How To Get The Stench Out Of Your Kicks

There are some things in life that I’m convinced are so great they deserve their own blog post. For some chics it’s those delicious Lululemon shorts, for me it’s my New Balance Minimus trail runners (which, oddly enough, costs the same price as those Lulu spanky shorts that barely cover my bum.)

It was feet love at first feel. They are so LIGHT it’s like I’m not wearing shoes. (If only I could find a sports bra of the same caliber.) After a month of raving about them, Ryan was enticed to try a pair. He liked them so much, he wore them (and this is no exaggeration) every day for 3 months straight. Let me break it down: we wore our Minimus for sweat- inducing activities like CrossFit WODs, trailing running the canyons of Moab, and walking in the rain in the North Cascade National Park. Sweaty feet make for something fierce-smelling. I found Funky Town, it’s in my Minimus.

So when the kind folks at Nikwax heard of my first world girl problems via twitter, they sent me a sample care kit of washes to test out, one of which was a much-needed Sandal Wash. And I was, like, “Game on!”

Special thanks for "Prof. Nikwax" for sending over some Nikwax samples.

So I got to washing. The Pro’s:
– The Sandal Wash came with a spongey brush applicator so I didn’t have to fuss with scrubbers unless needed
– It smells good like a clean hint-of-lemon scent.
– It’s got just the right amount of lather that rinses off easily.
– The applicator wasn’t abrasive so the mesh material on my Minimus wasn’t destroyed.

The only con was that at the end of washing 4 shoes, I nearly destroyed the sponge applicator. It’s no biggie since the solution still dispenses and I have other brushes that are just as useful.

Aye, but DOES IT WORK??! You tell me:

As for the smell, let’s just say I stuck my nose WAAAY in that shoe and didn’t vomit from the smell so, yeah, I’m a fan. It’s like I’m wearing a new pair of Minimus and now I can get back to doing more:

Box Jumps!

CrossFit WODs with a mix of lifting and running:


Trail running and playing outside!


Go up some Class 3 scrambles!

Want to get the stench out of YOUR CrossFit shoes? (I know, I know… it doesn’t smell “bad,” it smells “Elite!”) Well, I’m so happy from my practically-new-so-I-can-save-my-moola-for-gas-to-go-snowboarding-instead NB Minimus that…

I’m GIVING AWAY a full size bottle of Nikwax Sandal Wash. Enter by dropping a comment below so you, too, can have WOD shoes that don’t smell like something died in it.  Winner will be chosen on Monday, Oct 31 (because a contest giveaway is something I could look forward to on a Monday, in addition to Halloween candy.) And will be chosen by a random number generator (cause I’m fair like that.) Sorry but this contest is open to continental U.S. residents only because mailing a liquid through customs could be a PITA.


  1. Jess, I’ve been WODing and been running around the filthy streets of Philadelphia along with it’s vast running trials and let me tell ya, getting new sneaks because I an;t keep my current sneaks clean blows, big time! I can just imagine how it is in Colorado. Would love to give it a shot if it works for you. You’ve never steered this man in the wrong direction.

  2. YES please!! I have those same shoes! and would LOVE to give them a good clean!

  3. Great post, can you convince Jenn to buy a pair and wear them with everything for three months so I don’t have to answer her when she asks if these shoes look good with this or that, it would be a great help and most likely help her comfort level as well.

  4. I’m a new CFer and love your blog — so why not try the giveaway? I’ve lost 75 pounds and I just finished my first triathlon, in huge thanks to all of the support from CF Durham. All that excitement doesn’t quite translate to my sneaks, either, so I’m down to try anything short of throwing them in the trash. Thanks for sharing!!

  5. Greggills Peterson says:

    Smelly shoes for sure. I use my Minimus for everything. WODS, running, hiking, grocery store shopping, and even teaching. My shoes are starting to not only look old, but the smell is becoming to be noticed. Sounds like Nikwax could be a great “facial” for my shoes. A new smell and clean up may be just what they need. Thanks for sharing your opinion.

  6. Hey, I got those same shoes this past weekend! I went with the gray over the black/hot pink ones. They are so comfortable. I hate wearing socks so I got those sneakerballs to help them smell better but this would be great to help really clean them instead of just deodorizing the funk! I’m a new CFer and just finished fundamentals class. Love it so far!

  7. Leave a comment in an effort to get the funk out of my Vibrams (the smelly funk, not the rhythm and soul funk playing in my head during running WODs)? Heck yea. Done and done.

  8. I have a couple pairs of WOD shoes that could use a good cleaning. This seems like a great product.

  9. My CF shoes are so heinous that I can’t even keep them in a living area in the house. When I drive to the gym the windows have to be down or else I am gagging at the smell. They are on their last legs, seriously because even other people at the gym can smell them and I can’t be an excuse for someone not to give it their all in a WOD!

  10. I’ve used Nikwax products for tents, jackets and for waterproofing hiking boots, but it never even occurred to me to use Nikwax for my Minimus shoes! They’re definitely stinky, and they definitely need a good washing. Jess, you turned me on to the shoes in the first place, and given how great that’s worked out, contest winner or not, I’m trying this idea.

  11. Indeed i do L-O-V-E my Minimus kicks as well!! I still have my magazine cutout of the ad on my dream board from the first day I laid eyes on ’em ; and, now that I have them, they are definitely a dream come true!) :) Nevertheless, I am mainly “entering” this fabulous giveaway contest in hopes I may win it for the Greggills. No, I have not smelled his shoes (thankfully) but I know the guy has been wearing them for anything and everything! So, with that said………………………..C’mon number generator Gods!

  12. I love this because I have the same shoes, so I know it’s going to work.

  13. Krystal B says:

    This blog post helps in more ways than one. I’ve been scoping shoes at my box for the last couple weeks, trying to identify a pair that would be good for CFing. The new balances I have were originally purchased to run in, but they’re big and clunky, but they’ve substantially helped my plantar fasciitis. Think I may give these a try. I def have some other sneaks that could use some de-funking. Great write-up!!

  14. jessicamacho says:

    Hi, all! Thanks for the comments! I used a random number generator (at to pick a winner at random for the Nikwax Sandal Wash. The number generated was #4. So, congratulations Ava! I’ll email you shortly for your address.


  15. I’m so excited!! Thanks so much for your generosity, Jess! I’ll be waving my kicks in everyones faces to see if they notice the difference 😉

  16. Doesn’t Nikwax have treatments for helping restore water resistance on old outdoor apparel? Did you get any of that stuff?

    • jessicamacho says:

      You’re right they do. They have a bunch of awesome products. I got a sample of the tech wash with makes fabrics more breathable.

  17. Hi Jessica,
    I’m about to order some of this product but I was also wondering if you could tell me what capri-type pants you’re wearing (if that’s you, that is) in the shot above?

    • jessicamacho says:

      Hi, BettyK! Those are REI hiking pants. They’re the ones that can zip off at the knee or you can velcro them up at the calves.

  18. Larry Gomez says:

    Googled funky smelling WOD shoes, what to do! And this site came up! Can’t wait to try this stuff!

  19. Dude, I am ordering this STAT. I work at an REI but have yet to try Nikwax… now’s the time! I’m SO in love with my WT10s, I want them to last as long as possible.

    Re: amazing sports bras, Under Armour’s “Armour bra” (in your choice of cup and band size) is the best one I have EVER had, to date. Or I should say, the best three. I bought two more despite the price ($60), they are that awesome.

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