11 AM ET

BERLIN (Reuters) - German police broke into a darkened apartment fearing they would find a dead body, after neighbors complained of a nasty smell seeping out onto the staircase.

The shutters of the apartment had been closed for more than a week and the mailbox was filled with uncollected mail.

But instead of a corpse, they found a tenant with very smelly feet, asleep in bed next to a pile of foul-smelling laundry, police in the southwestern town of Kaiserslautern said on Sunday.

Buckda posted 07-09-2007 05:51 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
I still wear a pair of Teva's that I bought in 1995...and I have a very strong foot funk according to my roommate. I rinse the sandals after each outing and then wipe the soles down with cleaning vinegar and water (100:1) solution. Rinse again and let stand to dry. No problems, although I need a new pair now that the velcro straps are coming loose. Perhaps I'll try these Croc's. Are they impervious to strong cleaning solutions such as vinegar and/or bleach?

poker13 posted 07-10-2007 10:55 AM ET (US)     Profile for poker13    
Apparently they are not harmed by bleach since the manufacturer recommends you disinfect them with a bleach solution when needed.
cgodfrey posted 07-16-2007 02:39 PM ET (US)     Profile for cgodfrey  Send Email to cgodfrey     
If you ever wanted to totally over analyze your crocs...

this article's for you

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