All posts by tina

Sweaty Feet In Hiking Boots? Tips To Keep ‘Em Cool And Dry

They say that women don’t sweat, they merely glow. Well, I glow like a pig. After a few miles’ hiking, my feet look like I’ve just got out of the shower.

Sweat cools the body 22 times more efficiently than air, apparently, so at least this makes me more comfortable in hot weather.

The only sensation that’s really unbearable is slimy, swampy, sweaty feet. My toes slide around and the damp skin chafes painfully.

The sweat ferments inside my boots, and by the time I get to camp, the smell of my socks could intimidate a skunk.

Judging by the racks of foot deodorants available in the average camping shop, I’m not the only one with this issue.

So what’s the problem? And more importantly, the solution?

 

Why do so many hikers suffer from uncomfortably sweaty feet?

A lot of it is due to the nature of our hobby. The exertion and friction of a strenuous walk increases blood flow to the feet, making them warmer.

Thick socks and tight-laced walking boots trap the heat and stop sweat from evaporating. This leads to the ‘sauna boots’ feeling backpackers know so well.

Walking long distances with sweaty feet is not only uncomfortable, but can be dangerous

Warmth and perspiration soften the skin, which makes blisters form more easily and can cause painful cracking when your skin dries out.

Wet skin is more susceptible to fungal infections, and at high altitudes damp skin dramatically increases the risk of frostbite.

 

Skin care tips to reduce sweating during hiking

Any spray antiperspirant will help to keep your feet dry– there are brands made especially for hikers’ feet, but a cheap brand for underarms will do the same job.

Don’t mess with foot powders. They soak up sweat before it becomes an issue but most contain cornstarch which makes an ideal growing bed for fungus when moist.

  • If you suffer from serious odor when walking, hiking or backpacking then get the special antiseptic foot powders without corn starch. Stay away from baby powder.

Hardcore backpackers treat their feet with astringent rubs to toughen the skin. In layman’s terms, an astringent is a chemical which stings your skin and causes your pores to close temporarily, which reduces sweating.

Astringents include; acacia, alum, bayberry, distilled vinegar, sage, yarrow, witch hazel, very cold water, and rubbing alcohol.

An old climbers trick:

Several days before your trip, spray your feet every day with Arid Extra Dry. Alpinists and mountaineers do this to reduce sweating of the feet and avoid frostbite at altitude. Not guaranteed but it may work for you too.

Everything from alcohol gels to formaldehyde can be used to reduce foot sweating for a few hours.

Old-fashioned remedies include soaking in black tea (feels nice, doesn’t work very well) and the military trick of urinating on your own feet (works, but I’d rather be sweaty.)

  • Note: Bear in mind that extremely sweaty feet (plantar hyperhidrosis) can be a sign of a medical issue. If your feet sweat constantly, even when you’re not hiking, then better socks won’t help you – you’ll need to seek medical attention.

 

Hiking socks to keep feet cool and dry & for extra skin comfort

Every hiker has their own special preference for socks that keep feet cool. Wearing quality socks is essential as they will also help prevent foot problems including; pain, numbness, swelling, cracks, foot odor, blisters, and skin maceration.

To combat sweat, it’s wise to wear thin moisture-wicking socks next to the skin, plus a pair of outer socks on top to protect your feet from rubbing. Here’s an overview of popular hiking liner socks.

The layer next to the skin is the most important choice. Cotton socks feel cool and allow feet to breathe on long hikes, but they quickly become sodden with sweat and take a long time to dry out.

Wool absorbs perspiration into the core of the fiber (unlike cotton, which simply soaks through) so the surface stays relatively dry to the touch, but wool socks are so warm that they can actually increase your rate of perspiration while walking.

A highly recommended option are Merino wool socks which are praised for their unique ability to keep feet warm and cool as well as reduce odor and sweating.

Polyester dries quickly, but isn’t absorbent, so can make sweaty feet feel a bit slimy.

Whatever your choice of fabric, be sure to pull your liner socks up high – they should stick out above the top of your boots, so the moisture they wick away will have a chance to evaporate instead of being trapped next to your feet.

 

How to choose the right hiking boots

When it comes to hiking shoes, look for footwear which dries quickly.

The most suitable boots for sweaty feet are light, non-waterproof, and not too heavily padded. Of course it’s a matter of taste too, but I prefer non-waterproof footwear because water-proof shoes don’t breathe thus making your feet wet from sweat.

Also because previous boots became non-waterproof after a while which really sucked because they didn’t keep my feet dry anymore, nor did they ever dry out completely.

Decide if you really need water-proof hiking boots. Often, these will not keep your feet dry.

Obviously it depends on where you hike or backpack. In areas lots of mud pits and stream crossings you will be happier wearing waterproof footwear than while backpacking in Bangkok. Here, trail runners or similar footwear may be more appropriate.

Waterproofing keeps rain out, but traps sweat in.

My favorite hiking shoe options..

  1. Simple, light, all leather (unlined) hiking shoes. They are waterproof which is nice. Downside of such hiking boots is that they are heavy.
  2. Non-waterproof trail runners or hiking shoes. The importance of hiking footwear weight is often underestimated. Extra weight on your feet will drain your energy.

Wear leather boots, without membranes, that are not waterproof with gaiters, to keep most moist out. You will have to go stand in a river to soak them, otherwise they will keep your feet dry.

Other options

Fancy supportive cushioning, while it might feel nice underfoot, is a breeding ground for the bacteria which cause foot odor and skin infections.

For this, cheap boots can be more suitable than expensive ones for people who get sweaty feet.

The most comfortable footwear I’ve found is a pair of stout hiking sandals worn with fine-knit absorbent socks underneath.

It’s hardly a stylish solution, but when you’re on top of a hill in the middle of nowhere, the sheep won’t laugh at you. I also have had great experiences with Merrell hiking shoes.

When shopping for hiking shoes, make sure to pay attention to..

Types of Hiking Boot Uppers

Even more so as with normal shoes, hiking boot materials impact a boot’s breathability.

  • Full-grain leather: highly durable, scratch and water resistant. Common in backpacking boots. Requires ample break-in time.
  • It is not as light or breathable as nylon/split-grain leather combinations.
  • Split-grain leather: lighter than full-grain, less water resistant. Often combined with nylon or nylon mesh for breathable, lightweight characteristics.
  • Nubuck leather:  is processed full-grain leather to resemble suede. Durable, flexible, and water resistant. water and abrasion. Requires break-in time.
  • Synthetics: such as nylon, polyester, and “synthetic leather” are lighter than leather, more affordable and dry faster. Less durable.
  • Waterproof membranes: hiking boots may sport uppers manufactured with breathable waterproof membranes (i.e.  eVent® , Gore-Tex®). Membranes lower breathability which can cause foot perspiration.

Then there’s hiking footwear with specialized technologies such as;

  • M Select FRESH prevents odor
  • Waterproof and breathable Gore-Tex Performance Comfort lining

 

Check out these popular breathable hiking boots on Amazon

 

Tips on how to keep hiking feet fresh

When you’re planning to walk for more than a couple of hours, make sure to bring a spare pair of dry socks to change into.

Backpackers on long trips often bring three pairs: one to wear, one in the bag, and a just-washed pair pinned to their backpack to dry.

Every few hours, you take off your sweaty socks, rinse them, and rotate the pairs. That way, however much you sweat, you’ll always have a clean(ish) and dry pair of socks to change into.

If it’s really cold, you can use an old military trick instead and dry your soggy socks by tucking them into your underarms.

In theory, it’s important to wear different shoes every day to allow your footwear to dry fully, which prevents sweat-damp insoles from ripening into full-blown stink.

If you’re backpacking, though, a spare pair of boots can add 4 pounds to your load, and that just isn’t practical. Bringing another pair of insoles is.

To help the sweat dry from your single pair of boots, bring a pair of lightweight shoes (like flip-flops or Crocs) to change into as soon as you’ve made camp.

When you only have a few hours to dry your damp boots, it helps to invert them. If you leave your shoes upright overnight, then all the day’s accumulated sweat will drip down the sides and pool in the sole, making for a squishy surprise when you put them on the next morning. Yum.

If you can’t balance them upside down, then undo the laces partway and string them from a beam in your tent.

Getting into a routine

On a long hike, it’s essential to get into a routine to keep your feet dry and comfortable – once you notice your sweaty toes are starting to blister, the damage has already been done.

Every time you stop for a break, elevate your feet and remove your shoes so you can cool off. If it’s too cold or wet to actually take your shoes off, then at least untie the laces and pull the tongues loose to get some air to circulate.

Try to stop your legs overheating, too. Your feet will always get warm on a strenuous hike, but by keeping your legs cool with loose clothing and breathable fibers, it can help counteract some of the heat inside your boots.

Bringing it all together

A combination of these tricks – better skincare, lighter boots, regular changes of socks – should help reduce that swampy feeling when you hike. My favorite combination is leather shoes and merino wool socks.

Feet have more sweat glands than any other part of the body, so although it’s easy to minimize perspiration when you’re hiking, it’s impossible to prevent it totally.

When I’m walking in hot weather and my sweat glands are overpowering my wicking socks, I cheer myself up with a science fact: the bacteria which make feet smell, Brevibacterium, can live only on human feet.

When my socks are wringing wet with sweat, I like to think that the Brevibacterium regard me as a magnanimous god, generously donating sweat so they may feast and multiply.

 

You may also like:

The Best Way To Dry Wet Sweaty Shoes and Boots

 

The Best Socks For Sweaty Smelly Feet

 

 

coconut oil for smelly feet and foot fungus

Benefits of Coconut Oil for Foot Fungus, Sweating, and Odor

Coconut oil is the prodigal son of the natural remedies world. It has so many uses that entire books have been dedicated to it.

Coconut oil can do anything from helping you lose weight to alleviating allergies to fighting dandruff.

One of the many benefits of coconut oil is its ability to fight foot fungus most commonly associated with athlete’s foot.

It can even be used to help sweating of the feet, leaving your feet clean and dry with no bad foot odor, all while providing a natural solution with no harmful side effects. Three properties of coconut oil work together to provide this benefit.

 

1. Antiperspirant-  Coconut Oil for Sweating

Coconut oil has actually been utilized in some parts of world, particularly Asian nations like India and Sri Lanka for different purposes.

One of the uses of this oil as a massage oil for its wholesome benefits for the body. If you do not deal with generalized sweating, you can leave out the massage part and simply use coconut oil under arms.

By rubbing coconut oil underneath your armpits or on the bottoms of your feet, and letting it absorb into your skin, you can go about your day free from the fear of sweating.

 

How does it work?

Coconut oil contains lauric acid, a fatty acid known to kill bacteria that can often cause sweating with odor in a person’s armpits. To prevent this odor, you have to prevent yourself from sweating in the first place.

