How do you clean used shoes? - Page 2
You add moisture with each wear , sorry to say. On the other hand, if it is about a pair of shoes that was worn by an unknown person, I just prefer to be on the safe side - if totally obsessed you can add a silica pouch to absorb moisture. And use for a time a anti fungal talcum powder ....
But using a cloth with alcohol/sanitizer once to get a "fresh start" should not hurt too much. I have done it and I can´t see any damage. When using them you add new sweat that should soften the presumed dry leather. It all depends on the shoe and the value of it.
One idea I have is to use a steamer. I have one for cleaning and steaming clothes with exchangable heads. I have been thinking of steaming the inside of shoes. Sure you add some moisture but at least germs and other nasty things will die.
I stumbled across this Kiwi deodorizer product at Dick's Sporting Goods:
It's done an amazing job at eliminating the odeur de swamp.