The athletic gear cleaning and deodorizing industry seems to be ramping up its game these days, and it’s a good thing. As someone who’s worked in athletics for a long time, stinky people are a pervasive issue. Combat sports, one of the areas I’ve worked in the most, requires a lot of up-close-and-personal contact. Let’s just say, for any athlete, controlling smell and moisture is a good thing.
It’s not just favorable to keep odors and moisture in check on your athletic gear, it’s also a health issue. Bacteria, fungi, and other microbes can create the unpleasant odors and also make you and your teammates ill. Stopping these problems is the focus of Stuffitts, a company that creates products especially designed to eliminate microbes and odors.
Stuffitts was formed in 2007, when triathlete Mike Huebner desired a solution to the odor and moisture issues of his shoes while training. He then developed the Stuffitts Shoe Saver to aid in this problem. I tried the Pro version of the Shoe Saver, which is their flagship product. Stuffitts has since expanded to offer similar products for all manner of gear.
The Stuffitts Pro offers a simple design. A pouch containing finely ground cedar is placed inside an antimicrobial wicking fabric. Very basic, but hey, the most useful things in life are simple. All you have to do is insert the Stuffitt Pro into your shoe at night and it dries and eliminates the smells. Each Stuffitt also has a carrying strap that you can use you can use to transport them around.
The product works by wicking the moisture through the fabric into the absorbent cedar. The fabric itself is made with Microban, an anti-microbial product designed for fabrics and other items. While I couldn’t find much detail on the actual Microban product used in the Stuffitts fabric, it looks like most of the products Microban offers are incorporated into the fabric, rather than applied as a coating. They are also mineral-based. This means Stuffits are effective antimicrobial products, seemingly without being harmful.
The drying and antimicrobial properties alone will help eliminate odors, but the pleasant cedar smell reduces the odors even more. I tried the Stuffits Pro in both wet and dry running shoes. In both cases the shoes ended up dry, and not only free of bad odors, but with a lightly pleasant smell.
You do, of course, need to replace the Stuffits on an annual basis. I included this factor in the negative column, but it’s not really so bad. You’ll never find a product that eliminates odors effectively without needing to be replaced from time to time.
I recommend the Stuffits Pro for anyone suffering from stinky or wet shoes. Really, wet and smelly shoes are one of the worst things in athletics short of injury, so do yourself a favor and get yourself a pair of Stuffitts if this is a problem you regularly face. You might even help keep athlete’s foot and other issues at bay.
Stuffitts are available for $24.95 at Stuffitts.com.