The light fragrance of the oil also keep you refreshingly fresh. You simply need to take a little coconut oil onto your fingers and rub it under your arms to obtain rid of sweating.

Or make this natural antiperspirant utilizing coconut oil and baking soda at home.

Antiperspirants are different from deodorants in that they not only prevent the smell, but they first stop you from sweating that produces the unpleasant odor. Whereas deodorant is anti-smell, antiperspirant is anti-sweat.

Does it stain socks, shoes, and clothes?

Among the myths connected with coconut oil is that it spots clothes but if you take a percentage of oil and massage it well into your skin, it will not even stain your garments.

Oils tend to leave greasy stains on clothing, but coconut oil’s properties make it less likely to stain if used in moderate amounts.

More about antiperspirants for feet.

 

2. Coconut oil as a foot deodorant

Aside from simply stopping the sweating, coconut oil also works well as a deodorant. Its naturally pleasant scent and quick absorption into the skin make it ideal for both an antiperspirant and deodorant.

Your armpits will smell great, and you only need a little coconut oil for it to work. Coconut oil is sold for as low as $7 in a pretty sizable jar, which is much lower than clinical strength or prescribed deodorants/antiperspirants are sold for. It saves you money and is all-natural.

 

3. Coconut oil softens and moisturizes your feet

Coconut oil also works as a top-notch moisturizer. It contains skin-healthy vitamins that soften dull, dry or flaky skin and leave it hydrated and soft to the touch. This moisturizing agent works on any parts of the body.

Since foot odor causing bacteria feed on skin flakes, moisturizing can help control stinky feet.

Between working out and running around, our feet get a beating on a day-to-day basis. Before bed, soften cracked, rough skin and calluses by exfoliating your feet and then applying a generous layer of coconut oil.

Since it has natural antibacterial properties, it’ll deodorize as it softens. Then slip on some socks to wake up with much smoother, better smelling soles.

Bonus: To enhance its benefits, add a drop or two of tea tree oil to the mix and apply both before bed and throughout the day. Treating your feet to this combo not only keeps stinky smells at bay, but may also help treat Athlete’s foot.

Coconut oil is great for other body parts too. 

Use it on your lips as substitute for balm or chapstick. Rub it on your face after cleansing your skin for a facial moisturizer. It can even be used in homemade scrubs to exfoliate.

 

4. Cure foot fungus  a.k.a.  Athletes foot

Coconut oil has powerful anti-fungal properties. These properties are due largely to the presence of lauric acid.

Your body converts lauric acid into monolaurin which has been shown to control the activity of bacteria, viruses, and fungi.

Coconut oil has been proven effective in killing the tinea pedis fungus and at reducing the scaly, red rash caused by the fungus.

In addition to fighting back against unwanted fungi, coconut oil provides a layer of protection for the skin.

It is an effective and deeply nourishing moisturizer that can replace other foot lotions permanently. There are two ways to use coconut oil to attack Athlete’s Foot.

Antibiotics and anti-fungal medications can be expensive, and many times the side effects aren’t worth the fuss to get them.

Some have even found that these medications don’t solve the problem, like blogger Seth Roberts when the fungus tinea pedis made a reappearance shortly after he had cleared it up with medication.

Coconut oil’s fatty acids not only kill bacteria that cause body odor, but it also eliminates “viruses, fungi and protozoa,” which lab tests have verified. It has even been shown to prevent absorption of bacteria into the body by creating a protective layer across the skin.

The bacteria found in athlete’s foot are quickly eradicated by coconut oil’s lauric acid, which when used against the fungus, is

“converted into monolaurin, a compound that is highly toxic to  viruses, bacteria, funguses and other microorganisms because of its ability to disrupt their lipid membranes and virtually destroy them.”

With its anti-inflammatory and anti-itch properties, coconut oil can also soothe the uncomfortable hot, itchy feeling of athlete’s foot.

Seth does warn that, when using coconut oil as an anti-fungal medicine, it is important not to reinfect your feet with socks or shoes that still have the bacteria on them.

Much like surfaces that have been touched when you have had the flu, your socks and shoes must be sanitized before you can wear them again, otherwise you’ll end up with another case of foot fungus.

Re-contamination can happen easily, so make sure you have a shoe sanitizer on hand, which uses a UV light or ozone to kill up to 99.9% of bacteria when passed over the inside of your shoe.

Learn about tea tree oil for foot fungus.

 

Wrapping it up

The miracle of coconut oil lends itself to remedies of all sorts. Next time you’re shopping around for a natural cure-all, take a look at the various uses for coconut oil before spending a fortune on prescriptions or beauty products that don’t give you the right bang for your buck. Most likely, you will find the solution in the organic foods aisle in a jar marked “Coconut Oil.”

 

You may also like:

The Best Socks For Sweaty Smelly Feet

Top 4 Best Shoe Sanitizer & Deodorizer Devices

Top 13 Best Foot Odor Control Products

 

Image: YouTube.

Top 4 Best Shoe Sanitizer & Deodorizer Devices

Shoe sanitizer devices do more than just remove stink from shoes.  They help you finally get rid of that tenacious Athlete’s foot.

They are must-haves for diabetes sufferers too, who are prone to nail and foot fungus, infections and ulcers.

These devices also prevent you from making the mistake of focusing on foot treatment only. Contaminated shoes and socks commonly are neglected, allowing them to be safe havens for the nasty microbial foes that cause all kinds of problems.

From excessive sweating to skin conditions, to stinky feet, these devices help you tackle the problem at its core. They work without leaving chemical behind. No fumes in the room, no need to air out footwear afterwards.

Here are the most popular, bestselling choices, their benefits, and how they work.

 

1. StinkBoss

new: shoe dryer and ozone sanitizer
new: shoe dryer and ozone sanitizer

Do your shoes and feet have nasty bacteria buildup causing your shoes to stink? You should be using the StinkBOSS Shoe Deodorizer, Ozone Sanitizer and Dryer.

This dual-method cleaning machine uses ozone particles to break down the cell walls to kill odor-causing bacteria. In addition it dries shoes and boots by generating moderate heat.

Because bacteria can’t build up immunity against oxidation, this technology will remain effective indefinitely.

Anyone who’s active in sports knows how sweaty and smelly athletic gear can get. Rather than masking smells, the StinkBOSS completely eliminates them.

Simply place your shoes on the shoe horns inside the machine, close the lid, set the time, and press start.

It sanitizes gloves and hats as well. As well as sports gear such as pads, boxing gloves, groin protectors, shin guards and more. Dries your snowy wet gloves too.

The StinkBOSS can easily be plugged into any electrical outlet and uses only safe levels of ozone for cleaning. Not only is it effective and easy to use, it saves you time and money you’d otherwise spend on washing gear in the washing machine.

On top of that, much gear and shoes require tedious hand washing, not anymore with this innovative device.

StinkBOSS benefits:

  • uses proven effective and perfectly safe to use ozone
  • multifunctional: it’s a shoe dryer
  • sanitizes sports gear as well

 

Purchase StinkBOSS here.

 

2. UV Total Recovery

"uses UV-C light enhanced with ozone"
“uses UV-C light enhanced with ozone”

Anyone suffering from foot fungus or a toenail infection (Onychomycosis) knows that the spores, microbes, and fungus causing the problem must be eliminated in order to get rid of it.

The UV Total Recovery Shoe Sanitizer makes this possible with the help of UV-C rays. UV-C rays are the weaker version of ultraviolet rays, toned down for use as a sterilizer.

Unlike ozone deodorizers, these UV-C rays don’t attack bacteria cells from the outside. Rather, they use a reaction between the microbe’s molecules to kill them from the inside.

According to the manufacturer this device  “uses UV-C light enhanced with Ozone” but doesn’t really delve into how this works. For instance how the ozone is distributed and how it’s ensured to be contained for safety remains unclear.

UV-C rays are 99.9999% effective in the killing of fung that cause foot and toenail infections and bacteria that cause foot odor by excreting so called organic acids.

Although direct eye contact should not be made with the UV light rays, the shoe sanitizer is completely safe to use. The UV lamp needs to be replaced once in a while.

This one size fits all shoe sanitizer should be used daily by inserting the right/left lights into the appropriate shoes and then placing the shoes in the UV protective bag. Press the on/off switch, and wait for the cycle to finish. It’s that easy.

Available here. Price: $130

 

3. SteriShoe

treats the whole shoe
treats the whole shoe

If only everything was as easy as zapping our problems away! Fortunately, the SteriShoe Shoe Sanitizer at least takes care of stinky foot odor. Well, partially that is.

UV rays blast away odor-causing bacteria that remains in our shoes, even after we’ve washed or sprayed them. UV rays are said to kill 99.9999% of bacteria.

The SteriShoe wipes away bacteria heel to toe, never missing a square inch. Buyers immediately noticed a difference after using the SteriShoe just once.

To use the device, place the pair of units into your shoes and cover with the protective black bag with the cord plugged into an outlet.

Make sure to use it in a darkened room; the device has a safety switch that shuts it off when ambient light hits it, making sure you don’t expose your eyes to the UV rays.

It takes just 15 minutes to sterilize your loafers, pumps, sneakers, boots and what not.

Keep in mind that it’s not great for portable use due to its weight. You may toss it in the trunk of your car but stuffing it in your backpack will weigh you down (a dry pair of hiking boots weighs less).

Buy Sterishoe here.

 

4. ShoeZap

fits all sizes
fits all sizes

Have you ever had Athlete’s foot or another type of skin infection that kept coming back no matter how many times you treated it?

Your fungal medicine might not be the problem. Yeast, mold and dermatophyte fungus tend to cling to the insides of our shoes, so it’s important to eliminate all bacteria left behind.

The ShoeZap Shoe Sanitizer zaps these microscopic buggers where they live using UV rays. All you have to do is slip the pair of PediFix ShoeZap devices into your shoes, place the protective bag over them, and flip the switch.

Odor-causing bacteria, as well as fungus that causes infections in your foot, will be eliminated by the clinically proven germicidal light.

You will still have to treat the tinea pedis a.k.a. ‘ringworm of the foot’ infection but by sanitizing your footwear you will help prevent it from coming back.

15 minutes is all you have to wait to experience total clean and relief from itchy, bacteria-ridden feet. Oh, and don’t forget to wear slippers in public showers, pools, and saunas.

Order here.

 

More shoe sanitizers:

Other, less popular options, include the:

  • Delicol Ultraviolet Shoe Sanitizer Dryer
  • BATTOP Ultraviolet (UV) Shoe Sanitizer
  • Kendal UV Shoe Sanitizer Deodorizer with heating

 

Shoe sanitizer gadgets vs. sprays

Yes, spray bottles can do roughly do the same as some of these gadgets but application requires a bit more effort and you’ll face repeating costs of replacement bottles.

These devices may also be more efficient. But why choose? Many people use these devices in conjunction with a quality shoe spray.

