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Thursday, 7 April 2011

What to do with smelly boots

I posted here and here about my bike boots, a pair of Sidi Black Rain Evo. Overall, I am very impressed with them, with slight reservations about the ventilation and the quality of the zips. (Spraying the zips with silicon spray from Halfords has helped a lot.) But after four years they were starting to get unhygienic. As I posted here, I got them good and wet inside last weekend at the beginning of a 12-hour day on the bike. A day of dampness has turned the slight whiff (it's not cheesy feet, it's a nasty chemical smell) into a full-blown Satan's Halitosis experience.

Yesterday I cleaned them inside with hot water and baby shampoo, and then made up a mix of sterilising fluid (the kind you use for baby feeding bottles, keeping the baby theme going). I poured this into the boots up to about ankle level and left it there for half an hour. To the boots' credit, not a drop escaped. I then rinsed them and left them to drain outside. It was a warm day and by evening they were more or less dry. The smell had reduced but not gone, so today I repeated the procedure, but with dilute Domestos.

It might seem a brutal way to treat your kit, but it seems to have worked. Although they are not yet fully dry, all that sticking your nose in and inhaling deeply gets you is a faint odour of swimming pool. They haven't lost their shape or suffered any apparent harm.

It's a last resort solution. If this doesn't work, then I will have to start looking for some new ones. With four years' daily use, and with the toes almost worn through (do I drag them in the corners that much?) I don't think they owe me anything now.


  1. "baby shampoo", "baby feeding bottles", has the Bonnie sired a Tiger Cub?

  2. If only. I would LOVE one of those.

  3. Who told you to fill your boots?

    Why not just bung 'em in the washing machine like trainers?

    I have just been somewhat reckless and bought a new pair of Alpinestars SMX5s to replace my Sidis on the basis that they are more comfortable, the Sidis being a little narrow fitting. Amazing that you can find size 14s on ebay!

  4. My accountant/leisure services manager would not permit the washing machine option.

    The Sidis are a little narrow fitting, but I got the size 12 as opposed to my usual 10.5 or 11 and they fit well. You didn't get the *white* Alpinestars, did you?


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