Friday, August 30, 2013

Road Testing Pingi: Beating the summer munge.

Babbette first blogged about these dehumidifiers on her blogspot a month or so ago here.  She reports that her feet are dry and so she doesn't put the Pingi bags directly into her boots but just drops one into her skate bag.  Your diarist, on the other hand has sweaty feet and the confines of my Jackson free-style boots with their soft, heat moldable linings get quite moist with as little as a 30 minute lesson.  A two hour public session?  Soaked!  Skate four or five times a week during the summer?  You can image.

My attempts to deal with the smell have included trying those deodorizing balls one finds at sports shops.  Other skaters have recommended putting drier fabric softener sheets in the boots.  Those strategies basically just hide the problem with a weird smell which reminds me of old hiking boots abandoned in a pine forest.  Worse, the boots remain damp inside.  Nothing is more fun than sticking your feet back into clammy boots the next day--kinda like wearing wet diapers on your feet.  I'll save that sensation for when I put on my dinghy boots for the second day of a sailing regatta. 

I thought about getting those little heater/fan thingies that campers use to dry their wet boots but was concerned that the heat from the driers would ruin the inside shape of my heat-moldable boots.  I already have a love/hate relationship with the fit of these boots and since the boots and I currently have declared an uneasy truce, I don't want to rock that particular boat.   My best solution up 'til now was a home made one: put either kitty litter or Drierite desiccant into old socks and put the socks into the boots.  That actually works well but it's hard to get the right amount of desiccant into a sock without the sock getting too big to fit into the boot.  After reading about Pingi desiccant bags I decided to give them a try.

Pingi bags come in three sizes:  150g, 250g and 450g.  I ordered the smallest size but perhaps the 250g size would still fit inside a skate boot.

I suspect the ingredient inside the bag is my old friend Drierite.  The penguin changes color from blue (dry) to pink (water saturated) just like Drierite does.

To recharge the saturated Pingi one places the bag in a microwave for 3 minutes or until the indicator Penguin goes from pink back to blue.  This is a lot easier than removing the Drierite from old socks and baking it dry in an oven and then returning it to the socks (which by now have little holes in them...).

Here's a 150g Pingi nestled inside one of my boots.  The next day the interior of the boot was dry and Pingi was still blue so the 150g size appears to have sufficient capacity to dry out a very sweaty boot.  I bought two; one for each boot.  Dry, odor-free boots are happy boots!  I ordered my Pingi bags from Amazon but perhaps they can also be found at a big box store near you.


  1. First pump! "Yes!!!!" I'm glad the Pingi worked for you.

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