Feet smell and hands don’t because sweat gets trapped in our shoes. Feet also have more sweat glands than hands but the main reason is that by wearing shoes we create an ideal living environment for bacteria that live on our skin.
These bacteria eat our dead skin cells and our sweat. While doing so they produce a foul odor, the typical smelly feet scent.
So in order to combat smelly feet and shoes we have to fight the source.
Both the growth of bacteria and the sweating need to be reduced.
There are several ways to do this.
Here’s the best way to stop smelly 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 of these remedies will most likely be necessary to help you get rid of the problem.
You could of course 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.
Maintaining good foot and shoe hygiene is the best way to prevent smelly feet.
The best way for fresh, non-stinky feet is fourfold:
- Fight the bacteria on your feet
- Clear your shoes of these bacteria
- Reduce sweating
- Use odor and sweat absorbing sole inserts
The battle against those cheesy bacteria
Brevibacteria are naturally part of our skin flora. Excess sweat and dead skin cells will increase their numbers and result in the typical cheese-like smell. No wonder, since the same bacteria also give cheeses such as Munster their typical aroma.
These bacteria live on our skin but after a while they will reside in your shoes too. That’s why the best remedy is to treat both your feet and shoes.
1. How to rid your feet of the smell causing bacteria
Wash them with a strong antibacterial soap. Yes, it’s true that in fact all soaps are antibacterial but in order to have an effect normal soaps have to be in contact with skin for about two minutes.
Let’s face it, in our busy lives, most of us don’t have or take the time for this. That’s why a soap that fights the bacteria right away is recommended.
Another reason, often the bacteria not only live on our skin but inside the deeper skin layers as well.
The best soap for this purpose: Hibiscrub.
- Wash your feet daily with this soap
- Make sure to dry your feet really well afterwards (the bacteria thrive on moist environments)
More info on Hibiscrub for smelly feet.
2. How to clear your shoes of the bacteria
Common ways to remove odor causing bacteria are with sunlight, heat, cold, ozone, UV, pure alcohol, tea tree oil, chemical. Some of these remedies are more effective than others. Some take more time than others.
The best way to rid your shoes of the dreaded bacteria is by using On Your Toes Foot Bactericide Powder.
- Just check out the reviews to see how positive others are
- Follow instructions on the package
Another convenient way to banish bacteria from your shoes is by using an UV shoe sanitizer.
3. Here’s how to reduce how much your feet are sweating
Our feet are the body part with the most sweat glands. About 250,000 on both your feet. There’s an effective way to reduce the amount of sweating though. Doctors prescribe it to people with hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating) but it is available over the counter too.
Various anti-perspirants exist but the best one to combat sweaty feet is SweatBlock Antiperspirant.
It’s main active ingredient is aluminum chloride. It works by blocking the sweat-producing cells in your feet. This effect is temporary and therefore it should be applied about twice a week.
Many other brands are available but most are rollers which makes them not suitable for application on feet. What’s more, SweatBlock is the best reviewed antiperspirant on Amazon.
4. The best odor and sweat absorbing insoles
In general inserts that fight foot odor come in two types.
- Aromatic deodorants that neutralise the odor by their own smell
- and absorbers that absorb the foul scent itself.
Here’s more about insoles for smelly feet.
- Don’t wear the same pair every day
- Wear leather, canvas, or suede shoes
- Keep them clear of bacteria
- Store them light and dry
- Wear cotton (minimal 75%) or wool socks
- Change them as often as possible (at least every day)
- Don’t go barefoot in your shoes
- Walk on socks at home or the office