Author Topic: Its a serious question. Do your boot inserts smell?  (Read 472 times)

gunwharfman

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I always wear Sorbothane inserts in my boots and I've noticed that when I hike for a few hours and then take my boots off the inserts/socks have a sickly, sweet, acetone type (I think the correct word is acetone?) smell to them? It's definitely not the smell of my feet, I've never had that kind of problem and I know this because if I place my boots, socks, and inserts physically away from me my feet are, as usual, absolutely lovely! So I've concluded that because of the feet heat that's generated in my boots, it must either be something to do with the socks or its something to do with the inserts, or perhaps both?

As I try to work out what the cause I'm more and more convinced its more to do with the Sorbothane inserts. My socks, after a hard day's walk, can smell a little but it soon goes, but if I smell the surface of the Sorbothane's I know that the smell is there and it will still be there for the next couple of days. As I think simplistically about it I'm tempted to believe that the smell is a chemical reaction caused by my feet perspiration coming through my socks which then comes in contact with the Sorbothane fabric, or possibly to the plastic-type material underneath the fabric that my feet stand on as I walk.

Does anyone else know of this problem or is it just unique to me?

ninthace

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Re: Its a serious question. Do your boot inserts smell?
« Reply #1 on: 16:04:44, 13/03/20 »
How old are the inserts?
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kinkyboots

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Re: Its a serious question. Do your boot inserts smell?
« Reply #2 on: 16:09:58, 13/03/20 »
I think I already know the answer but the obvious question is do you or have you ever washed them?

Just where do you think all the sweat, salts and bacteria from your feet goes?

It's recommended that the insoles are removed from the boots at the end of every walk to dry and air out overnight.

It's also recommended that they are regularly handwashed in warm soapy water to remove the sweat, salts and bacteria and freshen them up.

pleb

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Re: Its a serious question. Do your boot inserts smell?
« Reply #3 on: 16:19:14, 13/03/20 »
No-they have no nose  ;D
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gunwharfman

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Re: Its a serious question. Do your boot inserts smell?
« Reply #4 on: 17:57:09, 13/03/20 »
Yes, they are a bit old now and yes I do wash them regularly but thinking about it maybe not enough? Thanks for your help, I'll start with the washing again and trying different cleaning agents as well.

kinkyboots

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Re: Its a serious question. Do your boot inserts smell?
« Reply #5 on: 18:08:15, 13/03/20 »
Yes, they are a bit old now and yes I do wash them regularly but thinking about it maybe not enough? Thanks for your help, I'll start with the washing again and trying different cleaning agents as well.

You won't go far wrong using Nikwax Tech Wash which you've probably already got in the cupboard from when you used to wear your Paramo Alta. Just make sure you rinse them throughly after washing.

I find it very useful for washing most outdoor related gear.

You can enter Nikwax's webquiz (answer 5 simple questions) to get a free 100ml sachet this month https://www.nikwax.com/en-gb/webquiz/

sussamb

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Re: Its a serious question. Do your boot inserts smell?
« Reply #6 on: 18:39:02, 13/03/20 »
Don't get that smell from my sorbothane inserts, or my boots, but they do get a rinse out every so often  O0
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gunwharfman

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Re: Its a serious question. Do your boot inserts smell?
« Reply #7 on: 18:47:07, 13/03/20 »
Thanks for the Nikwax Tech suggestion, I hadn't thought of that, I'll give it a go.

SteamyTea

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Re: Its a serious question. Do your boot inserts smell?
« Reply #8 on: 21:39:48, 13/03/20 »
Acetone, the major constituent of nail vanish remover, is a pretty distinctive smell (I did spend 20 years in the composite plastics industry).
Are you sure it is that?
Now i am taking a guess here based on the pictures of them.  Are they made from a polyurethane elastomer and silicone?
It is possible that if it is a polyurethane base, then your skin is reacting with it, but that should not cause an acetone smell (you can sometimes get that smell on your breath if you are diabetic or have really exerted yourself for a long period, see a Doctor).
It is possible that there was a smelly release agent used, but that would wash off.  Acetone is not usually used in the manufacture of PU or silicone products.
Methylene Chloride is the usual chemical used in the PU business.  That has a sweet smell.
(somedays I miss all the smells, other days I don't.  Yesterday I bought some PVC cement lovely)
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