Category Archives: Footwear

stinky work boots

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.

Sole Socks, Now You Can Go Sockless Without Getting Stinky Feet

going sockless may look appealing but has its downsides

Do you love wearing shoes on a “mankle” style? Perhaps, one of your persistent problems is having smelly feet.

Mankle is a new or urban term used to describe the idea of wearing shoes without socks.

The sockless habit however is not so new. Many men pick up the practice from their dads. And they from their granddads. Or you may have been inspired by friends, movie stars, or magazines.

It’s fashionable and certainly comfortable. But not wearing socks can, and in many cases, will eventually result in smelly feet.

Trend causes increase in smelly feet

Pharmacies  have signaled an 11% increase in treatments for smelly and sweaty feet.

Especially a lot of male (the trend is especially popular among men) customers have been asking them about how to stop their bare feet in brogues, boat shoes, and loafers from smelling.

This confirms the idea that going sockless is the culprit of the rise of smelly feet.

The mankle practice doesn’t directly cause foot odor. But you can bet on it that after a while you will regret not having taken precautions. In some cases the foul odor is so severe, a biohazard seems peanuts in comparison.

The reason going sockless may cause foul odor

The feet produce sweat due to heat, extreme activity, or lack of air circulation inside the shoes.

Without the absorbing capacity of socks, sweat is instead absorbed by the soles and inner linings of shoes.

This will eventually promote the proliferation of bacteria and fungus that causes bad odor.

And because it’s a bacterial proliferation which can linger on your feet, the odor can be difficult to eliminate.

How to pull off the ‘no socks look’? (while keeping your feet from reeking)

There are several home remedies which could help you cure or manage smelly feet. These include;

  • regularly cleaning and disinfecting your feet,
  • more frequent washing and cleaning of your shoes,
  • and the use of foot powders that deodorizes and maintains dryness of your feet.

But isn’t it better to prevent smelly feet than curing it?

It sure is.

How to prevent your feet from stinking while wearing no socks at all

You can of course wear those super thin ankle socks that don’t go above the shoe line. They are also known as no show socks.

But if you have ever worn them you will know they are pretty uncomfortable, too tight, and are prone to slipping off during the day.

If you really don’t like wearing socks, consider using Sole Socks instead.

Sole Socks are custom insoles that absorbs moisture and odor from the feet.

The Sole Socks Solution

Sole socks prevent smelly feet when going sockless
the simple sock alternative

Sole socks are specially designed insoles which can substitute the functions of ordinary socks.

They were designed to absorb sweat, prevent feet odor, and keep them more comfortable through improved air circulation.

How do Sole Socks work?

The secret of preventing feet odor lies on the insoles’ built and design. The top layer is the soft and absorbent part made out of cotton and terry cloth, a fabric proven to help absorb moisture and odor.

The bottom part is made out of silicone rubber which features grooves for better grip and stability when the insoles are used.

And together with the grooves, there are also holes which promote breathability and air circulation.

Watch this short video to learn about the benefits of wearing Sole Socks.

 

Here are some of the beneficial features of Sole Socks:

  • These insoles prevent odor build-up. Aside from absorbing moisture from sweat, these insoles are also capable of eliminating odor; hence, you could always wear the mankle style any time you want.
  • Enhanced comfort. Sole socks add more comfort by ensuring cool and dry feet, better cushioning effect, and the surface is also finer and softer than ordinary insoles.
  • Ease in cleaning. With constant washing and cleaning, the cotton and rubber parts of common insoles usually disintegrate. Sole socks on the other hand are tightly stitched to stay in tacked. They are not sensitive to the manner of cleaning. They can be tossed in the washer together with your other clothes whenever you’re doing the laundry.
  • Convenience of use. These insoles are very convenient to use. When you need to bring them on a trip, you can just insert them in your extra pair of shoes. This is contrary to socks which you need to prepare and pack along with your clothes.
  • Better feet health. Another benefit of eliminating moisture and odor when wearing shoes is the prevention of feet diseases like altheles feet and irritation.
  • Various sizes. Soles socks may not only be used by teens and adults, the makers of these sock replacements are also producing smaller sizes for children. They have also adapted to the US, Europe, UK, and Asian sizes.