And of course machines like the StinkBOSS also dry your footwear

 

Additional shoe sanitation tips

These devices can be an essential part of a clinical regimen to fight off fungal issues or persistent foot odor. They do so by disinfecting and sanitizing footwear.

(essential)

Use them in combination with other elements in a multi-modal approach. These include;

  • using anti-fungal creams and powders,
  • keeping shoes and socks dry because fungi thrive in moist warm areas,
  • prevent sweating as much as possible,
  • and take good care of minor nail or skin injuries.
  • prevent re-infection after toenail fungus treatment from the microbes in your shoes with proper shoe sterilization.

 

Other proper foot care practices include:

 

 

Note :

This top 4 is based on overall popularity, amount of ratings and average rating score.

The top 4 is not in particular order although I recommend the StinkBOSS due to its versatilty and multfunctionality.

 

Just looking for shoe & boot dryers?

 

The Best Shoe Dryers For Smelly Feet

 

 

StinkBOSS ozone shoe deodorizer sanitizer and dryer

StinkBOSS Shoe Sanitizer, Deodorizer & Dryer Review

Are you fed up with musty gym clothes and smelly shoes stinking up the place? Not to forget the effort it takes to get them clean and fresh again?

Washing sportswear with extra detergent helps but is time and energy consuming. Also, until you get to it, that ever increasing pile stale clothes is still there emitting its pungent scent.

And spraying stinky work boots and running shoes only helps so much.

The StinkBOSS Shoe Deodorizer, Ozone Sanitizer and Dryer is designed to solve lift all these burdens from your shoulders by tackling the problem at its core.

And it does more.

Here are four reasons to buy the StinkBOSS.

 

4 StinkBOSS Benefits


 

1. It uses ozone…

..which has 2 purposes:

  • Ozone is a powerful antimicrobial agent. In other words, the StinkBOSS utilizes ozone to kill off those foul odor-causing bacteria, but also viruses, and fungi. These are the microscopic buggers that cause your feet, socks and shoes to stink, the itchy patches called Athlethe’s foot, and other unwanted conditions.
  • Ozone is a potent odor remover. Commonly used by fire restoration companies, in air purifiers in casinos, by car cleaners to freshen up car interiors, by municipal water purification companies and more.

So instead of masking foul odors this innovative gadget takes away the source AND it removes odors themselves. By penetrating your gear with ozone molecules it disinfects and deodorizes.

 

2. It’s a dryer

In addition it functions as a dryer too.  Toss your wet gloves, damp hat, sweaty ski socks, rainy jacket, slippery boxing gloves, or moist shoes and set a timer.

Bacteria thrive in humid environments. Take away these conditions and you are tackling the odor problem at its source.

 

3. It’s convenient

No more stuffing balled up newspapers in wet boots. No more drying your mittens on the radiator.

No more dabbing stuffy gear with hydrogen peroxide, sprinkling basketball shoes with rubbing alcohol or rinsing with vinegar and hanging out to air dry afterwards.

Just insert your smelly gear and switch the device on. Optionally set a timer and that’s it.

 

4. No additional costs

If you use sprays to deodorize your running shoes you will need to get new flasks once in a while. In a family with several sporting or hard working members this can add up fairly quickly.

Once you have introduced the StinkBOSS to your home you’re good to go. There’s  no additional costs after initial purchase for filters or cartridges or anything.

 

freshen up stinky sports gear and more
de-stink musty sports gear, work boots and more

 

Is ozone safe to breathe in?

A legit question. You may have heard about home humidifiers emitting ozone to the room and how the EPA discourages using such devices.

In this case however, literally in this case, the ozone is contained. As long as you keep the lid closed while it’s running it’s completely safe.

What’s more is that the StinkBOSS complies with exposure limits to ozone set by the  EPA, OSHA; NIOSH; and the FDA.

 

Can ozone harm my leather shoes or canvas sports bag?

It’s true that leather car interiors have been damaged by ozone but this was under extreme circumstances so don’t let this put you off.

Typically, leather will only start to dry out after an extremely high ozone concentration exposure for up to 8 hours on end.

Even if you tried you probably couldn’t damage your apparel with this sanitizer.

 

Why get the StinkBOSS Shoe Deodorizer, Ozone Sanitizer and Dryer?

  • It saves you from embarrassment when you arrive at the gym with musty tracksuit or yoga pants packed in your bag.
  • If you or a family member has smelly feet, this device offers the one of the most easy to use and effective ways of disinfecting footwear.
  • If there are one or more family members playing sports in your home, the StinkBOSS let’s you save time (and perhaps money in the long run) you would otherwise spend on freshing up athletic gear by hand (or just tossing them out on the porch).
  • It let’s you dry shoes and boots that have become wet due to foot perspiration. Its this residual sweat that causes bacteria to proliferate, thus making your foot odor problem worse over time.

 

Click here to order or read more StinkBOSS reviews.

StinkBOSS ozone shoe deodorizer sanitizer and dryer

 

More shoe sanitizers here:

 

Top 4 Best Shoe Sanitizer & Deodorizer Devices

Got Sweaty, Stinky Feet In Winter? 10 Causes and Cures

We all know that feeling, having sweaty cold feet in winter. Some people suffer from it more than others.

Have you ever wondered why you might experience foot odor, even during winter months when you’re feeling cold most all the time?

Even though you might think foot odor should be something you only have to worry about in the summer when you’re sweating more, there are a number of things that happen to your feet in the winter time that can contribute to those smelly feet.

Causes


 

Change in the weather

One common cause is simply the change in the weather. Any temperature change, whether it’s getting warmer or colder, can trigger excessive sweating.

It has to do with a process called autonomic regulation which is when your body has to work overtime in tolerating change in temperature.

Sweat is the main cause of foot odor, and it can happen even when you think it’s cold and don’t realize your feet are sweating.

Temperature differences

The one moment you walk outside in the freezing cold on a snow-layered pavement. Wet snow sticks to your shoes. Then you step into a heated space and your cold feet start to warm up again.

These variations in temperature will make that your feet have to work hard to regulate temperature. As a result, perspiration ensues.

 

The shoes on your feet

Probably the most common reason for smelly feet during the winter is your footwear.

Maybe you don’t suffer from foot odor at all in the summer time, because you go without shoes much of the time so your feet have more of a chance to air out.

In the winter, though, you’ll usually find yourself wearing warm (UGG)boots or non-breathing footwear like rubber boots, insulated boots, and waterproof footwear.

With your feet being closed up, they don’t get the chance to air out and get rid of that odor. Bacteria causing the foul odor thrive in these enclosed environments.

 

Layering thick winter socks

Many of us, in the cold winter months, wear several pairs of socks. While this can keep your feet warm and toasty, it also keeps the sweat closed up and on your feet.

This leads to worse foot odor, since the sweat is pooled up against your feet.

 

Dry skin

Since the air is so much drier during winter months, your skin can dry out more rapidly. The dead skin cells that get left behind are a major food source for the bacteria that can cause smelly feet.

Also stuffing your feet in wadded boots or shoes while wearing multiple layers of socks can cause pressure and friction. As a result calluses or corns can develop which may also contribute to excessive sweating and odor.

sweaty-cold-winter-feet

Cures


So how do you keep your feet free from stinkiness in the winter? There are a number of things you can do to prevent foot odor in the winter time.

 

Take your winter boots off when inside

Make sure you take off those warm boots ASAP when you’re indoors.  This to air them out and to avoid overheating of your feet when inside.

For some people it may be hard or impossible to change into another pair of (normal) shoes during the workday. Creative thinking can help.

  • If you can slip out of your hefty pair of winter boots when in the warmth, do so. Perhaps you can keep a pair of fuzzy slippers or normal shoes at the job.
  • Or you could rent a locker near your work to keep your alternate pair.
  • Or if you park in a garage under the workplace you could change footwear in your car.

 

Rotate your winter boots

To ensure the pair you wear one day may dries completely you best switch to a dry pair the next day.

This is especially important if your boots have become wet because of melted snow or rain too. More moist equals more bacteria.

If  you don’t have two pairs to wear, consider getting a boot dryer or use these tips to dry boots and shoes.

 

Which winter socks?

There’s nothing wrong with wearing layers of socks. In fact, if you do it right, it can help keep your feet dry and fresh.

Make sure change those layers of socks frequently if you sweat a lot. Or much easier, get the right socks. It’s simply a matter of knowing which type to pick.

Some socks will contribute greatly to sweating and smell. But there are various types of socks that will wick moist away, neutralize odors, keep your feet cool when it’s hot and warm when it’s cold.

These are commonly made from ‘polypro’, a synthetic blend or Merino wool.  Another option is to wear thin synthetic liner socks with thicker wool outer socks.

Recommended socks for ultra cold conditions are Carhartt Men’s Extremes Cold Weather Boot Socks. (They come in pairs for women too.)

 

Combat dry, flaky skin

Exfoliate your feet. Use a simple pumice stone, a dry brush, or scrubs to remove dead skin cells from the top layer of the skin (the epidermis). Exfoliating loofahs too can work wonders to help your feet stay clean and odor-free.

For ultimate convenience, get an electronic pedicure foot file to buff away thick and cracked skin which also provides harbor for bacteria.

Soft, smooth skin is far less conducive to growth of microorganisms. The less dead skin, the less food for the bacteria. Make sure to keep your feet moisturized as well.

 

Wear breathable footwear

You should also spend some time wearing breathing footwear, giving your feet even more of a chance to air out.

Need boots for really cold winter weather?

Highly recommended winter boots that let your feet breathe and keep them nice and warm even on the coldest days are Sorel Caribou boots.

 

Need more tips?

 

 

Here’s how to prevent foot odor.

Here’s a top 13 of best foot odor products.

 

Image: Ginny

Top 13 Best Foot Odor Control Products

Are you ashamed of foot odor? Of course you are. Who wouldn’t be? I know I was.

Body odor carries a social stigma and even though you are taking good care of personal hygiene people may think you are not.

Fret no more, various quality products able to eliminate foot odor come to the rescue. Curing your foot odor problem basically comes down to picking the best options for you and using them religiously.

How did this top 13 come about?

I have been a sweaty, smelly feet sufferer for years. And with me suffered my close friends, family members, and lovers.

My feet were white, macerated and hurt because of the sweat and bacteria biting my skin. After only a few months of wearing, my mega musty shoes were beyond any improvement, and I had to toss them out.

So I tried almost anything there is in the quest to subdue my stinky feet.

If you only occasionally suffer from mildly stinky feet you may benefit from one or two of the here mentioned products.

If you however have seriously stinky feet all some more of these remedies will be necessary to help you get rid of the problem.

  • You could take a look at The Amazon Top Rated in Foot Odor Control Products. However this list doesn’t make much sense.
  • The number two, three and four on this bestsellers list are occupied by Mueller Pre-tape, probably a great product to secure tapes and wraps but it has nothing to do with stopping feet from smelling.

