What Are the Best Ways to Prevent Smelly Feet?

Prevent Smelly Feet

In life, there will always be awkward moments that you have to navigate. Thankfully, studies show that a third of Americans are more tolerant of awkward situations than others.

Having feet that smell bad after taking off your shoes can be an embarrassing problem. Often, people think that this is just the way their feet are and there’s nothing that can be done.

However, fortunately, this would be an incorrect assumption. There are several things you can do to address and prevent smelly feet.

If your feet have a pungent odor after you remove your shoes and socks, this article may help. Keep reading to learn more about dealing with smelly feet.

What Causes Smelly Feet?

Bad-smelling feet, or bromodosis, are a common problem many people are ashamed of. They often feel they can do nothing to remedy the situation and instead live with it for many years. There are several reasons why your feet may have a foul odor and could indicate something more serious.

Smelly feet typically happen when your feet sweat. This sweat gets trapped in your socks or shoes and can begin to smell bad.

Another reason you may have bad-smelling feet is due to bacteria called Kyetococcus sedentarius. This bacteria lives by feeding off the sweat that your feet create. When the bacteria feed on the sweat, the acid they produce causes a foul foot odor.

Finally, contracting a fungus problem like Athlete’s Foot can also cause your feet to smell foul. Like mushrooms, this fungus grows in warm, damp areas; much like the environment, your feet create when they sweat.

How to Combat Smelly Feet

If you suffer from bad-smelling feet, you will be happy to know there are several things you can do to combat this embarrassing problem. Let’s look at several methods you can try to solve your smelly feet issue.

1. Give Them a Soak

One reason for smelly feet is not cleaning your feet adequately enough. A quick wash in the shower is not enough to remove the bacteria that live on your feet, and when not entirely removed, it can regenerate and cause smelly feet.

One way to combat this is to soak your feet for at least ten minutes but no longer than twenty. Soaking in plain water won’t suffice; instead, doctors recommend using a mix of vinegar and water. You want to use a 2:1 water-to-vinegar ratio when using this method.

  • Pro Tip: Use white or apple cider vinegar for best results

2. Buy Several Pairs of Shoes

When you wear the same shoes all day, they never get a chance to air and dry out. This creates an ideal environment for bacteria and fungus to thrive, so you’ll constantly suffer from smelly feet.

This is why it’s important to buy more than one pair of shoes when you go shoe shopping. This way, you can rotate them out, allowing them to dry out between wearings. The more pairs you own, the longer they’ll have to dry completely.

3. Keep Them Dry

Damp feet are a perfect breeding ground for the bacteria that cause smelly feet. A good foot health practice is always to keep your feet as dry as possible while wearing shoes. This way, the bacteria have nothing to feed on and can’t reproduce.

Don’t rush yourself when drying your feet after bathing. You want to ensure you dry them properly getting out of the shower. You also shouldn’t put socks on while your feet are still damp. Caring for your feet is an excellent habit to combat icky foot smells.

4. Change Your Socks

If your feet become sweaty early in the day, doctors recommend keeping extra socks on your person. This way, when your feet begin to sweat, you can change your socks throughout the day to help combat nasty foot smells.

If you work in an office, you can purchase some backup socks and keep them in your desk drawer. This way, you can change them out and bring the dirty ones home to wash.

5. Use a Disinfectant Spray

Even if you keep your feet clean, your shoes can begin to smell regardless of your efforts. One way to deal with this is to use a disinfectant spray like PediFris inside your shoes. When buying a spray, look for any spray that contains sanitizing ingredients like ethanol.

These sprays kill the bacteria that have taken up residence in your shoes and will help reduce the smell coming from your feet area. Use this spray and leave the shoes dry for a full day.

  • Pro Tip: If possible, remove the insole before using the disinfectant spray for the best results

6. Choose Breathable Socks

When shopping for socks, you want to purchase ones made from a breathable material. Some brands even include chemicals that help reduce foot odor, although these socks may cost more than regular ones.

If your socks retain the moisture your feet produce, your sweaty feet will begin to smell. Buying socks that have moisture-wicking fibers is best if you have a smelly feet problem. You may have to visit a specialty sock shop to find the best pair.

7. Visit the Doctor

Finally, smelly feet can be an indicator of foot disease. If you’ve tried all the other methods and have had no improvement in foot smells, it may be time to schedule a doctor’s appointment. If you can find one in your area, a podiatrist is the best medical professional to see for this particular problem.

If you’re experiencing skin changes and itchiness on your feet, this may indicate something more severe and requires a visit to the doctor. They may be able to diagnose a condition such as hyperhidrosis. This foot condition makes a person sweat more than usual.

Never Have Smelly Feet Again

Having smelly feet can be embarrassing, but, thankfully is treatable. Your feet could smell bad because of acid-producing bacteria or a fungus problem, which should be dealt with immediately. Owning more than one pair of shoes, swapping out for dry socks, maintaining good foot hygiene, and keeping your feet dry are all ways to combat smelly feet.

We hope you’ve found this article helpful. We have more to read in our Health & Wellness, Education, and Travel sections.

Salina is a professional blogger and marketer. She has an excellent talent for writing. She is very much passionate about contributing her ideas on online platforms. Generally, she shared her thoughts on trendy topics such as health, beauty, travel, food, fashion, technology, business, finance, and so on.