Sweat. It’s a fact of life, particularly in summer. Did you know that your feet have 250,000 sweat glands, and that they produce about one cup of sweat every day. While a little glistening on the forehead or upper lip is one thing, stinky feet is a whole other ball game, and not one we enjoy playing. When sweat combines with the bacteria living on your skin (try not to picture it) it produces an acid byproduct…the smell.
There are ways to reduce the amount of bacteria that have taken residence on your feet, so you won’t be terrified to take your shoes off next time you go straight from work to yoga class.
Wear the right shoes and socks
Wear the right shoes, and you can conquer the world. Wear cheap and nasty shoes made from synthetic materials, and the world will choke on your foot stink. Perhaps we exaggerate, but synthetic materials don’t allow air to circulate around the foot the way cotton or leather does. Same for socks – wool or cotton is preferable over nylon. You should also avoid wearing the same shoes multiple days in a row, so your shoes have time to air and dry out.
Spray your shoes
Your feet might be clean as a whistle, but if you have a bacteria farm in your shoes then the second you sweat those little guys are ready for action. Use an alcohol-based disinfecting spray and leave your shoes overnight. Bam.
Powder your toes
The same way your dry shampoo soaks up the moisture on your scalp, powder on your feet will suck up all the sweat so the bacteria can’t get to it. We are obsessed with Lush Silky Underwear Dusting Powder, but any sort of powder will do, including corn starch. Just dust and go.
Yep, the same kind you whack under your arms (although maybe buy one for underarms and one for feet, so there isn’t any mixing). This generally works best if you’re wearing socks, but slicking on some antiperspirant will help keep feet dry. Definitely a good idea if you’re going on a long run.
Hit the beach
The salt in saltwater pulls moisture out of the skin, which is why you feel so dry and scratchy after going to the beach. If the salt has pulled moisture out of your skin, then the bacteria don’t have moisture to cling to and can’t survive. If you’re not near a beach, soak your feet in a tub at home. Vinegar works in the same way salt does, if you want to change it up.