Therefore, here’s my list.

It’s based on my own experiences. I had stinky feet for years until I went to my doctor who prescribed me something that actually helped.

Apart from that I tried so many products that I exactly know what works and what not.

Are you in the same shoes? Have you too gotten an ultimatum like this? Get rid of the smell or there’s the door?

These foot odor control products can save your marriage. Or keep you from being fired. Saving you a whole lot of shame and misery.

Head to toes, the building blocks for your action plan:

Foot odor products come in various types. Some reduce sweating while others keep your feet dry despite perspiration. Certain products kill odor producing bacteria and others remove or mask odors.

In order to find out which product is best it’s helpful to know about its method of action. Find out about their pros and cons.

If your feet don’t sweat a whole lot but are still smelly you will benefit from another product than when you suffer from excessive perspiration.

Foot odor products can be divided in roughly 11 categories:

  • Antibacterial soap
  • Foot soaks
  • Antiperspirants
  • Creams
  • Foot powder
  • Shoe spray
  • Foot spray
  • Odor-fighting and sweat reducing insoles
  • Shoe deodorizers
  • Shoe dryers
  • UV sterilizers
  • Socks that reduce odor
  • Dietary supplements

 

1. Antibacterial soap: Hibiclens Antimicrobial Skin Cleanser

Hibiclens-Antimicrobial-Skin-Cleanser

Your feet are true workhorses. Each day the 26 bones, 33 joints, and hundreds of muscles, tendons, and ligaments perform a truckload of work and withstand tons of pressure. The 250,000 sweat glands in your feet prevent overheating. Bacteria thrive because of it. That’s why proper foot odor control starts with washing your feet thoroughly.

How does it work? This is basically the same stuff surgeons use to disinfect their hands and arms before operating. It will give the bacteria residing on your feet the boot.

Hibiclens Hibiclens Antimicrobial and Antiseptic Skin Cleanser Liquid – 16 oz

Pros: it’s the most powerful soap you can get to fight bacteria colonies living on your feet and infesting your shoes. Get some.

Cons: Hibiclens is thin, thus easy to waste. Tip: Use a foaming pump bottle or another container for more convenience and frugal use.

Good to know: When buying an antibacterial soap, always check if it contains triclosan. Many over-the-counter soaps do. To be sure, you wil want to avoid this ingredient.

Not only are triclosan concentrations in most store-bought soaps too low to be effective, triclosan has recently been linked to altering hormone regulation in animals
Mayo Clinic also states it: Might contribute to the development of antibiotic-resistant germs and Might be harmful to the immune system.

 

2. Foot soaks: Epsom salt – tea tree oil foot soak

 

Tea Tree Oil Foot Soak With Epsom Salt

Foot soaks galore so which one to choose? This blend of Epsom salt and Tea Trea oil is one of the strongest.

Who can benefit? Obviously you will have to take the time to soak your feet for at least 15 minutes, a few times a week. Anyone open to taking foot baths (a great way to relax and wind down) can enjoy healthier, softer, fresher feet.

Pros: It contains two of the most used most potent substances to reduce bacteria as well as soften skin.

Cons: It has a strong tea tree oil scent, if that’s not your thing, best get something else.

Learn more about Tea Tree Oil  Therapeutic Foot Soak.

3. Antiperspirants: Sweat Block

Sweat-Block

How does it work? The clinical strength antiperspirant wipes contain 14% aluminum chloride. They stop your feet from sweating by constricting the pores in your feet.

Aluminum chloride is the recommended treatment for excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis) according to medical experts and dermatologists.

Pros: aluminum chloride reduces sweating significantly. If your feet sweat profusely you absolutely need this.

No matter how sweaty your feet, aluminum chloride keeps ’em bone dry*

* over-the-counter and prescription antiperspirants containing aluminium chloride are the golden standard in plantar hyperhidrosis treatment. However, some people may not benefit from this treatment. For them, other options exist.

Cons: concerns about the safety of the active ingredient have risen, current study findings however indicate that aluminum in antiperspirants is harmless when used as instructed. These products should not be applied to irritated or wounded skin.

Special note: Strangely, dedicated foot antiperspirants are hard to find. Hardcore hyperhidrosis sufferers know how important a high-quality antiperspirant is and this underarm product works well.

A popular alternative to Sweat Block, commonly used on feet is Certain Dri.

4. Creams: Lavilin foot cream

Lavilin-foot-cream

Lavilin is a clinically proven effective botanical antibacterial cream. Its active ingredients are Calendula, Arnica, and zinc oxide to kill bacteria and Chamomile for skin soothing purposes.

Who can benefit? Proponents of ecological and natural remedies will love this cream. Before hailing this cream the holy grail among foot odor products, keep in mind that severe cases of excessive sweating may require more robust cures. That being said, this cream works for most people and is often recommended by visitors of this website.

Pros: Aluminum and alcohol free. Highly effective according to masses of users.

Cons: Depending on how much your feet perspire and the severity of the foul odor you may have to apply more often than the advertised once in 7 days. Can be a bit of a struggle to apply.

Good to know: Studies show that Calendula plant extracts have “excellent antifungal activity against tested strains of fungi, while comparing with the traditional drug Driflucan (Fluconazole)”.

Arnica extract is a popular ingredient foot balms, tinctures for foot baths and creams and is proven effective in soothing bruises, sprains and muscle pain.

 

5. Foot powder: On Your Toes Bactericide Powder

On-Your-Toes-Bactericide-Powder

How do they work? Foot powders have roughly 3 types of action, shrinking pores to reduce sweating, killing bacteria to fight odor, absorbing sweat to keep feet dry.

Like many other brands, this product mainly contains zinc oxide of zinc. The same stuff diaper rash creams, anti-dandruff shampoos, and baby powder.

On Your Toes Foot Bactericide Powder however has a unique “microfined” formula that penetrates the pores of your shoes and boots. Because of this they guarantee it to work for 6 months.

Who can benefit? Again, everybody but especially people who want an easy solution for both feet and footwear should get this powder.

Pros: it’s the best rated foot powder out there. Literally a game-changer.

Cons: it does not prevent your feet from sweating.

Good to know: As Amazon reviewer Kasia points out, the active ingredient is zinc oxide which you can buy in bulk for less. You do have to mix this plain powder with a cream though. There’s also the question if plain zinc oxide offers the same purified micro-fined formula that On Your Toes does. In other words, will it be absorbed into the footwear pores just as well?

Special note: The manufacturer promises to “eliminate odor for over six months” or you get your money back.

The pinnacle of foot powders, On Your Toes Foot Bactericide Powder.

If, for some reason, you don’t appreciate this stuff , Gold Bond Medicated Powder is a well-reviewed alternative.

6. Shoe spray: Rocket Pure’s Natural Shoe Deodorizer

Rocket-Pure-Natural-Shoe-Deodorizer

How do they work? Misting an antimicrobial and odor-repelling blend works in two ways. You address the source of the problem and fix the results. Or in plain English, it kills the germs residing in your shoes and deodorizes the shoes.

Who can benefit? Who can’t!? Marathon runners, steel-toed boots wearing railway workers, cowboys, snowboarders and anyone else whose footwear doesn’t smell like roses (let’s face it, nobody’s does).

Pros: This tea tree, mint, eucalyptus and thyme essential oil spray is the apex of foot odor sprays. It’s all-natural, can be used on footwear and feet, and works like a charm.

No more shamefully stuffing your fusty Fred Perry’s somewhere in a corner of the garage.

Seriously, even if your shoes stink like something died in there, this stuff gets rid of the stench. Well, that’s a bit too much praise, sometimes, super-stinky shoes are beyond recovery.

Cons: It has a strong peppermint scent. If you are not a fan of peppermint this spray may not be for you.

What to keep in mind: You’ve got foot sprays and shoe sprays. In the battle against foot odor, a foot spray is optional, as you can also treat your feet with a cream, powder or an ointment to get the same results.

Shoes, however, you need to spray. Granted, you could make your own concoction from rubbing alcohol and herbs in an empty spray bottle but why re-invent the wheel when you can benefit from Rocket Pure’s Natural Shoe Deodorizer, Foot Deodorant Spray for Athletes?

Special note: This product comes with a 100% satisfaction or 100% refund policy. If you don’t like it you’ll get your money back or can receive another product instead.

 

7. Foot spray: Elite Foot Deodorant Spray for Athletes

Elite-Foot-Deodorant-Spray-for-Athletes

Like I said, various ways to treat your feet exist. Creams, lotions, potions all do their thing, soothe your feet, reduce bacteria, keep feet dry. This ‘Multifunctional Natural Shoe Deodoriser’ does too. What’s more is that it’s so friggin’ well-reviewed. It’s hailed the web over as the ‘best hygiene product ever sold’.

What’s in it? This spray has 100% non-toxic ingredients. A smorgasboard of essential oils and plant extracts including cocos, lavender, chamomille, ginger and rooibos tea.

Pros: of course it helps you get rid of that dreaded foot odor but it does more. It soothes, feels cool to the touch (like sticking your feet in ice but in a good way), heals cracked skin, and even relaxes tired feet. It contains no aluminum, parabens or harsh toxic chemicals.

It’s basically a foot spa treatment in a spray bottle.

Cons: Little to none. The only critical thing we could say is that it’s not a miracle product. Simply spraying this on your feet will not magically freshen your already musty, by bacteria colonized flats. Also, scents are very personal. You may not like a specific scent, but then again, everything is better than foot pong.

It’s unofficially propelled into the Foot Odor Product Hall of Fame. Seriously, people love this stuff. This spray by by Elite sportz equipment helps with callused and cracked foot soles too.

Read its, almost entirely positive, reviews here.

 

 

8. Shoe inserts: Dr. Scholl’s Odor-X Odor Fighting Insoles

Dr.-Scholl-Odor-X-Odor-Fighting-Insoles

How they work: Insoles either contain baking soda, activated charcoal, zinc oxide or a combination of  these substances that block odor and keep your feet dry. Other insoles are made from naturally odor absorbing cedar wood.

These Dr. Scholl’s Odor-X Odor Fighting Insoles are made from comfortable foam and activated charcoal to absorb odors.

Who can benefit?: Pretty much anyone. You know that smell ladies tend to get from wearing nylons and shoes, running around the office all day? Or, how your hubby’s work boots can knock you backwards? I rest my case.

Pros: they deodorize even when you take your shoes off.

Imagine being able to air out your feet without the embarrassment drawing all attention to you.

Cedar wood insoles (such as Zederna) do not only ‘eat up’ unwanted smells but absorb excess moisture too. [ add link to Zederna?

Cons: certain brands and models may tear easily or slide in your shoes.

What to keep in mind: Make sure to get the right size (to prevent slipping). Be mindful that thickness may cause problems, so that after insertion you feet won’t fit or shoes may stretch.

Special features:  Are your feet “too hot to trot?” Do your feet get burning hot while wearing shoes, pumps or boots?

