Shoefresh deodoriser
2020    photos: Stan Koolen

When your girlfriend tells you to leave your cycling shoes outside because of the smell, it's time to find a solution. The bad smell of my cycling shoes, especially the XC mtb shoes after a rainy ride was so overwhelming it almost made me wish to throw my shoes away. So after a quick search online and scrolling through the instagram account of a Dutch field hockey player, I found this shoe deodoriser and drying machine by Shoefresh. They're claiming that they can gradually reduce the unpleasant smell of sport shoes and dry wet shoes within 20 min. So I decided to sent them email asking if I could test one of their shoe dryers to see if they really could dry my shoes and make them smell pleasant again. I can't keep the garage- or closet door closed forever, or in this case leave the shoes permanently outside.

Two days later I received a box from shoesfresh with the newer black version of this machine. Apparently the company is established not far from my home. I don't think this really affects the shipping time within the Netherlands though, but it was shipped surprisingly fast.

The Shoefresh is easy to assemble: you insert the holders into the platform and then it is only a matter of plugging it in and adjust the settings according to the type of shoes you have. The Shoefresh is automatically set to a 5 minutes deodorising and 20 minutes drying time, but if your shoes are not clean or dry after that, you can prolong the cleaning and drying time. The Shoefresh refreshes shoes in two steps. As soon as you place your shoes on the holders, the program will start. During the first step the shoes are deodorised using Active Oxygen technology. This technology helps preventing unpleasant odors in the shoes and remove the odor-causing bacteria and fungal growth.


During this first step a distinctive smell (ozone) will occur from the machine but this will gradually disappear after a few minutes, it's best to place the shoesfresh in a well ventilated area. After Shoefresh has deodorised the shoes, it automatically switches to the drying process. Here the Shoefresh is set to a drying time of 20 minutes at a temperature of 60 degrees Celsius. You can set both the temperature and the drying time: from 40 to 60 degrees and from 0 to 40 minutes. In case of "0 minutes drying time", you limit yourself to only remove the odor from the shoes. The sound of the Shoefresh can be compared to a hair dryer but less noisy, it isn't really annoying to be fair.

After 30 min at 45 degrees Celsius I take my shoes off the dryers (not the shoes in the picture) sadly the shoes are still a bit wet, but it does look very promising for the first time using the machine. I set it to dry for another 10 min or so. The inside of my cx mtb shoes are made of leather and were soaking wet, so it definitely needs to work harder to achieve the desired result. Shoefresh recommends a temperature of 40 degrees Celsius for leather shoes, helmets and other objects.

It's best to set the cleaning time and drying time according to the type of shoes you have and the level of wetness. After the first session the smell of the shoes was still present. I didn't expect the Shoefresh to be some kind of magic machine, but after a couple of sessions the shoes are definitely starting the smell pleasant again. With newer shoes, the unpleasant smell disappears quicker than with older shoes. After a sweaty indoor training sessions I found out that my newer lightweight road cycling shoes were dry within the 20min time set and that they didn't smell unpleasant at all.

Shoefresh also comes with a helmet holder. By replacing the shoe holders for the helmet holders you'll be able to deodorise and dry your helmet as well. There's no difference in settings when deordorising and drying the helmet. The only difference is the holder.


If you plan to ride a lot in wet winter conditions, the Shoefresh is a great product to get dry shoes quickly. Especially for cyclist who like to ride multiple days a week or even multiple times a day. Soaking wet shoes are dry within 20-40 min time set. For older smellier shoes the machine does a great job on making them smell "pleasant" again. It doesn't totally get rid of the unpleasant smell but at least you can leave them in the hallway or garage again. Putting shoes on the heater overnight hoping they will be dry the next day, using a hairdryer or shoving newspaper in your shoes is really old fashioned when you've tried this freshener and drying machine by Shoefresh.

I usually don't use the shoefresh for drying my helmet, normally I just rinse the helmet with water and put it somewhere to dry. The only reason for me to use the Shoefresh is to speed up the drying process. According to the site you can also use if for drying gloves. I haven't tried it yet, because normally I put them in the washing machine and they eventually find their way to the clothes horse again.

Shoefresh (see website) is available in black and white. The black model wil retail for €129,- the white model for €109,-.