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I have been wearing New Balance shoes since 1980. Ove the past 2 years I only get 2 to 3 months of wear from these expensive 993 shoes before the start to smell like cat urine.

I am not a runner and I only use these shoe for normal everyday wear. This week I checked other blogs and found that everybody is complaining about the same issue, it appears that the rubber breaks down and causes this rotten smell.

If sombody can get me the telephone number for their corporate office, I will address this personally. All of the New Balance Shoes that I have owned were labeled as Made in The USA !

Product or Service Mentioned: New Balance Shoes.

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After years of dealing with the stinky shoe problem whenever I get caught in the rain in my white new balance shoes I might have figured out how to get rid of the smell, at least until the next rain: get a BIG bag of baking soda, fill the shoes with baking soda, put them in a shoe box, pour the rest of the baking soda in the box to cover the shoes. Wait a few weeks and pour out the baking soda.

Clap the shoes together to shake out the rest. No smell.


dear people,we are so grateful for this forum! we had a friend called ijsbrand, he was very drunk and we put him to bed.

When we came back we thought he peed his bed, because it smelled like cat *** our dear friend noa went to check it it maybe was the shoes?

turns, it was the shoes all along. now we can safely go to bed without fear of *** in our beds.eternally yours,team edward


Same here. Was driving me crazy trying to figure out why my shoes smelled like cat ***


NB 577s... last 2 pairs, right foot, cat urine smell. Never use to be this way.


I have a pair of minimus golf shoes, when the weather turned to wet, my God! The smell of cat urine is over whelming so much, my wife won't allow them in the house!!!

Scrubbed with with borax, bleach, and Dawn soap.

Still stink!!!!! These were not cheap!!!!!!


I have been complaining to NB for years about this problem. I went through at least a dozen pair of 99x shoes between 2010 and 2015 before I finally gave up.

New Balance replaced 3 pair at no charge and they had the same problem. In 2016 I saw an ad by New Balance for custom 990v3s so I went on their website and built a pair with custom colors. One of the options was to choose black soles instead of the traditional grey. I chose black.

I have been wearing the shoes for a year and a half now with no scent whatsoever. Hope this helps.


I see that I'm not the only one with this problem. The Shoes say USA Made the last three pair.

Have done the same thing. The hold time I was thinking it was just something happening to me as I get older. These are 139.95 plus tax a pop making them 150.00.

the shoe is the best fit and comfortable shoe I ever one but the smell I can't handle, or the rest of my family. What can I do?


I had good luck with my last two pairs of new balance smelly shoes when I do the baking soda wash. The trick is to not rinse them out when you take them out of the bucket.Let the baking soda stay in the shoes.

It will take days for the shoes to dry so be aware. Also make sure you soak the the shoe liner in the bucket out of the shoe.

Leave the liner out till both it and the shoes are bone dry. The procedure to do the wash is on google "How to clean smelly new balance shoes" www.trails.com.


It was nice to get a US made product and a wide tennis shoe. Then my wife began to complain about the smell.

People here say cat urine, I would rather liken it to cat spray. Very, very pungent.

Must have been stinky old me or a neighborhood Tom. Washed. And Washed.

And washed again. Tide. Fabreeze. Baking Soda.

Still stink.

So she bought me a new pair. Wonderful.

For two months. Same smell.

Never had this happen before with any other shoe.

Comfort and patriotism are not worth this stench.


I have the same problem with cat urine smell in my 990v3 sneakers. I read that the smell is from the glue used.

I suspect the glue is made from cats. Glue has been made for centuries from a variety of animals and the glue used may have been purchased from an Asian country where there are no animal protection laws - Just my opinion.

Why else would these sneakers stink like cat urine as they do? I hope I am wrong but I don't believe I am.

to copperheadharley #1337096

Also, I have been able to minimize the smell by using a pet urine enzyme that you put on the item for about five mi utes then wash with additional enzyme in the wash water.

Dallas, Texas, United States #1239399

November 11. 2016

Husband has worn NB for years.

He purchased 2 pair--one was fine, but when he began to wear the second pair, we smelled strong smell of cat urine. Not happy to come here and read that it is an ongoing problem.


The date is 10/21/2016 and ... I don't have sweaty or stinky feet and i use Desnex religiously and my shoes stink as well.