Mine did,  my feet heated up so quickly, even when walking short distances.

A lifesaving* product I found are cooling insoles. Dr Scholl’s Odor-X Ultracool for instance, wick sweat away and promote air flow. (* not exaggerating here, not having the guts to take of your shoes while your feet are on fire isn’t a trifle).

 

9. Shoe deodorizer: Mini Moso Natural Air Purifying bags

Mini-Moso-Natural-Air-Purifying-bags

You could hassle with baking soda in a paper bag but why not use a proven, much more convenient solution? Mini Moso bamboo charcoal bags are excellent odor absorbers you just toss in your shoes. That’s all, no tedious scrubbing or drying required.

Pros: these deodorizers do not emit a fragrance of their own. Many products use a strong scent to mask other smells which you may find offensive. These bags just suck up smells and moisture. Completely organic, the linen bags contain 100% charcoal. After use you can put the biodegradable linen bags in the yard to feed the plants (charcoal is high in plant nutrients).

Cons: none.

Bamboo charcoal has millions of tiny pores and cavities that act like a huge sponge. —As air passes through the pores, odor particles are trapped on the surfaces inside, which purifies your air

Who can benefit? Besides shoes, also sporting equipment, gym bags, luggage,  cars, bathroom and closets can be refreshed. Because they absorb moisture they prevent mildew, mold and bacteria from thriving.

Nice feature: these bags last super long. You can reuse them for almost 2 years. Once they start to smell funky you just re-charge them by laying them in the sun for a few hours.

 

10. Shoe dryer: PEET Dryer M97-FSB

PEET-Dryer-M97-FSB

How does it work? A simple gadget that does what it’s designed for, drying boots and other footwear. Turn the Peet electric shoe dryer on when back at home from work (or the ski piste). Leave it on all night, or as long as you deem necessary with use of the timer and the next day your feet can enjoy completely dry shoes.

Pros: It’s often underestimated how crucial it is to stick your feet in footwear that is dry as dust.  Start the day with even slightly damp boots and bacteria and fungi colonies will expand enormously.

Who can benefit? Not only those wearing work boots, but athletes can dry their running shoes, fashionistas can dry their UGGs,

Good to know. Daily rotating footwear is a golden recommendation but you often have only one pair of work boots. Considering the fact that you wear them about 10 hours or longer each day while being physically active (read sweating a lot) you will realize how much a simple boot dryer can help you keep your feet from stinking.

Or get a second pair and stuff them with newspapers in between wearing.

 

11.  Ultraviolet Shoe Sanitizers: UV Total Recovery Shoe Sanitizer

yet to psphop

UV sterilization, also used in the food industry, laboratory settings, and in air-purification systems, kills cells by damaging their DNA

UV light kills not only bacteria but also fungus, spores, and mold causing nasty foot conditions such as toenail fungus (Onychomycosis) and Athlete’s Foot.

The UV Total Recovery Shoe Sanitizer emits short-wave length ultraviolet light (UV-C), killing these micro-organisms. The result is sanitized and deodorized shoes.

Pros:  convenient and effective. Just insert the devices in your shoes and after 15 minutes they will automatically turn off.  Fits all shoes and saves you from hand washing and waiting hours for shoes to dry or get banged up in the dryer.

Cons: They only sanitize the front part of the shoe interior. If your shoes get really musty and soggy quickly you may need additional measures to sanitize the rest of the shoe’s interior. For most people, addressing the front will be sufficient though.

Good to know: If your shoes are beyond a certain point in terms of smell and bacterial infestation UV light sanitation will not help. Nor will any other remedy. Shoes that have reached the super-stink status are good for only one thing; being thrown away.

 

12. Sweat resistant socks that reduce sweating and smell: Wigwam Merino wool socks

Wig-Wam-sweat-reducing-socksContrary to what is commonly thought, cotton socks are not your best option when it comes to reducing sweaty feet. Wool socks and wicking socks are the way to go.

It’s not a coincidence desert nomads such as the Bedouins and Tuaregs have been wearing wool throughout the ages to keep cool during the day and warm at night.

Pros: Wigwam Merino Wool Comfort Hiker Socks are made of Merino wool. This special type of wool, some even call it Mother Nature’s miracle fiber, does not itch and feel very soft to your skin.

What’s more is that garments made of Merino wool can absorb and release moisture and are breathable.  Because of these properties, and the fact that the fuzzy structured, highly crimped fibers contain millions of air pockets these socks do an excellent job regulating temperature.

The cool your feet when it’s hot, keeping them warm when it’s cold, as well as keep your feet dry.

That’s not all, Merino wool has a natural odor-retention ability. This may sound incredible but you may even wear these socks for days without smelling them.

Cons: they are not the cheapest socks you can get but they do reduce sweating and wick the sweat away from your feet.

Good to know:  Although they are called hiking socks these make perfect socks for day-to-day wearing. Read all there is to know about socks that combat foot odor.

 

13. Dietary supplements: zinc

zinc-supplement

Zinc is a nutritionally essential mineral. Dietary zinc deficiency,  which is quite common, can contribute to foot odor.  Consuming foods rich in zinc can help reduce sweaty hands and feet.

Who can benefit? Mainly those who have tried various foot odor remedies to no avail.  Adding zinc rich foods to your diet can be a first step in reducing plantar hyperhidrosis.

Zinc rich food types include; meat eggs, and sea food (oysters). And to a lower bio-available degree in whole grains and legumes (source: Linus Pauling Institute).

Good to know. This is not a science-backed remedy. There are no well-designed clinical trials linking zinc supplementation to reduced foot odor. Yet there are many anecdotal reports.

Learn more about which type of supplement (there’s gluconate, picolinate, sulphate) to take, how much to take, why this remedy may help you and more here.

 

 

I have really sweaty/ stinky feet, do I need all of these products?

Nope, that would be overkill. Even if your feet stink like a dead skunk.

Fighting bacteria, tackling excessive sweating, and treating fungal infections are important but using a few of these products will go a long way.

Which ones to pick?

Some remedies work better for some whereas others prove more effective for others. Don’t worry, all of these products are highly effective when used appropriately.

At the end of the day it’s merely a matter of convenience.

  • If you know you’re not the type that finds the peace and quit to take regular foot baths, get a foot spray instead.
  • Don’t see yourself applying a cream on your feet at least a few times per week? Some easy to sprinkle foot powder may be your best choice (don’t forget to rub it in between the toes though).
  • Don’t appreciate extra odor killing insoles in your comfy shoes? Use deodorizing bags for when you’re not wearing them.

 

Whatever remedy you choose..

…if every man, women and kid on the planet would use at least a few of these foot odor products, stinky feet would become a rarity, thereby clearing up the atmosphere at home, on the job, in the world, reducing the hole in the ozone layer, saving the polar bear, and decreasing standing in line at the grocery store impatience by 42%.

Just don’t quote me on all of that.

All kidding aside, these products work. Use them to your advantage.

 

 

 

 

How To Prevent And Cure Work Boot Odor

Construction workers, welders, oil rig workers, and their wives (or husbands) all know this.

Any job that involves wearing work boots comes with one very distinct, and often frustrating, problem: the terrible smell.

There is absolutely no faster way to clear a room than a hard-working man or woman coming home after a long day and removing their work boots.

The problem with work boots

Many modern, insulated work boots have fancy linings such as Thinsulate that are sealed very tightly and won’t allow your feet to breathe.

“In my work boots my feet sweat so bad that they’re soaked after an hour or two”

Boot insulation is comfortable in winter but can get hot during summer. This does not only cause excessive sweating but may also cause athletes foot as hot and damp boots are the perfect breeding ground for fungus and mold.

What about normal boots?

Wearing a pair of just normal, old-style leather boots will make your feet sweat less but most of the time, these are just not durable enough.

Many professionals such as masons, blacksmiths, carpenters, and welders will expose their boots to a fair amount of abuse. Because of this, and from a safety aspect, special works boots are a necessity.

Keeping your work boots fresh, why you are doing it all wrong

Here’s the thing, you can treat your feet with essential oils or creams and sprinkle the steel-toed boots with baking soda, Alum powder or other substances to de-stink them but that doesn’t work for long, now does it?

If at all.

Let me guess..

Inserting odor-fighting insoles, airing those musty boots on the porch and even rotating your footwear doesn’t help much either.

“Odor-eating insoles work for a week and then my work boots smell again”

Why is that?

You’re not attacking the problem at its core.

What causes work boots to smell?

smelly work boots

The simple answer is ‘sweat’. The more nuanced answer, bacteria (and possibly fungi) thriving because of the sweat.

Each one of your feet contains a remarkable 250,000 sweat glands. Each and every one of those glands releases sweat in order to help cool your body.

When you work, you sweat (if you’re not sweating, you’re doing it wrong) and thanks to the cozy warmth of your protective footwear it ends up causing bacteria growth, which results in the funky scent.

4 reasons your work boots smell so bad

1. Most boots are designed to protect your feet from job-related injuries (mostly things falling on them on indoor or outdoor job sites). Their design creates a lack of ventilation and airflow in your footwear.

“My work boots don’t breathe, I have to change socks twice each shift”

 

2. Steel-toed boots come with a problem all of their own. Steel isn’t very well known for it’s ability to ventilate so steel toe boots often cause more foot odor than any other type of boot.

  • What’s more is that the steel inserts in steel-toed boots can conduct cold, heat (even current), adding to ideal conditions for foot odor.

3. Especially in factory and oil rig settings, the outside of boots get covered with grease and oil so the insides get sweaty and really funky.

4. And of course you’re working, your body heats up, you walk a lot in your heavy boots, so you sweat more than normal.

Workboots increase workplace safety but can reduce foot hygiene

How to treat your work boots and keep them from stinking

stinky work boots

Do you wear boots during hiking or hunting? Or boots with membranes such as Gore-tex?

Better not use sprays, creams, powders in your boots because these can clog the pores of the membranes and foreign scents may cause the wildlife to be alarmed.

On the other hand, it’s often recommended to keep your boots treated with the right type of boot grease or other leather preservatives.  Slathering bee’s wax the seams also helps your boots last longer.

How to keep dry and fresh feet in work boots

Here are some ways you can control that deadly odor and rejoin the human race:

Keep your feet clean – Washing daily with a good antibacterial soap will get rid of all the pesky bacteria and the smell that comes with it. Soaking your feet in a bath of Epsom salts will also kill the bacteria while also relaxing your muscles.

Alternate boots – If your budget allows it, invest in a second pair of work boots and wear them each other day.  While this isn’t the most cost-effective method, alternating the boots you wear will allow them to fully dry out over a 24 hour period, reducing the chance of continual smell.

Change socks often – If necessary a few times a day. This will prevent foot odor and your boots will last longer.

Store boots properly – After wearing your boots, store them in light, ventilated spaces as bacteria thrive in dark, damp areas.

