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
- 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
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
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
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 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
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
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
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
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
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).
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
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
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
Contrary 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 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.