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Author Topic: Yeah VFFs are funky...but sometimes not in the good way  (Read 87294 times)
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JerryD
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« on: June 01, 2009, 12:01:43 PM »

I have seen this discussed elsewhere, but I cannot remember where, so I thought I would start a thread here.  After some prolonged wear, VFFs can get mighty funky in the smell department.   Regular washing (of both the shoes and your feet) helps, but I find that the smell does not go away completely.  I am going to try white vinegar in the rinse cycle of the wash and see if that helps, or maybe just a post-wash soak in a diluted vinegar solution followed by a thorough rinse in water.

What are others' tips for dealing with the VFFunk?
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« on: June 01, 2009, 12:01:43 PM »

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« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2009, 12:54:54 PM »

I have seen this discussed elsewhere, but I cannot remember where, so I thought I would start a thread here.  After some prolonged wear, VFFs can get mighty funky in the smell department.   Regular washing (of both the shoes and your feet) helps, but I find that the smell does not go away completely.  I am going to try white vinegar in the rinse cycle of the wash and see if that helps, or maybe just a post-wash soak in a diluted vinegar solution followed by a thorough rinse in water.

What are others' tips for dealing with the VFFunk?


You aren't the only one to report smelliness -- I've not experienced it with mine, but I generally don't have smelly shoes or feet.

I noticed with my 2nd paire of VFFs - the KSOs - that they came with some kinda tag that had something about anti-microbial treatment being applied to the shoe.  I can't remember the name of it though.  I wonder if that is new?  My KSOs are probably about three months old now.
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JerryD
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« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2009, 01:17:24 PM »

Both of my pairs (Classics & KSOs) have the built-in anti-microbial stuff, but my Classics get ripe. (No problem with the KSOs, but that is just due to the fact that they have been worn much much less.) I'm curious to hear what others have to say about it.
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« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2009, 01:19:01 PM »

The antimicrobial stuff, IRRC, is called Aegis.http://www.microbeshield.com/.  It seems to work for a bit but with any sweaty exercise it stops working quickly...

Recently I've been adding some baking soda to the detergent when washing my VFFs that I run in - that helps a bit, but it doesn't last for long.
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« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2009, 01:19:01 PM »

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« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2009, 05:52:22 PM »

no funk here.

Had since Feb, 160 miles, washed when dirty, normal wash cycle.

Jason only positive funk
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« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2009, 08:14:24 PM »

I have a backyard patio so everyday I hose out the FF's I am wearing and use a product called green works by clorox. I have it diluted in a spray bottle so I just spray the insole and outer material and scrub everything with my fingers, rinse and hang them on the clothesline. If they are still wet when i want to wear them I throw them in the dryer for a few minutes on low. They stay much fresher than machine washing.

I know that VFF says not to dry them but I haven't experienced any problems to date, and my black KSO'S have been through a lot. I tried to rip my pinky toe off on a concrete curb and that did more damage than anything else. The sole has a small split and the material between the toes has a small hole. The rip-stop technology works magically.
« Last Edit: June 05, 2009, 08:16:30 PM by koffeekev » Logged

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« Reply #6 on: June 06, 2009, 03:07:28 PM »

We have Green Works as well, I'll have to give it a try.  But I don't know how good I am going to be about cleaning them everyday.  Thanks for the tip!
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« Reply #7 on: June 08, 2009, 07:46:33 AM »

I have a backyard patio so everyday I hose out the FF's I am wearing and use a product called green works by clorox. I have it diluted in a spray bottle so I just spray the insole and outer material and scrub everything with my fingers, rinse and hang them on the clothesline. If they are still wet when i want to wear them I throw them in the dryer for a few minutes on low. They stay much fresher than machine washing.

I know that VFF says not to dry them but I haven't experienced any problems to date, and my black KSO'S have been through a lot. I tried to rip my pinky toe off on a concrete curb and that did more damage than anything else. The sole has a small split and the material between the toes has a small hole. The rip-stop technology works magically.

Hm - I'll have to try that, it sounds like it is working well for you! Thanks for the tip.
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« Reply #8 on: June 08, 2009, 02:41:28 PM »

If I wear my KSOs without socks for too long they'll smell. I sprayed mine with Oxi Clean (with hydrogen peroxide), let them sit for about half an hour, then put them in the wash. The smell comes right out. I think the hydrogen peroxide in the Oxi Clean kills the bacteria that causes the smell.
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« Reply #9 on: June 08, 2009, 07:35:26 PM »

I stopped using the washer for a couple of reasons.