Dry your (membrane) work boots –  Stuff them with newspapers which will draw out the moisture. Use a hair dryer if you’re in a hurry. Here some more tips on how to dry boots.

  • Or get a boot dryer. After work, plug it in, stick the boots on and they are completely dry the next work day. This is essential to clear out the bacteria.

Avoid foot powders – Most brands contain cornstarch. When it gets moist it makes an ideal growing bed for fungus. Insert a sock filled with kitty litter or some activated charcoal overnight to reduce foul scents.

Have you considered this?

It’s not your boots, it’s your socks

Wearing cotton socks in boots is a surefire way to stink up the place. Cotton socks absorb sweat and keep it in touch with your feet. When it’s cold your feet cool off, and when it’s warm your feet will feel soggy and blisters form more quickly.

Not wearing appropriate socks in your work boots is asking for trouble

Wear thick, soft performance socks made from natural fibers.  Get heavier socks, specially made to wick the moisture away from your feet for the best results. Get moisture wicking socks.

In the military and the medical field they know to wear wool socks. Just as hikers do. Wool socks are a must if you have sweaty feet in work boots.

“Wear socks in your work boots made with the highest percentage of merino wool you can get, comfortable, soft and dry on the feet”

High quality work boot socks such as Wigwams Men At Work, Drymax Workboot, and Carhartt Crew socks will keep your feet dryer.

These dual-layered socks offer extra comfort and protection because of padded toes and heels.

For the most popular brands see these top rated work boot socks.

Sprinkle a bit of Zeasorb-AF (from Amazon or Walmart) in the socks  to control foot odor.

Wearing the right socks and still sweat? Get better boots.

Consider this when getting new boots

Insulated vs non-insulated boots

It really depends on your line of work. For rough terrain work, on factory floors or working on concrete surfaces you may not need insulated boots.

Consider getting insulated boots only when you really need them. For instance when working in the mud, wet snow or under other types of wet circumstances. Many owners can attest that insulated work boots make their feet sweat like crazy.

Natural materials

Purchase boots made from natural materials that let air flow such as leather. Synthetic, artificial fabrics trap the sweat and germs that cause odor.

Here are some things to consider when buying your next pair of work boots.

Breathable lining

Gore-tex technology keeps work boots fresh
image: Goretex.com

Breathable, moisture-channeling membranes allow footwear to breathe so sweat and moisture can get out.

Gore-tex lining, Dry-lex footwear lining and Keen Dry waterproof breathable membrane are a few of the most popular choices.

Make sure not to grease up the leather of your lined boots as this seals them up rendering the whole breathable lining useless.

Antimicrobial linings

Some work boots offer additional odor control by antimicrobial linings that kill the odor-causing bacteria.

Non-metal safety toes

Next generation work boots feature safety toe clads made from non-metallic composite substitutes. Non-metal alternatives to steel toed shoes provide the same safety.

A great option for when you don’t want to wear soft toe or metal toe boots but need protection against workplace hazards.

More recommended work boots

Red Wing boots

Red Wing, the mother company of Carhartt, is one of the last great work apparel companies in the US. Visit your local Red Wing store to see if they have a clearance.

They will often knock off up to 70% of the original price so you will be able to pick up some $200 USA made boots for 60 bucks.

Danner boots

Danner Elk Hunter boots with Gore-tex are a popular choice.

Bates Durashock boots

Bates DuraShocks Made in the USA from real leather and Vibram soles.

Wrapping it up

Quality, heavy work boots can be expensive but give good support, last long and offer optimal protection.

Good boots will keep your feet dry, provided that you wear the right socks and take good care of your boots by treating them with grease, air them out, use antibacterial substances, and let them dry out completely if necessary.

 

 

 

Featured image: Anna’s Hope. steaming boots, wheatfields.

How To Prevent Foot Odor – 21 Science-Backed Tips

Having to deal with foot odor stinks. Whether it’s your own or that of someone close to you.

Smelly feet make you feel self-conscious. I know what it’s like. I really felt ashamed at times. You are terrified to kick off your shoes. You’re dying to cool off those burning hot feet, but you keep your shoes on anyway. Making matters only worse.

Bromhidrosis, as the condition is also called, is very common.

But here’s the thing.

People may get the idea you don’t take personal hygiene seriously.

Which of course you do.

But that often isn’t enough. Foot odor rears its ugly head despite you washing your feet  and wearing clean socks.

Here’s what you should know about foot odor.

Foot odor causes

To understand is to combat. Or wasn’t that the saying? Ah, who cares, what’s important is that knowing what causes foot odor helps us prevent it.

WebMD states:

“The best way to fight body odor is through prevention.”

Two things to keep in mind.

1. The sweat doesn’t stink, it’s bacteria that cause foot odor

The so common cheesy, ammonia-like, or malt-vinegary smell is caused by bacteria feeding on (waste material in) sweat and dead skin cells.

When the bacteria eat, the sweat decomposes and during the accompanying chemical process isovaleric acid (and propionic acid) are released. Those organic acids cause the foul odor.

Yup, sweat itself is odorless, but bacteria thrive because of it.

Which explains the link between sweating and foot odor. The sweatier your feet, the more bacterial growth, the more chance on developing nasty foot odor.

There are different types of bacteria causing the unpleasant scent:

  • Brevibacteria. They feed on your feet’s dead skin. In the process they produce a sulfuric aroma that makes your feet stink like cheese.

The typical scent of stinky cheeses like Port Salut, Munster, and Limburger is also caused by brevibacteria.

  • Staphylococcus epidermidis bacteria break down leucine present in the sweat on your feet, thus creating isovaleric acid, a main source of foot odor.
  • Bacillus subtilis is another bacteria type responsible for the characteristic pungency. (PubMed)
  • The worst cases of foot odor (about 15% of the people suffer from these) are caused by Kyetococcus sedentarius bacteria. Besides organic acids they produce volatile sulfur compounds which makes feet stink like rotten eggs.

 

Deterministic as this chemical jargon may sound, you can avoid getting stinky feet (or cure them if it’s already too late).

The other cause to keep in mind,

2. Bacteria thrive in dark, damp environments

Such as the insides of sweaty shoes. Or nylon socks.

Because of these two main causes we can conclude that effective prevention involves steps that reduce;

  1. The amount your feet sweat
  2. The amount of bacteria living on your feet

 

Benjamin Franklin, the archetypal American overachiever said it best;

‘An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.’

So let’s nip those foot odor causing bacteria in the bud.

Here we go, science-backed tips to prevent foot odor.

1. Wash your feet like like Jesus washed his disciple’s feet

Seriously, it all starts with cleaning your feet, toes and toe webs really well. Don’t just rinse them off under the shower. Wash them religiously.

In other words, frequently and thoroughly. At least once a day, with appropriate soap.

Deodorant soaps don’t cut it. To control bacteria you have to go beyond the way Medieval queens thought of personal hygiene, masking their putrid body odor with perfumes and bouquets.

Here’s what works:

Wash your feet with a surgical-grade antibacterial soap such as Hibiscrub or Betadine® Skin Cleanser.

These bactericidal soaps kill those stinky bacteria dead. Use ’em, they are a gift from the Almighty in your quest for fresh feet.

  • Other brands are; Hibiclens® or Phisoderm®  (or their generic equivalents). Get them at your pharmacy or online.

A quick and dirty trick for hasty blokes and gals

You in hurry? Overslept, need to run to get the bus and don’t have the time to thoroughly wash your feet?

Use hand sanitizer for a quick cleansing. It fights off the naturally present bacteria which are part of our human flora. Don’t make a habit out of this, it’s an emergency fix.

Make sure to dry those toes well before you hastily put on your Allstars or Jimmy Choo heels.

2. Scrub like a surgeon

Exfoliating your feet helps because the bacteria that produce foot odor not only feed on sweat but dead skin cells as well (and on naturally present skin oils).

Eccrine bromodosis is caused by bacterial breaking down dead skin cells.

Take their food away and they can not emit that cheesy stench. It’s like not feeding your gassy little brother onions anymore.

Pumice stones are great for scrubbing. Or use foot scrubs or acid-based exfoliation creams to slough away dead skin cells.

Check your foot soles for thick hardened layers of dead skin (hyperkeratosis). Use a foot file to remove it.

  • When damp, hard skin such as corns and calluses can become soggy which is the perfect environment for bacteria.

Make sure to scrub not only your foot soles but between your toes too where dead skin is common.

3. Keep calm and dry your feet well

This is crucial because bacteria thrive in moist conditions. In our busy modern day lives, drying our feet well is often not part of the routine.

We’re always in a hurry. A quick shower, some rubbing with a towel and putting on clothes while already eating breakfast does often not allow for thorough foot drying.

Make time to do this. No moist equals much less bacteria.

Don’t forget to dry your toe webs. If necessary  use a hair dryer. (for instance when Athletes foot does not allow towel drying)

4. Ban bacteria from your feet

4 simple tricks:

  • Keep toe nails short. Clip and brush them regularly.
  • Get rid of that hair on your feet. You’re not a Yeti, are you? Especially hair on the toes adds to the stink. Simply because the bacteria have a larger surface area to thrive.
  • Also benzoyl peroxide gel, sold as acne treatment gel, is effective in minimizing bacterial growth on your feet. Be cautious with this stuff, it can discolor and bleach dark garments.
  • Wipe or dab your feet, toes and webs with rubbing alcohol or dip cotton wool in surgical spirit a couple times daily may be helpful too.

 

5. Soak your feet like beans

Well actually you don’t have to soak them as long as you soak beans. Especially if you pick the most potent soak you can suffice with 10 or 20 minutes at a time.

I’m putting it like this because, black tea foot soak, for instance, does not work very well. If you need a truly effective preventive measure, get something more powerful. Or prepare to sit all night, ending up with wrinkled white feet.

There are as many types of foot soaks as there are grains of sand on the beach (well almost). To help you pick one, here are a few of the most powerful:

  • Black tea, works in mild cases of foot perspiration. Tea contains the astringent tannic acid and for many people daily soaks for about a week can be helpful (it may “stain” your feet a little bit).
  • Epsom salt is another popular home remedy.
  • Listerine is both an astringent and has antimicrobial properties which is why I prefer it over tea soaks.
  • NYC-based podiatrist Johanna Youner recommends apple cider vinegar foot soaks. (half cup to a quart of lukewarm water) It kills bacteria and dries excess sweat “It’s a really good, effective and cheap cure,”
  • Click here to find out about the 6 best foot soaks for foot odor.

 

6. A is for Astringent Antiperspirants

Way back when Victorian brides carried bouquets* to mask their smell they didn’t have much options. Things got fancy in the 1910’s, when deodorants and especially antiperspirants were invented.

  • *It’s a hoax by the way

We suddenly had the means to locally reduce the amount of sweat we excrete.

