Why the bootie funk?

cougarmeat

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Joined
Sep 17, 2012
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970
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Bend OR USA
What is it about neoprene boots that causes that "after sea" funk smell? I thought it was supposed to be bacteria feeding on dead skin cells. But I wear socks on my feet in the booties. And the neoprene top and pants are also subject to the same sea and skin (though not usually on a foot) and they don't reek as much.

It's not without its benefits. I and others have posted that the scent is great for being hurried on our way at border crossings - lending credence to, "We've been out kayak camping for a week." But still, after the border, we have hours remaining on the drive home.

Sure, we have "Sink the Stink" and other competitive concoctions for an after-adventure wash. But the rest of the neoprene doesn't require such TLC. Usually, a normal wash is enough.

So what is it about neoprene shoes that creates such odeur de parfum?

Inquiring minds (and noses) want to know.
 

Tiger Shark

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May 10, 2022
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13
Location
Coquitlam B.C.
Notice gloves are the same, but it’s really the inside of gloves and booties that smell, you can smell it on the outside somewhat but its mainly coming from inside, perhaps it’s the slow drying, must be bacteria from the water growing in there because the very first time you wear booties or gloves they are not that bad, but from then on they go down hill fast. My farmer john suit or my neoprene vest never stinks, but they dry really fast. I’ve never tried drying my boots in direct warm sun outside, I don’t know if that would help. I heard drinking a good scotch out of them cures it for good though.lol.
 

JohnAbercrombie

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Dec 7, 2011
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3,303
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Victoria, BC
I assume it's bacteria, etc. from the ocean (or even lakes/rivers) that's growing and causing the smell.
It's not possible when camping, but I find that using a boot dryer keeps neoprene booties odorless. After a day-paddle, the neo stuff - booties, pogies, sprayskirt+ gloves & hat -goes in the washing machine for a 'Rinse & Spin" cycle for about 20 minutes, then things hang to dry or go on the boot dryer, which is a DIY device which uses some older/larger computer fans.
 
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chodups

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Nov 2, 2005
Messages
1,214
I only get stink-shoe and stink-glove from fresh water. Never salt water. I figured that it was the freshwater bacteria as the stink increases as the fresh water temp rises.
 

Newbflat

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Joined
Dec 27, 2020
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12
Location
Seattle
Wash with some lemon juice to kill the funk. Get a boot dryer and dry them asap… should fix It.
 
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