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Smelly Feet and How to Avoid Them

Posted by Stanley G. on 6/30/2014 to Health & Footwear

Feet smell for two reasons:

1) Improper or Poorly Maintained Footwear.

2) Perspiration. Feet contain about 3,000 sweat glands per square inch. Perspiration combined with the bacteria that thrive in shoes and socks generates the odor. In some cases smelly feet or excessive sweating can result from a condition called “hyperhidrosis”, which primarily affects men. It’s even possible for stress, some medications, fluid intake, and hormonal changes to increase perspiration.

Following a few simple rules can help minimize the problem:

  • Always wear socks made of an absorbent fiber that will wick moisture away from the foot.

  • Avoid wearing nylon socks or plastic shoes. Shoes with upper made of leather or breathable textiles are the best choice.

  • Look for shoes and/or inserts lined with fabric that has anti-bacterial properties. Some fabrics may naturally resist the growth of bacteria while others may have received a secondary anti-microbial treatment.

  • Bathe feet daily in lukewarm water, using a mild soap. Dry thoroughly. It’s very important to keep your feet clean and dry.

  • Change socks and shoes at least once a day. Do not wear the same shoes every day. After removing your shoes let them “rest” for at least 24 hours before wearing them again.

  • Discard shoes that smell bad if the smell persists after the “resting” period.

  • Replace shoes every six months if they’ve been in frequent use (every other day).

  • Check for fungal infections between toes and on the bottoms of your feet. Seek treatment if any redness or dry, patchy skin is observed.

  • Use a non-medicated baby powder or foot powder. Antibacterial ointments also may help.