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Odor in New Balance Suede Tennis Shoes

I can not get the odor out of my son's New Balance suede tennis shoes. The bottom of the inside of the shoes has a flannel feeling fabric. I have:

1. Sprayed with Kiwi Fresh Force shoe freshener
2. Washed with baking soda, vinegar, detergent, Spray and Wash, etc.
3. Left outside for days to air out. Even the animals don't want to run off with them.

None of his other shoes smell like this. He marched in these at band camp and I suppose he sweated excessively in them.

They just have a really rank odor that resembles the odor that happened one time when the towel underneath the dog's water bowl didn't get replaced when I was flat on my back from an injury. The guys let it go and it got full of mold or mildew underneath. Ew, gross. Anyway, the towel washed fine. But I sure can't get these shoes to stop stinking. They sure are clean though!


Any suggestions?



Removing Odor from Shoes

I had the same problem with my penny loafers that I just slipped on without socks. An Amish gentleman who owned a harness shop made leather insoles for me and glued them in, (said his wife did the same thing with her shoes) and I never had the problem again. I imagine a shoe repair shop could do the same thing, or if you live near any Amish at all, you can get it done while you wait. (08/30/2005)

By Margie

Removing Odor from Shoes

You can place a "Bounce" or any other dryer fabric sheet in them for a few days.

Hope it works.


By Sherri

Removing Odor from Shoes

We had the same problem with my son's shoes. We got rid of most of the odour by putting them in the dryer on high heat. The heat killed the bacteria and helped a lot with the smell. (08/30/2005)

By Trix

Removing Odor from Shoes

I know you said you washed the shoes in vinegar, but that was not enough exposure. I've had more than one pair of shoes belonging to different family members have this problem through the years. The only thing I've found to impact this earthy smell is to actually soak the shoes in vinegar for 24hrs. I just pour it into the shoes and let them sit. I've heard of some folks using alum, small amounts of powdered alum sprinkled in the shoes, as well. Good luck! (08/30/2005)


By bbb

Removing Odor from Shoes

Place them in a large plastic bag and then in the freezer for 24 hours. It will kill off the lovely little invisible critters that are the cause of this odor. (08/30/2005)

By Tina

Removing Odor from Shoes

Use vanilla on cotton balls, in shoes, this will work! (08/30/2005)

By Rosa

Removing Odor from Shoes

You might try taking an old nylon stocking, fill with some kitty litter and put in shoes for a day. It soaks up the smell. (08/31/2005)

Removing Odor from Shoes

Try spraying rubbing alcohol in them. (08/31/2005)

By Lynne

Removing Odor from Shoes

Stuff his shoes with wadded up newspaper. Stuff them well and then place in garbage bag and close overnight. It should take out the smell. Sometimes you have to repeat a few times. (09/01/2005)

By Walker

Removing Odor from Shoes

Take a couple of envelopes, put a tablespoonful of coffee grounds (right from the can) in each envelope and seal. Then place an envelope in each shoe and place shoes in a plastic bag and seal for a couple of days or longer if necessary. (09/04/2005)

By Anna from ME

Odor in New Balance Suede Tennis Shoes

Have you tried contacting New Balance? Perhaps they have a solution for you since it's just those shoes you're having problems with. It could be something in the materials or chemicals that trap the smell. I can't imagine why nothing you've tried wouldn't help. My husband has the smelliest sweat and works in construction all day and I have never had problems getting smells out of his stuff.

Sorry I couldn't be of more help! Good Luck!


By Madelynnsmama

Odor in New Balance Suede Tennis Shoes

Have you tried going to a shoe store lately? Many of them offer these round 'thingies" that look like tennis balls and you place them in your sneakers when you are not wearing them. I do believe they guarantee that they work.

They might cost you a few buckos, but I'm sure it will be worth it.

Good luck. (09/19/2005)

By kidena

Odor in New Balance Suede Tennis Shoes

This is not just a "New Balance" problem. For me they're the best tennis shoe around. I wouldn't bail on them just because "I" got them wet. I've seen the wet/stink issues with Nike and other good brands. Soak them using a combination of small amounts of rubbing alcohol, Lysol with lemon, and a good amount of baking soda. Then dry them completely in the sun for several days and don't wear for a week.