 

For more info check out the recent Sole Socks Kickstarter funding campaign which has been an overwhelming succces.

Or order your Sole Socks at the official website. A pair will set you back $12 or $4,50 for toddlers and children.

pair of Nikes blasted with baking soda to get rid of the smell

Is Baking Soda An Effective Way To Freshen Up Stinky Shoes?

So your shoes stink huh? And you heard about people using baking soda to freshen them up.

That’s right, you can de-stink your smelly footwear with Sodium bicarbonate (the chemical name for the stuff).

The fine white powder that is often used for baking cookies (makes them chewy) or as a kitchen sink cleaner is also used in mouthwash and other oral hygiene products and as an alternative for commercial deodorants and antiperspirants containing aluminum and parabens.

No wonder it’s such a well known practice to sprinkle baking soda in your smelly shoes. The method of action is twofold:

  1. Baking soda is a natural deodorizer.
  2. Baking soda kills germs.

However, how effective baking soda is as an antibacterial and odor absorber remains unclear.

It is an affordable method (you can buy a pack of Arm & Hammer baking soda for about one buck) but it’s probably not the most effective way of de-stinking your shoes. More in a bit.

How does baking soda work? How does it de-stink your shoes?

Baking soda is known to neutralize bacterial acid, eliminating the stink. Studies show that;  one gram neutralizes 12 milli-equivalents of acid.

It’s the acid that the Brevibacteria produce when they are feeding on the sweat on your feet, that causes the foul odor.

two trillion bacteria live on your feet (that’s 12% of all bacteria on the human body)

Baking soda acts as a fungicide and has been reported to cure athlete’s foot. It has antibacterial properties.

How to apply baking soda to your shoes

The drastic way

You can just put half a pack of baking soda in your old shoes or sneakers and leave them for a week or so like I did. (see photo)

I practically stuffed my old Nike Air Max with it and then put them in a plastic bag that I tightly knotted.

shoes-with-baking-soda
I chose for this option to make sure the baking soda would reach all the nooks and crannies of my shoes

These shoes were really stinky and my feet got hot really quickly in them so I thought nuking the sh*t out of them to be the best method. (I kept them in the freezer for a few days with the baking soda in them too)

pros

  • baking soda comes in contact with every part of the shoes
  • the bacteria have nowhere to hide

cons

  • leather and suede shoes may become brittle due to direct contact with the baking soda.

The more controlled way

However, if you have a pair of shoes that you want to keep nice and tidy and don’t want to end up with white residue even after tapping out your shoes frantically, you can use a coffee filter, drier sheet,  or a piece of cloth tied together with a string or ribbon.

Pros

  • Cleaner. No need to tap out your shoes or finding residu on your socks when you take off your shoes

Cons

  • Possibly less effective.

 

Does it really work?

Despite baking soda being a very popular and widely adapted method for freshening up stinky shoes its efficacy is questioned.

Sodium bicarbonate is known to be a mild antiseptic  ineffective against most bacteria.

Regarding potency it’s comparable to the common recommendation of taking black tea foot baths to reduce sweaty feet. It may be effective in case of mild foot odor but for some people these measures just don’t work.

My own findings

After the ‘treatment’ my good old Nikes were fresh and felt clean. For a short while.

Already after a few days (and I didn’t even wear them that much) the smell returned.

Having quarantined my Max’ies for more than two weeks, while keeping them in the fridge as well for a while, should have yielded a better result.

At least, that’s what I thought after hearing so much positive stories about the baking soda method.

What if baking soda does not work for you either?

Like I said earlier, baking soda is sprinkled in shoes to function as a germicide and deodorizer.

Of the many different remedies, sodium bicarbonate is probably the least expensive. The efficacy of the antimicrobial effect on the odor-causing bacteria is unclear.

Arm & Hammer, sprinkled in stinky shoes simply is an adsorbent material that can soak up odors, however, not very effectively.

For both purposes, more effective approaches exist.

Alternative antibacterial agents

Vinegar, for example, shows to be a more potent anti-bacterial agent so washing shoes with vinegar and rinsing them with water afterwards could be a solution.  Downside of  this method is of course that it’s more time consuming.

