How to Get that Stinky Smell Out of Shoes and Sports Gear

How to Get that Stinky Smell Out of Shoes and Sports Gear

Well, it’s fall and back-to-school time! And, if you are a parent (or if you are reading this and are in school, yourself), then you know it’s also back-to-sports time.

You also know that means it is back to washing some seriously stinky socks and uniforms, and dealing with smelly shoes and sports gear.  Ugh!

You don’t have to have a child in sports, though. My kindergartner comes home with some pretty stinky feet after wearing his shoes all day, playing on the playground and riding on the hot bus.

You don’t want your house smelling like a locker room. And you don’t want to send your child to his or her game with stinky gear. Washing uniforms and socks is easier, of course, since you can throw them in the wash.

(Click here to learn more about Stink Free Sports Detergent.)

But what to do about the stuff you can’t throw in the washing machine? Getting the odor out of running shoes, or off of soccer shin guards or hockey pads seems more difficult.

That’s exactly why 2Toms created Stink Free Spray.

Stink Free is a shoe deodorizer that also works on sports gear and even in gym bags and lockers. You can spray it on anything that is hard to wash.

It’s safe to use on leather, canvas, satin and denim shoes, in work or riding boots, on hockey and football pads, in helmets, and on motorcycle gear—anything that smells, really.

Stink Free Spray uses a formula that doesn’t just mask the odors caused by sweat, it completely eliminates it.  And Stink Free does not use perfume in its formula. Once the spray dries, there is no smell at all.

If you’ve ever thrown something out, or thought about throwing something out, because it smelled and you didn’t know how to wash it, then you definitely need to try this.

For example, let’s say your husband wore his expensive fur-lined Crocs on a hot day in the summer…with no socks on. Just a hypothetical. But you’ll be glad you have some of 2Toms’s Stink Free Spray.

Go here to learn more and read more about Stink Free Spray.

Do Compression Socks Work?

“How’s Shalane doing?” I asked my husband from the kitchen. He was watching the women’s 10,000 meters at the IAAF World Championships in Moscow with me.

“I think she’s in the front still.”

I came over closer to the TV and instantly knew he was wrong. “No she’s not,” I said. “None of those women are wearing compressions socks. Shalane always wears compression socks.” (She finished 8th in the race.)

Some runners, like elite distance runners Shalane Flanagan and Meb Keflezighi, wear compression socks during races. Some athletes wear them after races for recovery reasons.

What is it about these socks? Should all runners be wearing compression on their legs? Do compression socks work?

Compression socks were originally created to help diabetics improve circulation. Now, many compression sock manufacturers—such as CEP, Zensah, PRO Compression, The Recovery Sock and others–say that their product(s) can help runners, cyclists, triathletes and other athletes race and recover better with benefits like increased oxygen delivery to muscles, decreased muscle fatigue and lactic acid, and cramp prevention.

Unfortunately, there is not any solid research to back up these claims even though many runners and cyclists swear by these socks. In fact, you can find compression gear for almost any part of the body these days—tights, shorts, sleeves, shirts.

“Very little evidence exists (ie. two to three studies out of 15-plus) from a sport and exercise perspective that compression garments improve performance when worn during exercise,” said Rob Duffield, a professor at the School of Movement Studies at Charles Sturt University, in a Competitor Running article last year.

In the article, the author points out that studies have not been able to find any difference in “running times, VO2 max, oxygen consumption or heart rates” between athletes wearing compression socks and those not wearing them.

Sports physiology professor Elmarie Terblanche, from Stellenbosch University in South Africa, said that most studies are done in a lab. So how reliable can those studies be? She decided to test compression socks in the real world and she found that athletes who wore compression socks “had significantly less muscle damage and were able to recover more quickly.”

Oh yeah, and they also ran 12 minutes faster on average.

Of course, Terblanche’s findings were, technically inconclusive. But, like Flanagan, some athletes swear by these tight-fitting socks. Boston Globe writer Shira Springer says that Flanagan “started wearing the knee-high tight-fitting socks to keep her calves warm as she dealt with an Achilles’ problem.”

Now, compression socks are practically the 2008 Olympic Bronze Medalist’s trademark.  “It’s very natural for me,” said Flanagan in the Boston Globe article. “I feel like I’m preventing injuries by wearing them and staying warm.”

Don’t mistake compression socks with knee-high socks. Compression-specific gear is very tight—the socks can even be difficult to get on! A pair of compression socks can cost anywhere from about $20 to $80 (or more).

I’m not a world-class athlete, obviously, but I did wear a pair of CEP compression socks during long training runs and during my first marathon. I won’t say I felt energized afterward, but my calves and shins felt pretty decent post-race. In fact, I had to sprint across a stadium parking lot to catch my friend before she left with my keys.