Then before and after every wearing, sprinkle the insides with baking soda and take some old socks, fill with cat litter (the kind for multiple cat households) and place those inside the shoes. Also, vary the shoes you wear and try not to wear the same pair all day every day. Wear good socks that absorb moisture. After sweating from sports, remove socks and shoes quickly, dry feet, change socks and change to alternate shoes. (09/16/2006)

By Michael from Baltimore

New Balance 1122s

I am now on my third pair of 1122s. They were recommended to me by my podiatrist, as well. Same thing.

After several months the outside rubber heels started to smell exactly like cat urine. I have called New Balance each time, and each time I was directed to take them back to the store I purchased them from (Lucky Shoes). Today New Balance called the shoe store for me and asked if they would replace yet another pair due to "product control issue". When I walked in, the lady behind the counter said "Oh, I remember you". Sure she does, my shoes smell like cat pee! Do you think New Balance told her that that was the "issue"? Nope, I was made to be embarrassed yet again, but I did get another pair of new sneakers. When I asked New Balance "what happens when this replacement pair starts to stink" the lady there said "send them back and we will replace them again". At this rate I will have new shoes for free for a very, very long time. (07/31/2007)


By Peggy

Odor in New Balance Suede Tennis Shoes

Odour in New Balance 1122. Well here's the feed back from New Balance. (see original post of 13Apr07). I explained the odour issue to New Balance. They told me to talk to the store I bought them from. I
explained the issue to the store. Before I was done, the lady finished my story for me. They have had many, many returns of the same complaint. Seems the store, (a very large retailer) refuses to carry the 1122 and has told New Balance that they will not carry it until such time that the odour issue is fixed.

To date is has not. The manager went on to have me seal the shoes in a plastic bag, box them and return them to the store. I live out of town so I had to send them in the mail. They promptly gave me a full
credit, apologized for the inconvenience and have provided a new pair of shoes in a different brand. I am completely satisfied and won't buy this model again. Don't even waste your time trying to get rid of the odour yourself, it's in the product they use in the manufacturing of the motion control heal support. If you don't believe me, just go to the back of the shoe, give that horseshoe shaped piece of plastic
between the sole and the upper a good sniff. When you regain consciousness, get rid of the shoes.


By Rob M

Odor in New Balance Suede Tennis Shoes

It's the decomposition of the polyurethane in the shoes that causes the odor. I believe the smell is the urea that is present in the foam and when this happens, there is nothing that can be done because the plastic has destabilized. Urea is present in urine, hence the cat pee smell. I have the same thing going
on with some polyurethane orthopedic inserts that got wet. I really thought that the cat got them, until I washed them, soaked them in dish washing detergent, left them to dry in the sun and dryer.

I sprayed them with Febreze and even used baking soda. They stink worse as what I did made them decompose more. I'm assuming that there is a problem with this type of foam or maybe there is a problem with a supplier. Maybe they even have male cats in the factory in China making the shoes.

To all those that posted normal foot odor remedies: This is not foot odor! (01/10/2009)

By Henry

Odor in New Balance Suede Tennis Shoes

I wrote them and received this response:

Dear Paul,

Thank you for contacting New Balance Consumer Support. We are sorry to hear that you are having an issue with your shoes and would be happy to look at them and replace if necessary. We have had several similar complaints concerning the shoe odor you are referencing and have investigated this issue through our Quality team. As a result, we have reformulated the compounds used in our sole production which should alleviate the smell.

We would be happy to issue you a return authorization so your shoes can be inspected. Please click the below link and complete the form so your return can be processed.

(link redacted for privacy)

We appreciate your feedback and your continued loyalty as a New Balance consumer. Please let us know if you have any additional questions or concerns via email or phone at 800-622-1218.


This is excellent news, because I really like NB shoes. (12/29/2009)

By webgrunt

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