Even more adequate ways to get rid of stink in shoes is to use non-natural substances such as TBQ, Vesphene, Clorox, ethanol, and Lysol Antibacterial Kitchen Cleaner.

A variety of commercial household disinfectants were highly effective against potential bacterial pathogens. The natural products were less effective than commercial household disinfectants.

Pure alcohol is more effective in killing off the dreaded bacteria and relatively easy to implement. Rubbing alcohol not only disinfects your shoes but also gets rid of the stench.

Make sure to dry your shoes well, soak them in cleaning alcohol and dry them again. This should get rid of the smell.

Soaking shoes in isopropyl alcohol – found at your local drug store – is an inexpensive and highly effective cure.

Tea tree oil also has potent antibacterial properties that can offer help in combating smelly shoes.

Other ways to  purge odor causing bacteria are with ozone, sunlight, UV light, and heat.

Alternative odor absorbers

Alternatives to baking soda are kitty litter (put in a thick nylon), zinc oxide powder, and apple cider vinegar soaks (for both feet and shoes).

Activated charcoal is a better odor absorber than baking soda. Shoe inserts with charcoal may offer a better solution. Cedarsoles are another popular means of reducing odor.

Special cedarsoles are commonly recommended for this purpose because of their antibacterial characteristics.

Here’s an overview of the most popular shoe inserts used to combat smell.

Saddle soap is reported to clean smelly leather shoes on the inside and outside. Especially useful for restoring dress shoes.

Additional advice

Remove shoes periodically to allow them to air out and allow sweat and moist to evaporate. This however does not mean it kills bacteria, just puts them in dormant state. Smell is likely to return in a few days.

Did you use baking soda in your shoes?

Did it work?

Share your experiences below.

 

The Best Socks For Sweaty Smelly Feet

Does this sound familiar?

You make an habit out of thoroughly washing your feet. You change shoes regularly and take them off when possible.

You make sure to wear at least 80% cotton socks. You even use foot powder.

And you have taken other measures to combat smellly feet as well.

Yet still, your feet are sweaty all the time and your socks damp and stinky.

It’s really embarrasing to take off your shoes when you enter a gypsy friend’s home, go shopping for shoes, or visit a Japanese restaurant.

When having to expose your sweat-discolored socks, contaminating the air around you, you are desparate for a solution.

You are wondering, “heck, I’m even using a quality antiperspirant, maybe it’s my socks that still cause my feet to sweat so much”.

And you are right.

Changing the type of socks you wear day in day out can help cure sweaty feet.

Footwear and socks prevent our feet from evaporating moisture. This trapped sweat quickly becomes smelly, because of bacteria that feed on it, producing the cheesy smell.

Since going barefoot* as much as possible is not a practical solution,  it’s helpful to choose your socks and shoes wisely.  (* I try to do so and especially love running barefoot in the woods which made my friends call me “barefoot walker” but that aside.)

One of the main causes of sweaty, smelly feet is wearing the wrong socks & shoes.

Which socks to avoid

Synthetic socks will make your feet sweat like a pig in summer. Plastic, nylon, polyester, or other synthetic fabric linings don’t allow sweat to evaporate and don’t absorb it either, so your feet stay wet. If such socks are tight they worsen the effect.

Polyester socks are often the preferred choice of athletes because they prevent blisters by keeping the perspiration away from the feet.

Cotton socks are better than synthetic socks because they are lighter and cooler than acrylic socks and allow the feet to breathe.

The problem with all-cotton socks is that they do not hold as much moisture without becoming sodden.

cotton socks absorb moisture but do not dispel it causing your feet to remain wet

They get wet, stay wet, and thus provide an environment the smell causing Brevibacteria thrive on.

Cotton socks also retain heat. Which is something these bacteria also thrive on.

Definitely get rid of synthetic socks such as acrylic and nylon socks but also avoid cotton.

Other reasons why it’s important to keep your feet dry are because moisture may cause fungal infections such as Athlete’s foot and blisters.

Not to mention cold feet in winter and overheated, extra sweaty feet with blisters in summer.

The best socks to prevent sweaty feet

Here’s why wearing the right type of socks is such an important and efficient element in combating sweaty feet.

If you own enough leather and other breathing shoes to rotate frequently, moisture will not be much of a problem in your shoes.

