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Experienced Birkenstock Wearers...HELP

post #1 of 30
Thread Starter 
I have 2 pairs of Birkenstock Sandals. One pair I have had for about 8 years. I realize I should just get rid of them.. but those of you versed in Birkenstocks know that is not an option . They ahve been resoled 3 times, and are about due for another. I have also had the footbed replaced two summers ago.

The problem with these is the RANK BIRK FEET I get from them. The sandals smell like somehting died in them. My 2 year old pair are good, but I can't stop earing the old ones. They are just so comfortable.

I did purchase the Birkenstock cleaner, but it realyl didn't do much.

The onyl way I manage the smell, is to periodically wear them into the shower, and scrub them with the Birkenstock brush, and soap. After a few days of drying, they are good for about a week or two.

Does anyone have experience with this, and how did you overcome it?

I plan to scrub them out again this weekend, and I am going to use some baking soda after I have cleaned all the dirt out. I hope that helps a bit.
post #2 of 30
Wash your feet, Hippie
Seriously though, I am member of the BirkCamp as well, I wear them all year and it is a problem you just live with.
One thing I do every once and a while is spray a little Formula 409 on them and just rinse, not scrub, it off.
Another thing that works is a zinc oxide deodorant called Lavilin/Hlavin, available at natural food stores. It's a long-life deodorant paste that when worn on the body lasts for up to a week, even with daily showering. They make two formulae, a body deodorant and a foot deodorant. It's a white paste that you apply with your finger, it's a healthy alternative to using Aluminium Zirconium whosiwhatsit anti-perspirant. Instead of clogging your pours it bonds to hair or skin and temporarily prevents bacteria from forming.
I use it and depending on how active I am it lasts anywhere from 2 days to over a week. It also depends on what kind of soap you use, kind of like amp/headphone synergy
Try it, you'll like it. Huh, what? Wanna fight about it
post #3 of 30
Thread Starter 
I have been living with the problem, but I'm just kind of sick of it now. If I can't get the smell out, its time to trash these.
post #4 of 30
I wore Tevas for a while in college. I'd purposely not wash them. They'd get to a point were there was at least a good millimeter of foot juice infused dirt on the surface of the sandals; you could scrape the cream off with an index card it was so thick. I promise you they reeked something fierce!

I'd go to class and sit in the middle of the room. All I had to do was wiggle my toes and arch my instep to send out a woof of Eau-de-Sam-Pied. A three desk circumference would take it in the face on a good day. If the air was on, the range could go up to five desks. The faces my classmates made were priceless.

I'd also wear long shirts so I could leave my zipper undone all day without anyone noticing, but that's probably not relevant to this post.
post #5 of 30
I'm also a longtime daily Birk wearer. My oldest pair are around 18 years old and my newbies are about 5 years old. Maybe I'm lucky but mine don't smell at all. Do your feet sweat a lot? Anti-perspirant or zinc oxide that spacecoyote recommended are also worth trying.

I've read that some people have had luck getting rid of the stink by putting their shoes in a plastic bag in the freezer for a day or two. The cold is supposed to kill the stick-causing bacteria. Might be worth a shot since you've already tried cleaning them.
post #6 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Samgotit View Post
I wore Tevas for a while in college. I'd purposely not wash them. They'd get to a point were there was at least a good millimeter of foot juice infused dirt on the surface of the sandals; you could scrap the cream off with an index card it was so thick. I promise you they reeked something fierce!

I'd go to class and sit in the middle of the room. All I had to do was wiggle my toes and arch my instep to send out a woof of Eau-de-Sam-Pied. A three desk circumference would take it in the face on a good day. If the air was on, the range could go up to five desks. The faces my classmates made were priceless.

I'd also wear long shirts so I could leave my zipper undone all day without anyone noticing, but that's probably not relevant to this post.
you have a problem..
post #7 of 30
I wear socks w/ mine.. because it stinks
post #8 of 30


seriously, that stuff is magic!
post #9 of 30
This is why I am no longer a Birkenstock wearer...
post #10 of 30
I agree with the Febreze suggestion.

Had a pair of sneakers that smelled like rotting meat, so I took off the top of the Febreze bottle, poured half in, and let them dry for a week.

Smelled like potent flowers for a month.

I've got a healthy collections of Birkenstocks, too, and I haven't tried Febreze'ing them, but I'm sure it would work to the same effect.
post #11 of 30
Paxtons Sandal Saver.

www.paxtoniscool.com

Problem Solved

Edit: That's odd - my text is green.
post #12 of 30
I have a couple and my solution is not to wear the same pair two days in a row. Basically you are allowing the leather to fully dry. Try it, it does not cost anything. However I would recommend you start with them clean.
post #13 of 30
I've been through this as well.

I use a brass bristle stripping brush and baking soda. Don't use a steel brush.

You can find the brushes for a few dollars in the paint section at Home Depot, but Lowe's, Ace, and pretty much any hardware store will have them. I put the Birkenstocks in the tub and wet them, then liberally pour baking soda on the footbeds. I let the baking soda paste sit overnight, then scrub them with the brush. Rinse well and let them dry overnight.

It gets rid of that black sweat/leather caked buildup and baking soda kills odors. The brush is also good for brushing suede shoes.
post #14 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Erik View Post
I've been through this as well.

I use a brass bristle stripping brush and baking soda. Don't use a steel brush.

You can find the brushes for a few dollars in the paint section at Home Depot, but Lowe's, Ace, and pretty much any hardware store will have them. I put the Birkenstocks in the tub and wet them, then liberally pour baking soda on the footbeds. I let the baking soda paste sit overnight, then scrub them with the brush. Rinse well and let them dry overnight.

It gets rid of that black sweat/leather caked buildup and baking soda kills odors. The brush is also good for brushing suede shoes.
Sounds like a winner of an idea.
post #15 of 30
...my girlfriend use to wear Birkenstocks but i teased her until she didnt wear them

But yeah, i usually wore my thong's/sandals (havnt owned sandals for over 8 years now) into the shower, and gave em a bit of a scrub with the soap. Or give them a scrub with launry power and leave em to sit in the water overnight.

I like the sound of hte baking soda idea, ill be sure to try it out if i ever have the chance
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