First, I wear mine almost exclusively on city streets so when I wash them a black oil scum is left on the washer sides. If I forget to wipe it down guess what? The next load is sure to be whites.

Second and equally important, the straps on the kso's get all twisted up and it takes me a good hour (at least it seems like an hour) to get them straight. I wear them to work daily so I need to wash them daily if I choose not to wear socks. To make even a small load I would have to add an old towel or something that leaves lint and stuff attatched to the velcro. A once over and on to the line is as easy as it gets for me.

I like the idea of Oxyclean. Anything to reduce the funk is okay with me. Kevin
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*I'm barefoot for skeletel correctness*
kso black x 4
kso gray x1
kso flow black x1
kso treksport black x1
kso trek black x 2
kso trek brown x 3
classic tan x1
seeya's black neon x1
vivo aqueous black x1
vivo aqueous grey x1
vivo dharma black x1
vivo aqua brown x1
merrill radius glove b
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« Reply #10 on: June 09, 2009, 10:36:58 PM »

You know I think this is a fairly common problem (I'm knocking on wood that I've yet to have stinky VFFs), and hopefully you guys can work on finding the "definitive solution" so we can share it with everyone.

So hydrogen peroxide bath might be one solution.  Daily cleansing another.  I wonder what the heat point is for the rubber to melt -- could you heat them enough to kill the bacteria but not melt the VFFs?

Hmm ...
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« Reply #11 on: June 10, 2009, 12:11:22 AM »

I've also read about putting stinky VFFs in the freezer in a sealed plastic bag with baking soda. I think the theory was that the baking soda absorbed the smell that was there and the freezing killed the bacteria. Don't know if it works, I've never tried it.
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« Reply #12 on: June 10, 2009, 07:38:14 AM »

You know I think this is a fairly common problem (I'm knocking on wood that I've yet to have stinky VFFs), and hopefully you guys can work on finding the "definitive solution" so we can share it with everyone.

So hydrogen peroxide bath might be one solution.  Daily cleansing another.  I wonder what the heat point is for the rubber to melt -- could you heat them enough to kill the bacteria but not melt the VFFs?

Hmm ...

I think the problem is that a lot of gunk builds up inside the toe pockets. Even if you kill the bacteria (brevibacteria, propionibacteria), the sulfurous and odoriferous compounds they produce are still going to be there (methanethiol - think blue cheese - and propionic acid - think Swiss cheese). So, even if you kill the bacteria, you leave the smell. Also, every time you put your foot into VFFs, you essentially re-inoculate your VFFs with these bacteria, starting the process again. With bare feet you have a lower surface temp - the bacteria reproduce a bit more slowly - and also, the skin cells that slough off of your feet will carry away the large majority of these chemicals (because the bacteria live off of these dead skin cells).

This is all based off of only one semester of microbiology so take it with a grain of salt. Still, I think that killing the bacteria eliminates the cause but not the symptom.   
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koffeekev
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« Reply #13 on: June 17, 2009, 06:05:50 PM »

Last thing out the door this morning was to grab my kso's from the dryer and hit the road. They were still soaked when I took them off the line earlier so I threw them in the dryer. Last night I tried baking soda with the spray and really rubbed it in and then rinsed them. Apparently I didn't rinse them enough. I opened the dryer and found a pair of white ff's. The baking soda bonded to the entire surface of the shoe. I ran back outside, washed them again, blotted them as dry as I could and went to work with wet feet. There is still some residue on them but I think it will all come off today. Beware the baking soda!
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*I'm barefoot for skeletel correctness*
kso black x 4
kso gray x1
kso flow black x1
kso treksport black x1
kso trek black x 2
kso trek brown x 3
classic tan x1
seeya's black neon x1
vivo aqueous black x1
vivo aqueous grey x1
vivo dharma black x1
vivo aqua brown x1
merrill radius glove b
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« Reply #14 on: June 19, 2009, 11:20:23 AM »

Hmm. I've never had this problem...maybe I use less....
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