I wore The Recovery Sock during a tough, muddy 7-mile trail race earlier this year. Even if I don’t always wear them during a long run, I definitely wear them after. Maybe they don’t really work, but they feel like they do…and that’s all that matters to me.

So, if you’re on the fence about compression socks, it definitely can’t hurt to try them out…and they may just help you run and recover faster.

We’d love to hear from you.  Do compression socks work for you? Let us know in the comments!

Doing a Tough Mudder or Spartan? Put BlisterShield on your Gear List

Running through mud, climbing up and over obstacles, and crawling through swampy water are par for the course for any obstacle course race. Back in February, I signed up to do the Spartan Sprint, a 5K muddy obstacle race. The race wasn’t until August, so I had plenty of time to prepare myself physically and mentally. Last year I completed the Tough Mudder, a 10-12 mile mud obstacle race. I remembered how wet and uncomfortable my feet were during the Mudder and how many blisters I had once the race was over, that I really needed to find a solution.

If you’re not an avid runner, like me, the gear you choose for these types of races is super important. Since I already did the Tough Mudder, I knew I needed trail running shoes that would drain water and socks that would wick moisture away. Those two things I had.

What I wasn’t prepared for last year, however, was the amount of dirt and debris that found its way into my shoes and rubbed between my toes and under my foot. That problem I did not have a solution for, until BlisterShield.

During my research for blister prevention products, I found 2Toms. I really wanted to know if BlisterShield would help prevent those awful tiny blisters between my toes that I experienced during my last obstacle race, so I contacted them.

Katie at 2Toms was very helpful. She explained that BlisterShield keeps your feet dry and creates a frictionless surface which prevents blisters from forming. She also suggested I put BlisterShield between my toes, since that was where my problem arose during the Mudder.

Katie sent me a bunch of samples of BlisterShield. I used the product during my training and my feet always remained dry and blister free. But, the real test was going to be on race day.

Mud Racing; Spartan; Mudder; Blisters

Getting ready for the Spartan Sprint! [image: self taken]

Before I left the house, I took out my sample of BlisterShield and applied it all over my foot! I applied it to the top of my feet, in between my toes, on the bottom of my feet and even in my socks. My feet were completely covered in BlisterShield – granted, I may have gone a little overboard.

blisters; mud races

BlisterShield comes in a convenient powder form. [image: self taken]

blisters prevention

Applying BlisterShield all over my foot. [image: self taken]


Applied BlisterShield to the soles of my feet and in between my toes. My dog was very curious as to what I was doing. [image: self taken]


Even put BlisterShield inside my sock! [image: self-taken]


We arrive at the race ready to go! There were a lot of people there. And most of them in costume! I kept wondering, ‘Will their costumes help them prevent blisters?’


mud races, prevent blisters with BlisterShield

Ready for the race. Bring on the mud! [shown: Patti & Ron Fousek; image: self taken]

And, we’re off! We ran up hills, down hills, in mud, over rocks in mud. We were submersed in mud and even crawled through a rocky, swampy, muddy obstacle to get to the finish.

Oh… I forgot to mention. Katie also gave me a sample of SportShield for chafing. I applied SportShield to my ankles and calves to help prevent rope burn when climbing the rope – it worked!

At the end of the race, my feet actually felt really good! I had mud in my eyes, my shoulder hurt, but my feet were perfectly fine. Unfortunately I couldn’t take any photos of my blister-free feet – my phone was in my bag and I was in a rush to get all the mud off.


That's a lot of mud! We finished! [shown: Patti & Ron Fousek; image: self taken]

That’s a lot of mud! We finished! [shown: Patti & Ron Fousek; image: self taken]

The next time you sign up for a muddy obstacle race, add BlisterShield to your gear list. Your feet with thank you.

Disclaimer: 2Toms did not pay for our race or pay me to write this review. 2Toms did send me samples of their product for free and “sponsored” my husband and me for the Spartan Race by providing the free samples. 

4 Ways for Cyclists to Use ButtShield to prevent Chafing While Cycling

If watching Le Tour de France has you squirming in your seat–not from excitement, but from the thought of sitting on a bike that many days and hours in a row–then you might want to try ButtShield on your next ride.

ButtShield will help keep friction burns, saddle sores and butt rashes at bay. And it lasts all day, even under the most extreme conditions…like the climb up Mont Ventoux perhaps?

ButtShield Logo Home PageHere are 4 ways 2Toms’ ButtShield can help cyclists prevent chafing while cycling:

1. Use ButtShield as a Chamois Cream

That’s right. You don’t need both. ButtShield can be used as your chamois cream. In fact, in a review of ButtShield on by triathlete Greg Kopecky, he said: “ButtShield truly keeps your butt and shorts independent of each other.  It’s slick, but not uncomfortable or strange.  The best part is it lasts a very long time.  Other chamois creams I’ve used can dry up towards the end of a long ride and stop doing their job.”

