As the weather gets warmer, your choice of shoes for outdoor activities is likely to get more minimalist, increasing your chance for the dreaded foot funk. The new Rank Away Odor Eliminator from Gear Aid promise to keep your climbing shoes, Vibram Five Fingers, water shoes, sandals, approach shoes, and even hiking shoes funk free for the summer.
Foot funk is fed by sweat. With more than 250,000 sweat glands each, your feet are among the most sweaty parts of your body. As sweat is basically just salt and water, it doesn't have a distinctive smell of its own. The smell is actually caused by bacteria on your skin that eats the sweat and excretes waste that has a strong odor.
Inside your shoes, sweat can not easily escape and the bacteria is allowed a feeding frenzy. Without socks, your climbing shoes, Vibram Five Fingers, or sandals adsorb all of that sweat and bacteria, resulting in the nasty foot funk.
I personally hate putting powder in my shoes as it is messy and clumps up over time. Based on the original MiraZyme product from Gear Aid, the new Rank Away uses a blend of naturally occurring and highly adapted enzymes, microbes, and other organic ingredients designed to kill the bacteria, mold, and fungus that can make your shoes stink.
Rank Away is specially designed for footwear, safe to use on mesh, canvas, and neoprene materials. For your Chacos, Tevas, and Vibram Five Fingers, you can soak them in a bath of biodegradable Rank Away. For your climbing shoes, hiking shoes, and trail runners, you can routinely spray on Rank Away for foot funk prevention.
Similar products to Rank Away Odor Eliminator include the G-Max Odour Eliminator from Grangers and the Sandal Wash from Nikwax.