Soggy socks however, quickly cause foot odor (bromhidrosis). Especially if you suffer from plantar hyperhidrosis, which is the medical name for excessively sweating feet.

recommended: specialty socks with fibers designed to keep perspiration away from the foot (wicking socks)

specialty socks with fibers designed to keep perspiration away from the foot. – See more at: http://www.healthyfeetstore.com/sweatyfeet.html#sthash.crHIy46V.dpuf

There’s a wide range of socks available, designed to keep your free dry and fresh. These wicking socks include; sports socks with ventilation panels, synthetic liner socks, wool socks, and other types.

The best dress socks for sweaty feet are merino wool (Smartwool) socks. They are moisture absorbent,  and contrary to what you may think because it’s wool, will not make your feet hot and sweaty.

Moisture wicking socks

Most of the socks listed below are moisture wicking socks in one or another way. The bacteria that cause smelly feet live on the top layers of the skin on your feet. They thrive on moist. Therefore it is necessary to keep sweat away from them.

You can’t stop sweating anyway since your feet have the most eccrine sweat glands than any other body part. You can reduce the amount of sweat your feet produce though.

Feet are known to be able to produce a pint of sweat per day

Once your shoes have been exposed to sweat and lots of bacteria they will set up colony in your shoes too. That’s why it’s important to clean your shoes on a regular basis as well.

Wool socks

Wool socks belong to the best socks for sweaty feet because:

  • wool socks wick perspiration away from your feet
  • wool absorbs moisture in the inside of the fiber itself (whereas with cotton, the whole fiber absorbs moisture), the surface of wool socks stays relatively dry
  • wool has almost twice the moisture absorbing  ability of that of cotton
  • wool breathes well
  • wool socks are commonly thicker than cotton socks

Wool can wick as much as 30% of its weight in water.

Personally, I love wool socks for another reason, wool has excellent insulating properties which means it keeps your feet warm when it’s cold but also helps your feet keep cooler when it’s warm. (which is often a problem for me, my feet heat up really quickly, leaving me with very warm or even hot feet)

Smartwool socks, a popular, well-reviewed brand, help prevent sweaty feet and most people find they are not itchy.

Of course, everybody is different so switching brands may be useful when itch is an issue.

Merino wool socks

Some people find that 100% wool socks still become clammy. If you experience this too, you may want to opt for sock liners combined with (wool) socks. Such a combination helps a lot of people keep their feet dry.

Quality lightweight 100% merino wool socks are generally sold as “liner” socks.

Merino wool socks are often valued for various reasons. For one because of Merino wools excellent insulation properties. These socks keep your feet warm in winter and cool in summer. Which is great since overheated feet are common in people with sweaty feet.

Apart from that they are very soft, especially if you have socks with a micron count lower than 20. But that’s just a nice added benefit.

Merino wool socks are probably the best socks to prevent sweaty feet because:

  • They can absorb a whole lot of moisture (sweat) while still feeling dry since the moist is kept inside the fiber thus blocking microbes from feeding on the sweat. Apart from that it also evaporates sweat into the air. Eventually even Merino wool will be saturated (it can absorb about 35% of its own weight) and start to feel wet but this takes much longer than cotton or normal wool.
  • Because of this strong wicking ability Merino wool socks stay warm when wet.
  • Merino wool dries quickly. So you can take off your shoes to let your socks dry while not having to worry about the stench.
  • This special type of wool is naturally anti-bacterial. Its chemical makeup and structure make it a harsh place for bacteria and other microorganisms.
  • It eliminates odor. And it does this well.

 

Popular brands are SmartWool and Wigwam . They are known for their hiking socks but these offer a great solution for daily wear too. After all, some folks may use these socks during a marathon but we tend to sweat as much by just strolling to the grocery store two streets down the block.

I recommend:

Despite the benefits of wool socks, some people are just sensitive to wool.

 

Here are some alternatives. Types of socks that help keep your feet dry and free from odor.

Liner socks

are worn inside traditional socks, are made from special materials and are designed to provide you with increased comfort along with certain other benefits.