What’s in ButtShield? Dimethicone, Dimethiconol, Aloe Vera, Vitamin E, Shea Butter, Green Tea Extract, Calendula Extract and Horestail Plant Extract. It’s non-staining, non-toxic and non-greasy. And the roll-on applicator makes it easy to apply. It’s safe for both leather and synthetic chamois–apply it directly to the chamois and then roll it on your body for extra coverage. Kopecky’s final thought: “I think ButtShield IS better than regular chamois cream.”

2. Use ButtShield on Inner Thighs

2Toms’ ButtShield can also be used to prevent chafing on thighs. Other ways to prevent thigh chafing on a bicycle is to get a good quality seat, and to wear proper clothing, such as bicycle shorts. But sometimes that’s not enough. Apply ButtShield to your inner thighs before your next ride to avoid chafing.

3. Use ButtShield Under Seams

Bike shorts are tight. Although, good-fitting bicycle shorts–or pants–shouldn’t be too tight, they can still leave red marks and even chafing on your skin under the seams around your waist and legs. Before putting them on, apply some ButtShield on your waist where you cinch your shorts. Women can apply ButtShield under sports bra seams, as well, to prevent chafing on the upper body.

4. Put ButtShield on Feet

Of course, the best way to prevent getting blisters on your feet is to have a good pair of cycling shoes and a quality pair of sweat-wicking socks. But what about those people who are just blister-prone? And some triathletes prefer to go sockless on the bike. Take a second to roll ButtShield all over your feet and you can avoid blisters that come from wet, sweaty skin rubbing in shoes.

For more on 2Toms’ ButtShield, visit the FAQ page.


My New Triathlon Essential: 2Toms SportShield Roll-On

Last weekend, I completed my first triathlon. It was a sprint triathlon, but I estimated that would still be about a 90-minute workout for me. And a workout that would have me going from the water to the bike, and straight into my running shoes. Obviously, one of my concerns was about chafing, which is why the first thing I did the morning of the tri was to cover myself in 2Toms SportShield.

I am happy to report that after an hour and 32 minutes: no chafing, no blisters, no skin irritation at all.

SportShield Roll-on Reflection242x485SportShield anti-chafe lubricant goes on and is super silky, but is not greasy, and doesn’t stain. (It’s also non-toxic and doesn’t contain any animal products.) It doesn’t soak into your skin like some other anti-chafing products can. I only had to put it on once–several hours before the race–and I never thought about chafing for the entire race. In fact, I didn’t think about it till I was washing it off with soap and water when I got home.

Since I was participating in a triathlon, I applied SportShield anywhere I thought I might get chafing from my bike seat and I even put it on my feet and in between my toes, which are notorious for getting blisters. I also applied it where my sports bra is tightest around my rib cage and under my arms. Of course, I swam with the SportShield on in my first event (I didn’t wear a wet suit), and it didn’t come off for the entire race!

I’ve used this product many times before, but this was the first time I’d used it in a triathlon and I was impressed! Visit the SportShield page to learn more about it. You can even watch a video to see how it works.

A Sports Detergent that Doesn’t Stink

Do you wash your running clothes and they still stink afterward?

That’s what was happening to me. I would wash my workout gear with a sports detergent I bought at the grocery store, yet they would still smell bad when they were done. Only now they stunk like sweaty flowers. Gross. I really did not know how to get my running gear clean.

Luckily, 2Toms came out with their Stink Free Sports Detergent and I haven’t stunk since. Okay, that’s not entirely correct. I stink up my clothes during every run. However, now I don’t stink before my run…which is especially nice for everyone around me.

Did you know that over time, high-tech fabrics–such as Dri-Fit or Coolmax–become stinky because of all the  sweat our bodies produce during tough workouts?  Regular detergents aren’t formulated for that nasty stuff. Sports detergents, such as 2Toms’ Stink Free, are. Therefore, they are more effective than regular laundry detergents at getting the smell out of stinky running clothes, socks or any other sort of athletic gear.

So if you are like I was and smell like perspiration-scented roses before your run, you need to try the Stink Free Sports Detergent. Here’s what you need to know about it:

  • Safe on all high-performance fabrics and colors
  • Residue-free
  • Perfume-free
  • Won’t irritate skin
  • Reinstates fabric performance
  • Leaves clothes naturally soft and static-free
  • Safe for all washing machines, including high-efficiency machines
  • Recyclable bottle

Obviously, you don’t need to be a runner to need Stink Free Sports Detergent. It’s also great for walkers and hikers, yoga practitioners, football and hockey players, cyclists, gymnasts, dancers, equestrians, basketball and soccer players–really any sport, exercise or dirty job!

I say it’s time to stop trying to hide the stinky smell on our workout gear with floral scents and, instead, actually get them clean. Who’s with me?