Don’t believe me? Go ahead. Try a antiperspirant containing Aluminium chloride. It makes your feet sweat considerably less.

No wonder this substance is the #1 recommended foot odor cure by podiatrists and dermatologists (medical name bromodrosis).

Apply the antiperspirant at bedtime. If you apply it in the morning and then shower or wash it off it doesn’t get the chance to work. Let it do its job while you sleep and your feet are not sweating (so much).

Most antiperspirants are astringents which means they tighten the pores.

Astringent literally means; causing contraction, usually locally after topical application. (Medical Dictionary)

Since sweat is excreted by sweat glands in the pores, minimizing them reduces how much you sweat (the sweat simply can’t get out). And thus allows you to prevent foot odor.

  • Aluminum zirconium and aluminum chloride hexahydrate are the active ingredients in commercial products such as Odaban, Drysol, Hydrosol, and Certain Dri. Here’s an extensive write up about good antiperspirants for feet.
  • Other sweat-reducing solutions contain the active ingredient zinc.
  • Antibiotic creams such as cleomycin or gentamicin are also helpful in reducing bacteria living on the feet.

 

7. Powder your feet like a geisha her nose

No need to wear your kimono but do this with all your attention. Like you’re attending a Japanese tea ceremony.

two reasons:

1. By powdering slowly and thoroughly you will address your feet, toes and webs. Treating all these parts is essential to successfully reducing sweating and odor.  Powder before donning your stockings or socks.

2. You will prevent inhaling a cloud of powder. It’s not only unpleasant, talc powder has been linked to cancer. It’s likely to be a very small health risk. Still, it’s best to avoid prolonged exposure.

Types of (medicated) foot powder ingredients:

  • talcum  – is an astringent talc
  • baking soda – is alkaline meaning it’s antibacterial
  • corn starch- helps absorb sweat
  • tolnaftate – used for treating fungal infections such as jock itch, athlete’s foot, itch, and ringworm.
  • clay foot powder  – (e.g. Bentonite clay) clay absorbs moisture. Sometimes used in combination with herbs.
  • aluminum acetate – Brands such as Domeboro powder or Burrows Solution
  • ZeaSorb® – contains microporous cellulose

The most popular foot powder is Gold Bond Maximum Strength Medicated Foot Powder. It absorbs moisture, controls bacteria and odor and offers itch relief as well as soothes irritated skin.

  • Warning: Foot powders containing cornstarch contain nutrients that feed fungal spores, which may cause or worsen infections.

 

8. These 2 creams are the crème de la crème

For all you non-French speaking folks, that means ‘best of the best’. No kidding, these two creams truly are amazing.

  • Zinc sulphate cream is what my mom always applied on my little girl paws (If you didn’t know already, little girls can have surprisingly smelly feet).

But even if you don’t have stinky feet, you’ll probably want to keep it that way. This cream helps prevent foot odor.

Zinc sulphate cream has antibacterial action and there are studies proving it fights foot odor. Sharquie et al. [1]

  • Lavilin foot deodorant cream is a Godsend. Now I can hear you think, “hold on there, you don’t fool me, deodorizing creams only mask”.

True, this stuff does not stop you from sweating but it does stop the sweat, when it’s being processed by bacteria, from smelling.

I could start a sales pitch like Gordon Gecko rambling on steroids but just take a quick glance at the reviews. Trust me, you will want to get this cream.

9. Footwear, First and Foremost

Very often, shoes are a major part of the problem. Bacteria love the enclosed, tight, dark, damp environment your shoes provide. Especially shoes that restrict air flow make bacteria colonies explode.

Although these bacteria are a normal part of the human body’s flora, the more there are, the bigger the chance on developing a nasty case of malodorous feet.

  • Prevent this by wearing good shoes. Even with good shoes you are not totally safe, but appropriate footwear is a prerequisite.
  • Without good shoes you are, eventually, guaranteed to stink up the place when you take them off.

Synthetic shoes are bad m’kay? Avoid them like the Bubonic plague.

Closed, tight shoes made of non-absorbent materials, such as plastics, vinyl, patent leather, and rubber will make your feet sweat like a morbidly obese pig in summer.

Check the labels when shoe shopping. Get footwear that allows your feet to ‘breathe’ such as;

  • Shoes with open-mesh sides
  • Sandals
  • Shoes with uppers made of leather, mesh or canvas
  • Shoes with leather soles

Additional shoe shopping tips:

Wear shoes that fit properly, by closely matching the shape and contours of your feet and toes.

Be measured for new shoes and allow plenty of room in the toe box. You should be easily able to wiggle your toes in the shoe. If not, they are too tight.

 

10. Powder your shoes too

Lightly coat the bottom of your footwear with baby powder, baking soda, or another antibacterial, odor-removing powder.

Find powder clumps in your shoes or boots at the end of the day? You may have used too much.

11. Soggy socks vs. soothing socks

A lot of socks are made of sweat-retaining materials. When your feet sweat, your socks get wet and stay wet and bacteria love that.

Not only thin nylon stockings but also certain synthetic socks and even low percentage cotton socks are worthless in averting bad smells.

Wear socks that wick sweat (moisture) away from your skin to the sock’s outer layers to prevent foot odor. Various fabric types and brands exist:

  • Coolmax, the original moisture wicking material.
  • Merino wool (brand name SmartWool or Wigwam Durasole socks)
  • Aetrex copper sole socks, a synthetic moisture wicking material with copper fibers woven in. Copper is a science-backed perspiration reducing agent.
  • Thorlo, known for their padded, moisture-reducing socks
  • Teko socks, valued for insulation, moisture absorption, and odor control.
  • Wright socks have double layers that wick moisture and provide insulation from heat and cold.

If you are adamant on plain cotton socks make sure to wear at least 80% cotton. Or, experts advice, wear cotton over nylon.

Another option is to wear normal, natural fiber socks in combination with liner socks. Here’s more on the best socks to prevent foot odor.

Additional tips

  • Wash your socks inside out. This way dead skin cells are removed more thoroughly.
  • Change your socks at least once a day, replacing them with a clean pair.
  • Don’t wear socks in bed. Let your feet get some air during the night. If you have really cold feet you can make an exception but don’t make a habit out of it.
  • Don’t walk on your socks outside or on unhygienic floors. Bacteria are picked up this way and when you put your shoes back on, the bacteria population, able to thrive in their damp, dark, warm domain blows up to epic proportions.

12. Skip the sockless trend

Rocking loafers without socks has sparked a foot odor outburst mirrored by a spike in foot deodorant and perfumed insoles.

The fashionable habit, introduced by Hollywood celebs like Jude Law and Ryan Gosling, is pretty friggin’ far from hygienic.

Always wear socks with your shoes. Going sockless is a surefire way to summon foot odor (especially when you wear UGGs). Your footwear retains sweat which fuels a potential stench.

That’s not all,  it will ruin your shoes and you are more likely to trigger a fungal infection such as Athlete’s foot. Absolutely need to sport those sexy bare ankles? Get Sole Socks, they offer the looks without the downsides.

This tip does not only concern men adopting the metrosexual trend, nylons-wearing women too, are better off wearing socks underneath.

13. Barefoot walking

Barefoot walking helps air out your feet. The practice also known as ‘earthing’ simply sets your tootsies free from being locked in shoes (that aside, the feeling of grass between  your toes is priceless too don’t you think?).

Don’t overdo it though. Especially in the outdoors you run the risk your feet attract Kyetococcus bacteria (the ones that cause a rotten egg stench).

Don’t like walking on your bare feet? Perhaps sandals or open-toed shoes are something for you. You still wear soles and benefit from maximum aeration.

14. Solace from smell-absorbing insoles

From high-tech ionized insoles with copper or silver elements to more natural wool or wooden shoe inserts, options abound.

  • Cedar wood
  • activated charcoal
  • absorbent
  • wool (biocide)
  • ionized
  • aromatherapy

Read more about the best insoles for sweaty feet.

15. Give your shoes a break

Upon a hard day’s walking and sweating your shoes need time to air out. Let them sit at least 24 hours in bright (sunny), ventilated, dry places. In dark closets or moist basements bacteria will increase.

Dry your shoes and boots by using the following techniques, tips, devices:

  • Use shoe-trees to allow your shoes to dry completely before wearing that pair again
  • Use boot or shoe dryers if you sweat a lot or get wet feet for another reason.
  • UV lights, such as the Sterishoe device, are proven effective at killing bacteria and reducing foul odors.

Here are more tips on how to dry shoes and boots.

16. Freshen up your shoes

Besides, airing out, drying and washing your shoes you can also freshen them up. This will help prevent your shoes from becoming musty.

Even if your shoes don’t stink  yet, put some of the following refreshers in them in between wearing.

  • cloves, Mother Nature’s deodorizer. Put a few in your shoes or pierce the skin of an orange and stick a bunch in there.
  • sachets filled with cedar chips work wonders.
  • mesh pouches filled with Zeolite rock powder. Zeolite is a natural volcanic mineral that attracts and traps odors
  • baking soda, a multifunctional odor-removing and bacteria killing shoe freshening agent.

Wash your shoes, if possible

See label instructions on your athletic shoes. If they’re washable, toss them into the washing machine every few weeks. Or wash them by hand, preferably in bleach, detergent, and hot water.

17. Fine-tune your diet / take supplements

Do you get the USDA recommended daily allowance (RDA) of zinc?

If you don’t you may have a zinc deficiency which can cause foot odor. A lack of nutritional zinc is also known to cause bad breath and body odor.

If you take a multivitamin, check if zinc is included. Take a zinc supplement or adjust your diet. More info about how zinc links to smelly feet.

How to correct your diet

Simply put, if you want to adjust your diet to prevent stinky feet, eat more fruits, herbs, complex carbs and leafy greens.

Diets high in refined carbs, protein and spicy foods are known to contribute to foot odor. Also alchohol and cigarettes do not work in your favor. More about how your diet may cause foot odor.

18. Subdue stress

Chronic (adrenal) stress can cause unbridled sweating. Fight or flight hormones may become out of sync which leads to increased perspiration and subsequent smelly feet.

If you’re under a lot of stress, practice yoga, meditation, massage therapy or another calming activity. Don’t have the time or energy? Apply the other tips.

19. Cure foot conditions

Check between your toes and your foot soles red, dry, patchy skin. This may indicate a (low-grade) fungal infection. If you notice such irregularities, get treatment.

  • Athletes foot
  • Toenail fungus
  • Skin maceration
  • Blisters

Our feet not only carry us through the day.

An archaic German saying refers to feet as your “auxiliary kidneys” (auxiliary means assistive, supplementary). Our kidneys main function is metabolism waste removal and blood filtering.

The health benefits of routine inspections

Just like your kidneys, your feet(and armpits) excrete acids and toxins. By taking good care of your feet and keeping an eye out for problems you are doing more than just preventing smelly feet, you are taking care of your body as a whole.