Read more : http://www.ehow.com/facts_5949081_sock-liners_.html

 

are worn inside traditional socks, are made from special materials and are designed to provide you with increased comfort along with certain other benefits.Read more : http://www.ehow.com/facts_5949081_sock-liners_.html

Synthetic (polyester) sock liners  (a.k.a liner socks) wick sweat away from your feet and keep it locked in the sock. Liner socks are worn inside traditional socks.

Thin synthetic liners worn together with wool blend outer socks are a popular solution for smelly feet.  They offer comfort, keep your feet dry, help educe foot odor but also prevent skin maceration.

Some  brands also feature additional protection against foot odor by adding substances that inhibit the growth of smell causing bacteria. An example: ProtectGuard® Anti-odour socks.

Antibacterial socks

You might consider antibacterial socks. These are impregnated to kill off the smell causing bacteria. Many sock manufacturers combine technologies.

Coolmax socks

Coolmax socks are specifically designed to move perspiration away from feet. These quality liner socks are made out of Coolmax,  Nylon, Lycra, Spandex, and Durofil. They have different types of socks divided in everyday use and active use.

A popular brand that features Coolmax technology are Thorlo Experia socks. They have cushioning which provides support and reduces friction and are extra breathable. Some users even say it’s like there’s air conditioning in these socks. Haven’t used them myself.

Drymax socks

Drymax wicking fibers
Drymax wicking fibers

Drymax socks have so called Active Odor Control.

Made out of  olefin, polyester, elastane and nylon they are geared towards athletic performance and support and blister prevention but also keep your feet from sweating excessively.

The synthetic olefin is also known under the brand name Coolmax.

Sweat pulls heat away from skin 23 times faster than air. 

Under Armour socks

Under Armour socks are designed to wick moisture and accelerate evaporation. Made from polyester, acrylic and spandex these  socks fix the sweaty feet problem for some while others complain about durability.

Under Armour socks are valued for their padding, support, and slip resistances. On the other hand, some types of  UA socks don’t seem to last that long ending up with holes relatively quickly.

Because many Under Armour socks are not so durable as they used to be or tend to shed a lot they are not my favorite socks to help reduce sweaty feet. If you do like this brand, make sure to check out Under Armour’s well-reviewed and popular Heat Gear Trainer Crew socks.

Coppersole socks

Back in the day I had those copper insoles in my shoes. Nowadays there are socks with copper fibers too. The copper fibers are embedded in the yarn.

Aetrex coppersole socks for example feature copper threads that don’t wash out and help prevent smelly feet by killing bacteria and fungi. These socks even restore collagen in your foot soles keeping them more supple and healthy.

Personally I think I’d rather go back to using copper insoles than wearing these socks. They seem a bit ‘gimmick-y’ to me.

Bamboo fiber socks

Bamboo fiber socks are eco-friendly socks that are popular among people with diabetes, those with allergy-prone and sensitive skin, and other groups.

These socks keep your feet warm in winter and cool in summer because of bamboo’s thermal regulating properties. They help reduce foot odor because they are almost 4 times more absorbent than cotton socks.

Bamboo fabrics are often claimed to be antibacterial and anti-fungal. The bamboo plant itself is antibacterial, whether the fabric, in for example socks, after the production cycle still is is not entirely clear. Researchers are looking in to fortifying bamboo’s antibacterial properties by adding additional antibacterial agents. Source Wikipedia.

The incredible soft and luxurious feeling of bamboo textiles however,  is undisputed.

Covert Threads socks

Military socks, specifically designed for harsh climates and conditions. If you suffer from very sweaty feet these socks may be for you. They make great dress socks too.

Covert Threads is just one of the several military socks brands. Like most other brands these sculpted cushion socks are specifically designed for hot or extremely cold climates.

The wool & acrylic blends keeps feet dry and prevent blisters even when walking and perspiring a lot. Other features that help reduce smelly feet is the infection preventing silver lining which is claimed to distribute heat evenly.

X-Scent socks

X-Scent socks have threads with silver ions. Silver ion technology is known to kill bacteria and a wide range of microbes.

Some people are enthusiast about silver socks for sweaty feet while others are concerned about potential side effects.

Similarly, some people spray their feet and shoes with a silver containing spray such as Primos Silver XP.

Additional advice

Some people only have mild complaints. Their socks may get damp after walking a while.

