During the winter I found due to the colder weather, even during long runs, the KSO's didn't really smell because me feet weren't sweating. As summer approaches many of you may start to notice that your KSO's have a certain "funky" smell about them. If you think about it, this makes total sense. The KSO's are basically a pair of socks with rubber glued to the bottom. My socks smell after just one day of use and REALLY smell if I do anything that results in sweating. So how do you get rid of the smell?
The Vibram website indicates that the KSO's should be cleaned as follows:
"Vibram FiveFingers are machine washable. Use gentle, warm water cycle with liquid or powdered detergent. Hang to air dry. Make sure to keep the KSO Trek, Performa, and Moc away from direct sunlight or heat source while drying."
This works fine however, I have found that simply using detergent doesn't get the funk out. Here is what I do to keep them clean.
1. After going for a run, or some other sweaty activity, I wear them into the shower. There I rinse out most of the dirt that has built up since the last washing. I usually fill them up with water from the shower head, swish the water around and then dump them out. It usually takes three or four times before the water looks cleanish.
2. Drop them in the washing machine with detergent AND put in a full cup of baking soda. I try to let the machine fill up with water and let the baking soda dissolve before throwing in my shoes. Additionally, to avoid the knocking sound the shoes make in the washer I try to put in at least one towel.
3. Once they are done washing I simply pull them out and let them dry. My shoes usually come out semi dry and if I let them sit over night they are completely dry by morning.
This process does a good job of getting them clean and funk free. In order to avoid washing them two or more times a week I have tried a number of other remedies… dumping odor eater powder, baking powder, and those odor eater balls. They all kind of worked but not really. My conclusion was the only true way to keep them smelling decent was washing them and airing them dry.
I'd love to hear from other Vibram owners if they have discovered any other ways to keep them smelling clean.