20. Wear breathing, moisture-wicking shoes

If you’re like me, your feet sweat a lot, not only when you’re walking but even when sitting still.

Quick tip: Are you sitting behind a desk and your feet get damp or wet at the end of the day? Wear scuff or clog slip-ons and take your feet out of them regularly.

But if you have to be on your feet all day you can benefit from specialty footwear.

  • Geox makes breathing shoes that make you sweat a lot less. They work really well. Their patented system consists of “a membrane that absorbs sweat from the insole and expels it as water vapor through micro-holes in the outsole”.
  • Many hiking boot brands offer models that feature climate control foot beds and moisture wicking liners.

 

 21. Spray your feet

Two popular foot sprays are Crystal Natural Foot Deodorant Spray containing 100% natural ingredients and Gewhol’s Caring FootDeo Spray.

Or use Vitae 100% Confident deodorant spray. It has seaweed extract, essential oils and other all-natural ingredients (it’s my personal favorite and even has a 1 year money-back-guarantee).

  • This product is loved by many because it does not contain Aluminum chlorohydrate or zirconium.

Note: Aluminum is generally considered safe to use, this is backed by studies and dermatologists, and is the most effective substance in reducing excessive sweating.

Wrapping it up

Do your feet smell less than swell? Even just a little bit?

Start with prevention right now. The sooner you do the footwork, the better. The longer you wait, the more chance the bacteria have to proliferate and infest your feet and shoes.

If your efforts in preventing foot odor don’t proof successful you may suffer from excessive, hereditary sweating (it runs in the family).

In these cases, a prescription antiperspirant or more invasive treatments may be necessary.

3 Quick Foot Odor Fixes

You came home from a hard day’s work. Kicked your sweaty boots out on the  porch before you entered the home (you already know by now that taking them in wreaks havoc on the household atmosphere).

Tired you drop on the couch for some serious slouching. The pungent odor however, doesn’t stay outside with your boots.

Soon the misses, hands on her sides, stands in front of you. Yelling.

She has had it. This is the last time. You will be kicked out if you don’t do something about your smelly feet. The putrid stench has to go, with or without you.

Time to do something about it. Quickly.

The Quick and Dirty Fix

This is if you need to take immediate action. An emergency fix you can apply right now. A DIY remedy to take care of foot odor immediately to save your marriage.

  • Take off your socks too. Besides kicking off your shoes, remove those sweaty socks. The smell is in the socks as well.
  • Wash your feet before entering the living room. No time or energy to wash with an antibacterial soap?
  • Rinse with rubbing alcohol, pure alcohol, isopropyl alcohol, vinegar or vodka even. It kills the bacteria. Prepare a spray bottle so you can easily and effortlessly treat your feet when necessary.
  • Apply a deodorant. Take any underarm deodorant or antiperspirant you can find and apply it to your feet. We’re not picky during  this quick-fix solution because we need to mask the foul odor. That’s our primary goal. The foot odor will diminish but you probably won’t be able to completely get rid of it right now. That’s why you should use a deodorant or antiperspirant.
  • Put on clean socks

 

A quick-fix solution for when you’re on the go

  • Make sure to always pack at least one pair of clean socks.
  • Put a damp wash cloth with some antibacterial soap applied to it in a plastic sandwich bag for instant cleaning (you can wash your feet in the car or a public restroom). You could use Damp Ones or another brand of antibacterial wipes too.
  • Add a little towel or some paper towelettes for drying your feet afterwards (remember, drying is crucial since bacteria grow like crazy in dark, damp environments)
  • Bring an extra pair of shoes so you can change shoes during the day.

 

Take this ‘smelly feet survival kit’ with you in your bag and put an extra set in the car so you’re well prepared.

These preparations are lifesavers for when you (or the misses) suddenly decide to go shoe shopping or eat out in a Japanese restaurant.

You will avoid a lot of embarrassment in the shoe store or prevent you from getting refused to be ‘seated’ by mr.  Akiyama.

 

The 3 Days Slick & Solid Fix

When you risk getting evicted you will probably want a more thorough solution. Something to tackle the problem at its core.

Here’s what you should do to get rid of the foot odor within a few days.

Go to the store or order online:

  • Antiperspirant containing aluminum chloride. It’s the most effective at reducing the amount you sweat, recommended by dermatologists and podiatrists (foot doctors). A bestseller is Sweatblock antiperspirant. Here’s more info on good antiperspirants for foot odor.
  • Surgical-grade antibacterial soap. It kills the bacteria living on your feet. I recommend Betadine Surgical Scrub or Hibiscrub.
  • Odor fighting insoles. Popular choices are Dr. Scholl’s Odor-X Odor Fighting Insoles, Cedar Soles, and Summer Soles Ultra Absorbent Insoles.
  • Foot powder such as On Your Toes Foot Bactericide Powder. It helps keep your feet dry and reduces foul odor.

 

In addition to these quick fixes you can take more action.

Other measures

Rotate shoes, never wear the same shoes two days in a row.

Change to clean socks at least daily. Do it twice or more often if necessary.

Take your shoes off to air them and your feet out. The more you do this the less chance the bacterial colonies have to grow.

  • Take them off while waiting at the bus stop (keep your feet from the ground though, what I do is let my feet rest on top of my shoes), kick them off while at your desk at work,  and so on.

Treat your shoes. Washing our socks is normal but shoes often get neglected. Do not only de-stink them but get rid of the bacteria too. Here’s how to sanitize shoes.

You may have to throw out your shoes and get new ones. If so, get well-ventilated shoes made from canvas, mesh or leather.

  • Some shoes are beyond refreshing. Once thoroughly infested by bacteria they will only cause your freshly washed and powdered feet to stink again.

Dry your footwear. Shoes should be completely dry before wearing them again. Here are some quick and easy tips on how to dry your shoes.

Wear the right socks. Cotton is good right? Wrong. There are better socks for you. Merino wool socks, or Drymax socks help reduce excessive sweating of your feet.

Fixing other foot odor causes

These quick fixes will help most people suffering from bromhidrosis (the technical name for foot odor).

In some cases however, excessive sweating and bacteria feasting on sweat and dead skin cells are not the (only) cause.

Athletes foot, fungal infections, Candida albicans yeast overgrowth, your diet (i.e. a zinc deficiency), emotional stress can all contribute to the problem.

If you suspect any of these conditions are the cause, make sure to address these too.

 

Do you need a quick fix too?

Or does your spouse, room mate or child? I once took of my shoes at night while sleeping over at my boyfriends house.

His parents and siblings were already in bed in their own bedrooms but shortly after, heads came out door openings informing me about the smell. And if I could do something about it. Boy did I feel ashamed.

With red cheeks I quickly tossed my shoes out of the house and gave my feet a soapy rinse. Needless to say this experience made me resolute to find a solution.

What’s your situation? Are you in dire need for a quick remedy too? Drop a comment below.

 

7 Celebrities With Stinky Feet

Thought celebrities don’t suffer from smelly feet because they look neat and clean? Boy you are wrong.

The following popular names are known to emit a “disturbing” scent. Some of them have other personal hygiene issues too.

1. Britney Spears

First on the list is celebrity pop singer Britney Spears. She has been involved in too many controversies particularly on misbehavior and questions on her abilities as a mother.

But apparently, she also has problems taking care of herself especially on hygiene. In a sexual harassment complaint filed by her former bodyguard Fernando Flores, it also stated that Spears can go on days without taking a bath, without tooth brushing, using a deodorant, and not wearing shoes and socks.

Her stinky feet were discovered during a flight from LA to New York. To make herself more comfortable, she took her shoes off which caused the air around her to smell very bad.

Several passengers, the stench in their nostrils, complained about Britney’s odor prompting the flight crew to ask her to put her shoes back on.

According to reports, Britney’s excuse was that the shoes are making her feet smell and not the other way around. But thankfully, she complied and worn the shoes back.

2. Lindsay Lohan

Another controversial celebrity with a bad feet odor is Lindsay Lohan. But instead of hygiene, Lindsay’s problem is more on recurring fungal infection or athlete’s foot.

According to one of her closest friends, it’s been her problem and source of embarrassment since her teenage years. And on an interview with Oprah Winfrey, she admitted that her feet are the body parts she hated most.

Her smelly feet have also put her in a number of embarrassing situations like when her feet had almost ruined private house party. She was photographed with excessive amounts of foot powder one day. No wonder she’s now hesitant to dine in Japanese restaurants.

3. Kate Hudson

On the interesting side of things is Kate Hudson. Why interesting? Because Kate considers her smelly feet as an advantage.

Kate is proud to tell everyone that her feet odor actually helped her win her former husband Chris Robinson’s heart.

In one of their dates, she had to take off her shoes to show Chris her feet scars. She was embarrassed with the odor but Chris responded that it was actually “cute”.

4. Jessica Biel

If you want a celebrity with a real online proof about her smelly feet, it’s Mrs. Timberlake, Jessica Biel. In a 2008 YouTube/online video which has been viewed by millions, Jessica removes her shoes, sniffs them, and eventually admits that they stink.

A huge turn off to most folks but there are also those (especially men) who think otherwise.

5. Natalie Portman

The multi-awarded Hollywood actress Natalie Portman is also part of the list. But compared to all other stars, it’s not even a big deal for her since this actress is known to be humble or true to herself.

Feet odor has been an issue since her teenage years. In one of her interviews during her freshman year at Harvard, it was also cited that Natalie has the habit of being apologetic whenever she removes her Gucci shoes in front of other people.

6. Tara Reid

If you think having smelly feet is already a huge problem, wait until you read about Tara Reid’s feet hatred. Yes that’s correct. She doesn’t only hate the smell but the entire feet as well. According to her, it’s the least attractive and most disgusting body part.

She believes that the feet are always meant to be dirty, weird looking, and smelly. Similar with most individuals, the problem started since childhood.

She remembered being afraid of stepping her foot away from the bed and was always hesitant when her daddy instructs her to remove his shoes every time he comes home from work. According to Tara, she would just cry instead of doing so since she knows it would smell so bad.

7. Elvis Presley

A number of stars from the past were also noted to have feet odor. Based on reports, accounts, and biographies, the King of Rock and Roll had a problem with personal hygiene. It never came to the King’s mind to prevent foot odor.

Just like Britney Spears, Elvis didn’t like the idea of regular washing or bathing. Instead, he would just try to mask the smell with cologne. His former band mates constantly complained about his terrible feet odor.

And even his mother had troubles at laundry time, reportedly she had to wear gloves and a face mask just to handle the putrid laundry.

 About foot odor

Foot odor is definitely a humiliating concern that affects a large part of the population regardless of social status, gender, or age.

Among the most common causes include excessive feet sweating, bacterial and fungal overgrowth, or simply poor hygiene.

Do you have smelly feet too? Make sure to wash them well, use the best antiperspirant you can get, and wear socks that reduce sweating.