I sm not sure if i would liken the smell to cat urine though. I have washed the shoes and insoles in the washer and i air dried them fo 2 week ... They began to stink again. This was the first time that i bought NB, fortunate for me i bought mine from TJ Maxx.

After reading the comments i will wash the shoes and insoles again.

But now i know that i can only wear these shoes on dry sunny day. These shoes must be washed often and cannot be worn at all when it is damp outside.


Update on my New Balance 990s and New Balance's response to the "cat urine smell" issue. I'm on my fourth pair of 990s.

A couple of years ago, New Balance replaced the shoes free--twice. They said they had an adhesive problem that they were fixing. I thought, what a great company. The next time, their customer service department offered a small discount on a new pair.

They said they'd fixed the problem, but my new pair eventually started smelling like cat urine on the outside of the heel. It was an intense smell which other people around me noticed, just like the other pairs. On the next go round, customer service said they would do nothing and claimed their 990s really didn't have a defect, but they claimed mine were simply retaining moisture (hinting it was sweaty feet). They wanted me to switch to another model.

(I've never had this problem with any other shoes, and I don't perceive that my feet sweat excessively.) So rather than hear this all again from customer service, I wrote the CEO of New Balance by snail mail, thinking perhaps he was not aware of this issue with the (very expensive and made in USA) 990 series. I specifically asked in my letter that New Balance should not simply turn me back over to customer service. Well, guess what. They turned my case right back over to customer service who gave me the same old story--that it was moisture retention and that I should try another model.

Here is the most important part. Customer service at New Balance said to only expect about 6 months out of these shoes if they are given "regular use." They define that as 500 miles total. So if you walk 2.8 miles a day for 6 months, New Balance says it will then be time to replace them. These are $150 shoes.

Please factor all of this in when you are thinking about buying New Balance 990s. Made in USA, expensive.

They are great shoes, but I think they should be more durable than this.


Well, here it is September 2015 and I would like to know if this is STILL a problem with New Balance shoes? I've switched to Brooks for my running shoes, but still have a 3 year old pair of smelly New Balance 993s that I wear for mowing the yard.

But I won't buy any more New Balance shoes until this issue is cleared up permanently. Smelling like cat *** is not something shoes should do - ever.

to Anonymous #1035612

From my experience, it's still a problem. I bought a new pair of 990s in January, 2015 (after having 3 previous pairs, two pairs of which were free replacements by New Balance).

All of those shoes had the smells-like-cat-pee problem. In July, 2015, after a few months of wearing them, one shoe started doing the cat-urine-smell thing. Now it is September, 2015, and New Balance customer service says the only thing they will do is a one-time-only $20 coupon for a future purchase. This on a $150-a-pair model.

One of their first emails said it was, in essence, my fault, that it could have been caused by "foot sweat being absorbed in the shoes." But I can only smell the urine odor on the outside, not on the inside.

So does that make sense? The odor is caused by moisture inside the sole but the odor is on the outside? In a later email, they revised that, saying it's from "moisture getting trapped in the shoe and the shoe not being able to completely dry out."

This is quite a different story than the one I received a couple of years ago when they said it was an adhesive problem. (That was when they replaced them free--twice.) These shoes are expensive and they are made in the US.

I've just written to their brand-new, 250,000 sq ft headquarters in Boston since the customer service people aren't budging.

I'm hoping perhaps it's something that New Balance's CEO is not aware of. Of course, all you have to do is google it to see that a lot of people are having the same issue, even in September, 2015.

to Anonymous #1043860

My 990's stink NOW after a replacement Feb 25 this year. Called the local store and they requested for me to come in so they can look at the shoe??

Very wary of these shoes now as the smell like cat urine...also embarrassing. Will see how they handle this again...may have to find a comparable shoe elsewhere...tired of dealing with this "stinky" issue.

to Granny Buford, Georgia, United States #1044026

Manager exchanged the shoes and told me that I had gotten them too wet and that was the smell. He said that the suede part was the issue.

He exchanged them for me including the special laces I previously purchased. Just hope this is the last exchange on these shoes..


I just called them and they are sending me a coupon to buy new pair. The smell comes from inner sole.

To call them just write in computer NB contact phone number. It came right up

Lawrenceburg, Kentucky, United States #1006919

Also want to let people know that New Balance 993 smell like cat pee once they get wet. New Balance people act like they don't know what you are talking about.

What ever happened to HONESTY.

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