Others suffer from full-fledged plantar hyperhidrosis. They sweat so much that their feet slip around inside their shoes and emit a chronic and severe odor (bromodrosis).

No matter how severe your complaints, the right choice of moisture wicking socks made out of cotton, or even better, wool can make a huge difference.

Clean socks

  • Remember to change socks during the day. Take a clean pair of socks with you to school or work.(Which is why I am no fan of liner socks. It’s a hassle enough to have to change one pair of socks during the day.)
  • Use absorbent foot powder twice a day. Always wear clean socks.
  • Wash your socks on the hottest cycle. After washing, rinse your socks in a diluted antiseptic solution and let them dry in the air.
  • If necessary, wear a second pair of appropriate socks over the first pair for increased absorbency.

damp conditions inside a shoe and the wrong type of socks promote sweaty feet

Clean, breathable shoes

  • Make sure to wear non-occlusive , breathable footwear. Leather, canvas, and mesh shoes are best and athletic shoes or boots should be avoided.
  • Wear a different pair of shoes on alternate days, so they can dry fully.
  • Take your shoes off whenever possible during the day. This way your socks can dry and your shoes can air out a little.
  • Although hiking shoes such as Goretex are often breathable, some people still experience sweaty feet.  If that’s the case for you go for non-waterpoof boots without membrane.
  • Washing the foot pads inside your shoes will help fight the smell causing bacteria.  Since they feed on sweat, make sure to clean them regularly.
  • If your shoes don’t get the chance to dry, use a shoe dryer.
  • If you wear boots a lot, consider purchasing a boot rack that lets you store your boots upside down.

Final note.

If wearing the right socks as well as other home remedies do not help cure your sweaty and smelly feet, go visit your doctor or a podiatrist.

They may prescribe a more powerful antiperspirant or advice you to get iontophoresis treatment or, in worst case scenarios, botox injections.

Check here to see if you have tried all proven-effective methods that are available.

 

The Best Insoles For Sweaty Feet – Types Of Shoe Insoles That Reduce Foot Odor

Shoes were invented to protect the human feet. But due to poor air circulation and prolonged usage, people may develop sweaty feet.

As a result, shoes eventually harbor fungus and bacteria which can cause feet and shoe odor.

Aside from redesigning shoes to promote air circulation inside them, companies have developed specialized insoles that could solve these common problems.

Their sweat and odor-reducing capability usually comes from the additional materials used.

Types of Shoe Insoles That Reduce Sweaty Feet and Foot Odor

Here are the different types of shoe inserts and sandal insoles which have the capacity to reduce feet sweating and odor buildup:

Activated charcoal or carbon insoles

charcoal based insoles for smelly feet and shoes
charcoal based insoles for smelly feet and shoes

One of the most popular and highly marketed types is the insole containing activated charcoal particles. If there’s a charcoal sock, there’s also a charcoal insole.

Charcoal has been an ancient deodorizer and filtering material. Activated charcoal is the improved version. The charcoal is temperature treated to expand it and create millions of micro-pockets.

Activated charcoal works like a sponge which can absorb water particles. But aside from absorbing moisture, this special charcoal can absorb gas particles especially the odor-causing components.

Bamboo is an ideal material used in manufacturing activated carbon. Because aside from the finer plant fibers, there are also added benefits claimed like the improvement of blood circulation and metabolism.

Aside from charcoal, some of these insoles also use baking soda still for moisture and odor absorption.

A popular, well-reviewed brand that uses activated charcoal and baking soda are Dr. Scholl’s Odor-X Odor Fighting Insoles. Their SweatMAX® technology layer neutralizes and protects against unpleasant odors.

Ultra absorbent insoles

Summer Soles made from micro-suede fabric absorb moisture
Summer Soles made from micro-suede fabric absorb moisture

Feet odor is mainly caused by excessive sweating so it’s important to eliminate moisture instantly. There are ultra absorbent insoles which can take care of this task.

The surfaces of these insoles are created by felting tiny cotton fibers similar to the surface of a towel except that it’s done in a micro scale. And similar to towels, you could rely on these insoles to absorb the sweat produced by the feet.

