Smelly Feet

“No matter what I do, I always have smelly feet at the end of the day. What causes foot odour and is there a remedy?”

Each person has three-four million sweat glands, and at rest loses about half a litre of sweat daily. Sweat is not smelly in itself, but bacteria quickly work on it to produce fatty acids and it’s this that produces the pungent stale sweat smell giving you smelly feet and horrible trainers. Throughout the average day, the body naturally perspires to regulate heat in the body. In some individuals, natural perspiration is excessive in the feet, resulting in sweaty feet. This condition is known as Hyperhidrosis and is defined as the production of perspiration beyond what is necessary to cool the body.

woman with smelly shoes

However, when hyperhidrosis is associated with a foul odour it is termed Bromidrosis. One of the main causes of smelly feet, which must imply sweaty feet, is wearing the wrong foot coverings or footwear. Shoes with plastic or synthetic fabric linings don’t allow sweat evaporation or absorption, so the foot stays wet. Synthetic coverings, like socks and stockings, have the same effect.

Obviously a rise in temperature will lead to an increase in sweating but also mental or emotional stress and also fatigued or strained feet can also lead to the condition we would suggest the following precautions:

  • Wash your feet daily at least once with soap and water, ideally in cool water and dry them with a rough towel.
  • Change socks daily or if necessary twice daily and wear cotton socks to absorb perspiration.
  • Never wear closed in shoes without wearing socks.
  • Wear footwear that allows air to circulate around the feet, leather shoes and certain types of trainers can be ideal.
  • Salt water foot baths may also be of benefit, especially if a few drops Tea Tree Oil is also added, I’ve also found surgical spirit sprayed morning and evening works very well.
  • Use a cushioned insole such as our Double Cushion or Ultimate Control Odour Insoles, this will provide ventilation to improve airflow and keep the feet dry all day long by absorbing perspiration.

Some Profoot products to help with Smelly Feet: