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I've been climbing for a few months and my gym sells old rental shoes at a discounted rate. I bought some as a cheap way to get started. I always wear socks when I climb but I've noticed the majority of people don't and I read that it's a bad idea to go sockless with rental shoes because of athlete's foot and such.

I'd love to see what all the rage is about climbing without socks, but want to know if there's a way I can clean my "new" shoes first in order to avoid athlete's foot and all the other fun stuff.

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I would just spray them with Lysol disinfectant spray. That should take the care of both the smell and kill the fungus. This is the quick and simple solution.

You are right that most people don't climb with socks mostly for better control, unless they are using rental shoes, in which case they use socks to avoid athletes foot. We had a whole bunch on answers on that topic and they answer it quite well.

There is also another bunch of answers on how to clean rock climbing shoes that are also well worth reading.

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