March 23, 2011

Washing your bike shoes

As most of you triathletes out there and just plain old cyclist will attest, bike shoes become a little raunchy after several months and/or seasons of racing in them. And as my roommate or anyone else who recently came within about a mile from my bike shoes in the recent months, they know that mine are no exception.

So a few weeks ago, I put up a post, half jokingly, on Facebook stating that anyone that knows how to wash a paid or cycling shoes without having them clang around in the washing machine or become sudsy anytime that it rains in the future, please let me know. I got some interesting suggestions that ranged from “just go buy new ones” to “put them in the dishwasher on the top rack”.

Now, good cycling shoes cost around $200+ per pair and I really wasn’t willing to shell out that kind of cash when I just got these shoes at the beginning of last year, so I inquired with the person that said to use the dishwasher. He said it really worked, but don’t do it all the time as I’m sure it’s not too good for the shoes integrity. I figured I would give it a whirl (and make sure that the “drying heat” button was turned off as to not burn or melt the shoes)  Turns out, this was a good idea, and after scrubbing the insoles in the sink and washing another pair, my shoes came out the other side really hot, but remarkably - un-stinkylike.  It was a miracle!

Above is a shot of them "smoking" in my windowsill after being removed from the top rack.  I had concerns about the carbon melting on them, but then I thought that if a thin tupperware can withstand the top rack in my dishwasher, my bike shoes should be able to do the same.  So this will be how I clean my shoes after IM this year as I'm sure more bodily fluids than I care to admit will end up on them during the long race.  Just thought I would share a tidbit I learned after many years of long course racing and having to deal with smelly shoes.  Hopefully this new snow melts and we can all get out on the roads soonish. Train hard friends and see you all out there.  Cheers!


Tim said...

Thank You! Thank you! Thank You!
Your shoes were ripe man and spinning with you was difficult. Glad the dishwasher worked for you. Seems logical, I would be far more worried about the leathers and fake leathers than the plastic or carbon fiber parts. Good luck at Placid and with your Shimano Colostomy shoes.

Travis said...

Well I'm glad to admit now they smell a WHOLE lot less. And I'm starting to wear socks (thanks to Kim's nagging!) and they hardly even smell at all. I'm kinda shocked that it worked as well as it did! I'd be down for another spin session in the Webber's basement again, I just might being my own fan and mop this time...

Tim said...

Well it appears the vultures have stopped circling over your apartment so I'd say they agree with your "less stanky" diagnosis. Yes, another ride in Webber's basement is in order. And yes, you must bring your own fan and mop. I doubt Webber will make the mistake of touching your bike seat again too.