We all get stinky feet from time to time—some of us more often or more severely than others. Thankfully, it’s easy to treat and prevent food odor by adopting the right fabrics, products, and habits. There’s really no excuse if you’re peeling off your socks at the end of each day, only to force a 10-foot radius between you and your poor partner or roommate. Heck, even your cat probably wants some distance from that odor.
So, let’s get into how to fix smelly feet, once and for all. We’ll start with the root of the problem, then get to the products that will stomp out foot odor for good.
What causes smelly feet?
As with bad morning breath, stinky feet are caused by the accumulation of bacteria on your feet throughout the day. However, unlike bad morning breath, which is often caused by a lack of moisture in the mouth, smelly feet grow smellier as the foot encounters moisture.
Your feet are covered in sweat glands, and as they perspire throughout the day, this creates a perfect environment for bacteria—if the moisture is allowed to stick around. However, if you have a good plan of defense against this problem, then you can prevent smelly feet from ever walking into your life.
The 7 best ways to prevent stinky feet
1. Practice good foot hygiene.
Let’s begin with the obvious: A key part of keeping feet fresh is, well, actually washing your feet. Keep ’em clean, scrub them on occasion (may I suggest a callus remover too?), and keep them soft with an overnight application of foot lotion. Even pedicures and proper nail clipping can do wonders for preventing fungus and bacterial buildup. The more you nurture your feet, the less desirable they’ll be to the gross stuff. On top of that, you’ll also feel the difference whenever you’re on your feet each day.
PRITECH electric callus remover
Pedestrian project foot cream
2. Fully dry your feet after showering.
Proper foot hygiene is one thing, but don’t be too hasty after you’ve washed them either. Never put on your socks (or, for you sockless folks out there, your shoes) if your feet aren’t totally dry. This is basically setting your poor feet up for failure, as far as bacterial defense is concerned. So, after showering, make sure you’ve totally toweled off your soles and that they’re entirely dry before you pull on your socks. We’ll discuss powders later, too, which will further help in this department, but you also can’t apply a powder to damp feet unless you want a lively paste to accumulate. So dry off your dogs—and with a clean towel, at that!
3. Invest in moisture-wicking socks.
Do yourself a favor and swap out your basic cotton socks—particularly on any day you’ll be inside your shoes for hours and hours on end. Cotton socks often provide good cushioning for sports and quick errands, but cotton can also retain moisture—which is obviously bad when it comes to preventing foot odor. It’s better to seek out synthetic materials. Even better? Wool. It sounds like it would be too warm, but there are some great lightweight wool socks on the market these days. Either way, these fabrics will pull perspiration away from the skin.
Time May Tell merino wool hiking socks (4 pairs)
4. Use shoe
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