O.k. so you’ve just removed your boots from their box in the closet, getting them ready for the upcoming season, and yuck! They stink.
They smell awful to you – so imagine how they smell to others.
That’s ok though, there are things that you can do to:
- Return your boots to a more pleasant state; and
- Prevent them from getting this way again
Let’s start with the most effective way to keep snowboard boots from smelling – preventative measures.
Preventative measures are always the most effective. So if you want to prevent any smelling in the first place – or at least remove smell as it accumulates – then the the best way to go about it is to keep them from getting to a point that you need a remedy.
If you are already beyond preventative measures go to the remedy below. But make sure that you then take the preventative measures.
Keep those Darn Things Dry!
The cause of smelly boots is moisture. So the best preventative measure is to get them drying as soon as you can after you take them off.
- If you aren’t somewhere with a drying room place the boots near a heater – just not too close – you don’t want to them to get so hot that they start to lose they’re shape.
- Always remove the liners because those are the things that receive the most stink and won’t dry properly or quickly enough if they remain inside the boot.
- Another thing you can do is to place newspaper or paper towels inside the liners. This speeds up the drying process and can help to maintain shape.
Use Silicon Gel Packs
You can place silicon gel packs in your boots. These absorb moisture and therefore help to keep your boots dry, which in turn keeps them smelling fresh… well, maybe not fresh, but better anyway.
Use a Fresh Pair of Socks everyday
This one is a bit of an obvious one – but if you put your stinky socks back on from the day before it’s going to add to the smell of your boots.
This is harder for those that are on a week long trip or those that ride several times per week, but it can definitely make a difference.
I’ve been guilty of not following this one in the past – but it’s worth getting an extra couple of pairs of snowboard socks to make sure you’re always in a fresh pair. It feels much nicer than putting on old used socks the next day as well!
Coffee Grounds, Baking Soda, Charcoal
I haven’t done this but you could try making an odor absorbing pouch.
To do this you would get an old sock or the likes and fill it with baking soda, coffee grounds or charcoal. Make sure to tie the ends off. And make sure your old socks don’t have holes!
Like I say I haven’t tried this one but I’ve heard it works. If you have tried it, let me know how it worked for you in the comments section below.
There are also ready made products that you can buy for this too – like these
Vicks Vapor Rub
Again I haven’t tried this one, but I’ve heard of people rubbing a small amount of Vicks Vapor Rub on their feet and toes and between their toes before putting their socks on.
This apparently stops the odor but I can’t verify this.
If you try this one, definitely still dry out your boots and liners after every use.
Again, if you have any experience with this and it works for you, leave a comment in the comments section below (if you tried it and it didn’t work I’d like to hear that too).
If they Are Already Stinky and you Need a Remedy
If you have just discovered stinky boots that have been lying around all summer, then preventative measures won’t do. You need a remedy!
This could be a case of trial and error to see what’s effective.
I like to try the easiest, least effort thing first.
Get some shoe odor powder. Something like Smelleze Natural Shoe Odor Remover can sometimes do the trick and it’s as easy as just sprinkling it into your boot liners and shaking it around so that it gets on as much of the surface of the liner as possible.
This usually does the trick for me but you might find that you need more.
Now I haven’t tried this one but if something like the above doesn’t do the trick, then you might need to soak and wash the liners.
See the link below for one way to do this.
I just wouldn’t have the water too hot. A lot of boot liners are heat-mold-able these days. Water that’s too hot might ruin the shape of your liners. In which case you might have to re-heat-mold them – not sure if this would be great for your liners and is annoying- or worse it may damage them irrepairably.
You could also try something like febreeze – not something I’ve tried but I’ve read some reports that it works – others that say it doesn’t. I’m guessing it probably depends on the severity of the odor!
What I wouldn’t Try
O.k. so we’ve gone over some things to cure smelly snowboard boots and to prevent them from getting smelly in the first place.
Below are some things that I’ve heard suggested that I personally wouldn’t try.
I’ve heard some people ask if they can put their boot liners in the washing machine. I wouldn’t, unless you want to potentially irreversibly ruin your liners.
Sounds crazy but apparently freezing shoes can kill odors.
I don’t know whether this works or not. I am also not sure if this would damage your liners and boots if you were to try it with your snowboard boots. Not a risk I’d be willing to take.
Soaking or Washing in Very Hot Water
It might be more effective to soak or wash your boots in very hot water – but I just wouldn’t trust what they would be like after you dried them out. At very least you would have to re-mold them. At worst you could really damage them.
Thanks for reading
I hope you now have a few ideas for how to prevent your snowboard boots from smelling and how to cure them if it’s too late to prevent.
Is there anything else you’ve tried that works or doesn’t work? If so feel free to leave a comment below.
Top Image: Photo by Joe Goldberg [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Flikr
Kevin Bernardo says
Will removing the liners to dry after every session do anything to the molded heat liner and/or boot itself? I always thought keeping them in the boot would help preserve the mold for newish boots. Thoughts?
So long as you’re not heating them too much when you take them out, they shouldn’t loose they’re shape. Like if you take them out and just have them in a warm room and don’t like put a hairdryer through them or anything like that. That said, I never take my liners out these days, because I’m too lazy to do it! I usually just stick them on my boot dryer (which uses pretty low heat, not the amount of heat you would use to heat mold.
If you are taking the liners out, as well as making sure there’s not too much heat going on, also remember to put them back in the boots once they’re dry. Don’t leave them out of the boots until the next time you ride, unless it’s going to be the very next day. As soon as they’re dry replace them in the boots.