Over the years, I have tried a billion* different methods to fix this problem. Baby powder, throwing them in the washer, spraying them with different combinations of chemicals, stuffing them with dryer sheets... the list goes on.
Recently, I conducted a Google search for smelly gym shoes. One thing that kept coming up was a product called Gran's Remedy. It's manufactured in New Zealand, and is supposed to cure the stank on even the stank nastiest of shoes. I immediately went over to Amazon to search for it, because I knew I wasn't spending all that money on it PLUS shipping fees, despite the necessity of it. On Amazon, it sells for $16.95, plus I got free shipping on it with a trial Amazon Prime account.
What is It?
Gran's Remedy is a powder that is made with a combination of aluminum sulphate, zinc oxide, zinc undecylenate (I have no idea what this is), talc, manuka oil (which helps kill stink-friendly bacteria), and kawakawa oil.
Does it Work?
Heck yes, it does! After just one application, my shoes immediately smelled a million times better!
How Does it Work?
Basically, you shake up the powder, use the little spoon that is provided in the jar, and sprinkle a spoonful in each shoe. The official instructions say to use this on the footwear you use daily, for seven consecutive days, or until you've run out of powder. It's supposed to leave your feet stank-free for up to six months by following this treatment plan. I'm on day 3. In 6 months, I'll let you know how it stands the test of time.
Is it Worth the Cost?
If you're planning to use up the entire jar on one pair of shoes, probably not. That seems extremely wasteful. For me, it only took a day to start working, so there's a possibility that just a 7-day treatment will work for you as well. If you've been struggling with smelly gym shoes for years like I have, this is definitely worth the cost.
How Does it Smell?
The powder has an extremely faint smell. It almost smells like nothing at all!
Is it Messy?
I don't think it's entirely messy, but I would suggest using it after you've used the shoes for the day, and spooning in the powder over a sink OR outdoors. I also clapped my shoes together in the bathroom so that the loose powder wouldn't fall out all over the gym floor when I wear them the next day.
True story: When I was in college, my friend/roommate/teammate slept on the top bunk, and I on the bottom. I used to pour a TON of baby powder into my volleyball shoes, right next to my bed. This, I would later find, was a terrible idea, as we had linoleum floors in our dorm room. One day, my roommate climbed down from her bed, and her foot landed square in the middle of a gathering of rogue baby powder. She slipped on it, nearly spraining her ankle. I, of course, felt awful, and never heard the end of it. In fact, just recently, she brought it up again. It was almost 10 years ago. :-(
The moral of the story, of course, is not to do this over a slippery surface, as you don't want to be responsible for injuring someone (I hope you don't). And how would you explain it? "Sorry you fell. My shoes were smelly."
Have you ever had difficult getting the stink out of your gym shoes? Is there another piece of workout gear/equipment you own that gets especially smelly? What is your remedy?
*billion might be a bit of an exaggeration...