Are you worried about stinky feet whenever you have to take off your shoes and remove your socks after a strenuous workout at the gym?
If so, you are not alone. Foot odor is a common issue that millions of people experience from time to time because of excessive sweat and bacterial growth.
Fortunately, there are plenty of things you can do to minimize this problem.
From footwear tips to basic hygiene, here are several pointers you may want to consider for preventing foot and shoe odors:
Wear Antimicrobial Socks
You may not realize it, but there are many kinds of bacteria on the bottom of your feet, and they thrive on moisture or sweat.
These bacteria emit gases similar to those produced by the bacteria utilized in cheese making, which is why foot odor is sometimes referred to as “cheesy feet.”
The key then to preventing smelly feet is to minimize sweat and inhibit bacterial growth.
That said, one of the easiest yet effective ways to get rid of the unpleasant smell is by wearing men and women’s antimicrobial socks.
Unlike ordinary socks that merely keep the feet dry, antimicrobial socks are made of fabrics treated with antimicrobial technology that prevents bacteria from thriving.
Using such socks is particularly helpful if you are wearing less-breathable footwear like jelly shoes.
Antimicrobial socks will keep your feet fresh, dry, and odor-free for longer.
Avoid Wearing the Same Shoes Every Day
Wearing the same shoes every day is one of the main reasons why feet and shoes become smellier.
The sweat on your feet soaks into your shoes as you go about your day.
Putting them on again the next day does not give them enough time to dry completely.
As a result, your damp shoes become a breeding ground for odor-causing bacteria.
Do not let smelly microbes reside in your shoes and cause foot odor by airing them out for a day or two before wearing them again.
You can stuff your shoes with paper towels or use cedar shoe inserts to remove moisture much faster.
If you are wearing washable insoles, you can give them a good wash to eliminate odor and keep them fresh-smelling.
Opt for Breathable Shoes
Plastic or jelly shoes and boots may look ultra-stylish, but they lack breathability.
When your feet sweat, the moisture remains trapped inside—providing a perfect milieu for bacterial and fungal growth.
When you wear shoes that are not breathable, you can be sure of experiencing stinky feet along with several other foot and skin issues.
To prevent foot odor, opt for breathable shoes that significantly reduce sweat and moisture.
You can shop for well-fitting shoes made of leather, a material that is known for its natural breathability.
Leather material allows air to pass through, thereby cooling your feet and keeping them from smelling.
If you are looking for athletic shoes, choose brands and styles that use nylon mesh for breathability.
Moreover, make sure that your shoes are not too tight to allow more room for air to circulate.
Keep Your Feet Clean
Give your feet a thorough wash every day. Remember that splashing water on them when you are taking a shower does not count.
It is best to scrub all areas of your feet, especially the bottom of your toes and the spaces between them.
Afterward, pat your feet dry using a clean towel instead of rubbing them.
Be sure to dry your feet well, paying extra attention between your toes, because if the skin on your feet remains damp, bacteria and fungi may flourish.
Besides ordinary washing, you should also take the time to exfoliate your feet regularly using a pumice stone.
Doing so will help remove dead skin cells that bacteria usually like to feed on.
If you notice that your feet give off an unpleasant smell more than usual, you may want to exfoliate twice or thrice a week to prevent dead skin cells buildup.
Use Antiperspirant on Your Feet
Did you know that your feet have around 250,000 sweat glands that produce about half a pint of perspiration every day?
That is why you cannot help but get sweaty feet that bacteria love.
Control odor-causing bacteria by reducing perspiration through the use of antiperspirant products on your feet as they work by blocking the sweat glands temporarily to reduce the amount of perspiration that reaches your skin.
You can use an ordinary underarm antiperspirant for this purpose instead of a specialized foot product that could cost you so much more.
Apply this product on dry feet before bed and wash it off in the morning.
Carry out this routine for at least four consecutive nights, and then switch to applying the antiperspirant once or twice a week.
Foot odor is a common foot problem and could be addressed by practicing good hygiene and following the tips mentioned above.
However, if you tried all these measures but none of them seems to work in reducing the unpleasant smell on your feet, it may be time to see a doctor.
The physician can examine your feet and offer the most appropriate care for them.