Non-slip absorbent insoles

One of the more well known brands making absorbent insoles that prevent slippery discomfort is Summer Soles. They make  Ultra-Absorbent style soles for normal shoes but also for women’s sandals, open toes, slingbacks, pumps and other shoes. Their open shoe liners are made out of soft, non-scratchy Australian wool.

Cedar wood insoles

flexible, wooden insoles
flexible, wooden insoles

Have you ever imagined using a wooden insole? You should if you want to get rid of sweat and odor. (they are my favorites together with a type of charcoal insoles) Just like charcoal, cedar has long been used as a household deodorizer.

Cedar wood has natural antifungal and antibacterial properties so it’s perfect in inhibiting these odor-causing microorganisms.

The cedar wood used in insoles is extremely thin and flexible making it still comfortable to wear and use.

They are designed to soften and conform to the shoe sole and your feet upon first wear.

Charcoal and other odor eaters have limited absorbtion ability of odors. Cedar insoles don’t. The best reviewed brand is Zederna’s Original Cedarsole Inserts against Foot Odor and Sweaty Feet.

Other well known brands are Briskstep and Nawemo.

Products that utilize cedar wood’s smelly shoes reducing properties are cedar wood shoe trees.

Biocide or treated wool insoles

Peppy-Feet-Lambswool-Insoles
Peppy feet lambswool insoles keep feet dry and fight odor

These are insoles which are chemically treated to prevent the growth or kill bacteria and fungus which may grow in your insoles or shoes.

The wool material adds up to the absorbent nature of these insoles.

Wool fibers grab each other, thus leaving air spaces that allow air and sweat to pass. This is why wool is used in anti-sweat insoles.

The sweat is guided from your feet into the crevices between the fibres after which it is absorbed in the insole.  In order to increase absorbtion compressed fibers are used in firm but thin fabric strips.

Ionized insoles

TruePower ionized insoles
TruePower ionized insoles

Ionization technology is currently gaining popularity. Perhaps, you have heard about ionized water, filters, air conditioners, refrigerators, etc. This technology is now applied to insoles too.

In laymen’s term, ionization simply means changing the electric charge of an item’s particles or components. Ionization is usually done to clean or make an item behave like a magnet; attract desirable materials, chemicals, etc, or on the other hand, repel and inhibit others.

In the case of ionized insoles, a silver insole lining is ionized to inhibit the growth and proliferation of odor-causing bacteria.

Aromatherapy insoles

antibacterial lavender scented insoles
Lavender aromatherapy insoles by Peppy Feet

Aroma therapy insoles are simply the all-natural counterparts of biocide insoles.

Instead of chemicals, these insoles are treated or filled with natural deodorizing oils like lavender and tea tree. Tea tree oil is known to have potent antibacterial properties which makes the concept promising.

Personally, I’m not a big fan of using these insoles for smell reduction.

If you do, see if you can get lemon juice  essential oil soles because lemon oil is known to help cut nasty odors.

Sockless insoles

washable barefoot insoles by Pedag
washable barefoot insoles by Pedag

Insoles for when you are going sockless have to be really effective since bare feet in shoes sweat a lot.

Shoe inserts specifically made for this purpose do exist. Pedag 196 Washable Summer Pure Cotton Terry Barefoot Insoles for example.

Remember, going sockless in shoes is generally not recommended because it will worsen perspiration and foot odor significantly. So if you have to, the Pedag 196 inserts are highly recommended.

It’s probably a good thing these are washable. (Haven’t tried them myself)

 

The best shoe insoles for sweaty feet

As we have seen sweat and foot odor reducing insoles for shoes come in different types.

If you ask me, aromatherapy soles, and ionized soles sound interesting but when it comes to effectiveness good old insoles based on charcoal to reduce odor, or soles made out of cedar wood together with ultra-absorbent technology are hard to beat. If you take a look at reviews you will conclude the same.

That’s why I recommend Dr. Scholls and Cedar soles. Personally I have had best results with those.

Something about cotton insoles. Cotton insoles are not recommended by podiatrists.  Once they are wet it takes long to dry again creating a fertile ground for bacteria to live in. Apart from that they are known to cause skin ailments.

One more thing, while you’re at it, do yourself a favor and order some On Your Toes Foot Bactericide Powder too. Together with some quality insoles you are almost assured of fresher, dryer feet.

