Home / Advanced Backpacking Skills / How to Deodorize Smelly Trail Runners

How to Deodorize Smelly Trail Runners

Bad-smelling, Dirt-Encrusted Trail Runners
Bad-smelling, Dirt-Encrusted Trail Runners

Do your trail runners or trail shoes smell like really bad breath?

Do your housemates make you keep them outside because they smell so overpowering, like Dog-sh*t?

Does the smell remain even after regular rinsing?

Do you own a separate pairs for work and socializing because the trail running/hiking pair can’t be worn in public?

All is not lost.

You can easily deodorize trail runners, trail shoes, hiking boots, or sandals using Mirazyme, a gentle deodorizing fungicide that removes bad smells and mildew without harming your shoes or weakening the glues and fabric that hold them together.

Simply add a 1/4 cap of  Mirazyme to a pail of water and let your footware soak for 15 minutes. Then air dry.

An 8 oz bottle will last for 32 applications.

No more smell.

No more dirty looks on public transportation.

Hard to believe it was that simple.

Mirazyme - Odor and Mildew Eliminator
Mirazyme – Odor and Mildew Eliminator


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  1. I’ve got to try this. My trail runners all smell like dead animals.

    • Mirazyme is one of the cornerstones of my gear maintenance toolkit. Not only does it deordize shoes, it cleans mildew off of bivy sacks, backpacks, and tents. Great stuff. Super gentle for handmade items. Works great to destink wet suits too (even if you pee in them). The stuff is a godsend.

  2. I will have to try Mirazyme on my trail runners that I use for water swamp hikes in the Florida Everglades. In past hikes I have been throwing my shoes out when done hiking because I haven’t dared to put them back into my luggage for the trip back home. Does anybody know where Mirazyme can be purchased locally and if it comes in travel sizes?
    Thank You

  3. Buy an Atomizer aka a Spray bottle with a spray attachment, fill with rubbing alcohol and spray in your shoes. Then set them on a Rock and let them Dry in the Sun, spread the tongue out and wide so the Sun can reach as far into the toe as you can…Yes folks the Ultra Violet Rays from the Sun is a bug killer….this often works for me. At home wash them with Woolite on the delicate cycle and let them dry in the Sun. Does not work on Leather Boots.

  4. I’ve got to try this. It’d be nice to be able to wear them around actual people again…

  5. I’ve had great luck with using a hot salt water solution. I let them soak in the solution for awhile, then rinse with cold water. The salt kills the the cooties and inhibits the growth of new critters, much the same way as the crystallized salt deodorants work.

  6. For a second there, I thought you stole those shoes out of the back of my car… until I realized they weren’t Wildcats. Do they sell Mirazyme by the 55 gallon drum? My shoes stink like death. Will it work to get the stink out of synthetic baselayers and wicking shirts? No matter how I wash them, the smell never really goes away.

  7. I have a bottle of this and will have to try it, not so much for me as for my granddaughter. My shoes generally don’t smell so bad but my body–I wonder if someone has invented Left Guard? However, my granddaughter’s shoes smell like a limburger cheese factory!

  8. I’ve never really had a problem with my shoes stinking that badly. Maybe because I take great care to make sure they dry out as fast as possible. What I usually do is just spray the inside with lysol. If it is really bad for some reason I’ll sprinkle some baking soda on the inside and let that sit overnight. If you aren’t going to wear boots for a while, stick some crinkled up newspaper inside them to draw out moisture. Seems to work for me; however this product seems like something I would use on tent fabric to clean mildew off. I hate a moldy, musty smelling tent.

  9. FYI … also available thru REI at a slightly lower price for those who can avoid shipping costs. I have a pair of shoes that’ll make a great test case … Next stop, REI! (walking distance from here)

    Phillip … do you recommend washing the shoes first? (my test case is only slightly cleaner than your Ultra Raptors in the photo)

    Interesting that REI sells two MiraZyme products. One under the McNett brand name and another under the GearAid brand name … one in a 8oz size and the other is 2oz … the 2oz possibly less concentrated (maybe different dilution factors in the instructions, hard to KNOW because I don’t know the size of Phillip’s “pail”).

    Other products by both brand names are shown on McNett’s website and the name MiraZyme is trademarked so I gotta think they are the same chemical mix, right?

    • McNett and GearAid are the same company. McNett has tried to rebrand themselves, somewhat unsuccessfully. It’s the same stuff.
      My pail is 10 gallons. See the directions on the bottle for details on use. A capful is used to treat 20 gallons I think. Stuff goes a long way.
      I would rinse your shoes as clean as you can get them in plain water – that’s what I do – before your soak. Then air dry.

  10. I’ll give it a try, Thanks. Here is 1 gallon since someone asked:

  11. Washing machine, soap flakes, 30 deg wash = done. Simple as that. No glue melts, shoes as good as new.

  12. I have a dog that ripens up considerably when damp. Hmmmmmm…

  13. I just purchased a 8oz bottle of Mirazyme on Amazon today for around $10. I can hardly wait to see how it works on my older dome tents that have been in storage for quite a while

  14. Mirazyme has not worked well for me in the past. One time use did make an improvement, but repeated usage made no difference. I used it for all types of hiking gear and clothes.

    For shoes, the best method that works like a charm for me is to put an old sock filled with some baking soda into the damp/wet stinky shoe and put it in the sun to dry. Shoe dries, smell gone; sock wet, baking soda clumpy. Then I re-dry the sock and use it again. Has worked on both my heavy winter boots and my light weight trail runners.

  15. Ordered!

    Hopefully, no more “Did someone just puke?” comments when I take them off at the end of the day.

  16. Put your shoes in the fridge overnight, problem solved. I do this regularly for my steelcap work boots :)

  17. I put silica gel packs in my shoes. The bacteria in shoes needs moisture to grow. I found some large packets that do the trick. Monica’s baking soda probably works the same way with the added benefit of odor neutralization

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