Okay, smelly little secret .... but first let me say that I do NOT have a LOT of shoes as my husband keeps claiming, and it's perfectly okay that I just ordered a snazzy new pair of "boot shoe clog thingies" from the Sundance catalog as a 40th birthday present to myself .... so anyhow. I love (all) the shoes I have and have had most of them for at least 5? 8? years. Needless to say, some of them are getting kind of ripe/smelly/stinky/what-died-in-here. ... I hate the thought of just tossing the shoes because I keep obsessing about our landfill issue. And lord knows that no one will be THAT desperate at Good Will to take on a pair of shoes that look innocuous (sp?) but after you wear them for a while, whoa baby.
So the dilemma: how do you freshen up your shoes after the smell has been baked into them for a long time and you'd like a natural solution that actually solves the problem and doesn't just mask it? Google to the rescue. Apparently, the smell does NOT come from sweat, but from the bacteria that starts to grow in the ideal shoe situation. Solution: kill the bacteria and the smell will stop. How? Put your shoes in the freezer for 24 hours, and walla! Bacteria dead.
So I tried it, and lo and behold, it works. .... Of course you keep having to do it (or so I think) ... maybe I have horrible recurring super-stinky bacteria. But my shoes are fresh yet again. Thank you Google. I've been on the "freezer shoe" regimen for about 5 days, and aside from the eye-rolling of a certain spouse, I think it's a solution I can live with.
Note to self: the OTHER solution was to put baking soda on your feet and sprinkle it in the shoes. DO NOT TRY this again unless you like a soupy mess in your shoes, and you like sliding around your shoes all day, and you don't mind the crusty white cakey powder that collects around your toenails.
On that pleasant thought ...