Smelly Feet In Your Uggs? Here’s The Cure

Uggs, we love em, we hate em, we love to hate em. Whatever your standpoint is regarding the world’s most discussed boots, they are hot.

Both in literal and metaphorical sense. As with all types of footwear that provide a warm, moist environment, sweaty feet are a result.

Do you too have smelly feet in your Uggs? And are you looking for a cure? I bet you do because you don’t want to discard your beloved woolly boots don’t you?

Well here’s what you can do to combat the bad odor your feet and Uggs may produce.

“My feet were so hot, they were soaking. “

Ugg boots are praised because they are so comfortable and warm. But oftentimes they are too warm.

Wet Uggs Make Stinky Uggs

Ugg boots are not waterproof (In Australia, where the popularity of these boots originated, they are only worn indoors)

Because of this water can go inside, for example on rainy days or when stepping into a puddle. When the water goes inside, bacteria can grow which leads to smell.

So avoid as much as possible getting your Uggs wet. If they did get wet, make sure to dry them well before wearing them again. Or use waterproof protective spray for Uggs.

When wet, they may also cause athletics foot, or another type of foot fungus to occur.

“fungus breeds in dark, wet environments – conditions that are usually seen inside the trendy sheepskin boots.”

The Ugg Boot Socks or No Socks Controversy

The Australian manufacturer recommends to wear Uggs without socks, as is advertised on the box. But we all know what happens with bare feet in footwear, sweat and foul odor ensue.

Fake, synthetic wool “Uggs” smell way more than genuine real lambswool Uggs

Important! Wear socks in your Uggs

Do always wear socks in your Uggs if your feet are sweaty. Cotton socks (at least 80%) absorb sweat and foot odor. There are however, better socks.

Socks will also prevent some of the bacteria from nesting in the wool lining inside the boots. If your socks are thin, wear two pairs.

There exists controversy around whether you should wear socks in your Uggs or not. You should however wear socks. It is claimed that because they are sheepskin that breathes you don’t have to wear socks but this is BS.

You will know if you walked the talk and ended up with very sweaty feet.

So repeat after me, I shall wear socks in my Uggs.

The cure for smelly Ugg feet

Ugg boots may cause really smelly feet
Ugg boots may cause really smelly feet

To effectively treat smelly feet in your Uggs you must decrease the bacteria already living in your boots.

Sprinkle baking soda in the boots to kill bacteria and simultaneously remove odors.

Wash them how you normally wash them. Make sure to dry them properly. Use rolled up newspapers to hasten the drying process and remove lingering odors.

After washing  your Uggs, use this spray. It’s magic. Spray it in your fluffy boots and make sure to reach all the way in the front.

Rocket Pure Natural Shoe Deodorizer is basically a foot spray you can use on footwear too. The blend of essential oils it contains make it truly powerful stuff.

More tips:

How to get the smell out of your Uggs

  • put a bag, clean nylon sock, or little box with baking soda inside and let it sit over a night
  • you can also use activated charcoal in a similar way
  • if you sweat a lot you will want to ensure they dry out well in between. Boot dryers remove moist within a few hours.
  • wash your feet with an antibacterial soap
  • put baby powder over your feet before wearing the boots, it can help to dry up and absorb the sweat
  • use odor eater inserts, they can make a huge difference
  • put Bounce dryer sheets in them and air dry them (fabric softener towels that you put in the dryer)
  • spray the inside with Oust
  • change the inserts as often as possible
  • use cedar soles or other well reviewed insoles
  • leave them outside to air out after you have worn them
  • rotate wearing shoes, there should be at least 24 hours between wearing in order to let them air out. If you want to wear Uggs every day, buy another pair to rotate.
  • if you want to use a antiperspirant, use a hypo-allergenic antiperspirant

 

If your UGGs’ insoles have had a tough life you may want to replace them with new ones. Amazon offers sheepskin insoles replacements for UGGs and other footwear. Not all of them are original UGG liners yet many are backed with a rubber insole similar to original Ugg boots.

Share your experiences

Do you have smelly feet in your Uggs? Try these solutions and let us know if it works. Still have Ugh feet? Click here for more smelly feet cures.