Source: company Amazon site
How obtained: sample from company
RBR advertiser: no
Time tested: 4 months
“Got Stink?” asked the marketing promo at the Stuffitts booth at the Interbike trade show last fall. I thought to myself, Why, yes, I do — every time I ride.
Face it, sweat is an abundant byproduct of our sport. Whether riding on searing summer days or bundled up during the winter, when we finish a ride we do, indeed “got stink.” In our shoes, in our helmets, in our gloves, and of course in all of our clothing.
Which is why I was intrigued when I looked at the array of products Stuffitts offers to stave off the stink. The company’s cedar-filled pouches feature anti-mocrobial impregnated fabric and come in shapes to fit inside helmets, gloves, shoes and gear bags to dry out your cycling gear before the dreaded stink of lingering dampness can take hold.
Part of my post-ride ritual is to launder what I can (including my gloves, without ever a problem). But shoes (and to a lesser degree, helmets) can get nothing short of noxious over time.
Home remedies not always the best
We’ve all got our “home remedies” to deal with certain issues. For years, to help control shoe odor, I would stick a couple of Bounce dryer sheets into each shoe after every ride. That worked OK; it was certainly better than nothing, and kept my wife from banishing my shoes from the coat closet where I preferred to store them.
But it Wasn’t an ideal solution, and after a while, the pleasant smell on the dryer sheets would fade away, and the accumulated sweat in the shoes would start to blend into that peculiar locker-room funk we all know and hate.
When Stuffitts sent me a pair of Sport inserts for shoes, I immediately threw away those old dryer sheets for good. The inserts are bullet-shaped, about 7 inches (18 cm) long and can be stuffed quickly and easily inside the shoe after each ride. They are redolent of cedar and, according to the company, start absorbing moisture and eliminating odor immediately upon contact. They dry out again naturally, both while inside the shoe during use and when removed and exposed to dry air.
The founder and CEO, Mike Huebner, told me at Interbike that the units last up to one year, sometimes longer.
After 4 months of everyday use, mine continue to smell of cedar, and continue to keep my shoes smelling — if not exactly fresh as a daisy — at worst, neutral to mildly cedar-smelling. THere’s no evidence of any funk whatsoever.
A simple, effective solution
They couldn’t be easier to use. When I get dressed for a ride, I simply pull them out of my shoes (there’s an easy-to-grasp tab on the end), drop them on the couch in my home office, slip on the shoes and head out. When I return, I immediately stuff them back in the shoes and put the shoes back in the closet. That’s it. No muss, no fuss. No stink.
I have to stretch to say anything negative about the Stuffitts inserts for shoes. The only thing I can come up with is that the bullet-shaped Sport version doesn’t completely fill up the inside of the shoe. When stuffed as far into the toe as possible, they don’t reach the back of the shoe. But that really does not seem to matter in terms of their effectiveness at removing the moisture and controlling the odor. In short, I can’t imagine an easier-to-use, more effective product.
I’m eager to try more Stuffitts products, as well. I’ve always been flummoxed by what to do with stinky clothes after an event, when the drive home may be several hours. One of their draw-string gear bags might be in my future. And they just launched a new gear backpack, with separate compartments for shoes, clothes and a strap the holds your helmet snug as well. It looks like a winner to me.
John Marsh is the editor and publisher of RBR Newsletter and RoadBikeRider.com. A rider of “less than podium” talent, he sees himself as RBR’s Ringmaster, guiding the real talent (RBR’s great coaches, contributors and authors) in bringing our readers consistently useful, informative, entertaining info that helps make them better road cyclists. That’s what we’re all about here—always have been, always will be. Click to read John’s full bio.