By Rehan Iqbal
Whether it’s a colleague at work, your spouse, or even an unfortunate friendly soul at the mall, we all know someone who could clear an entire room with the putrid stench of their feet. Heck, maybe you also suffer from the occasional stinky feet syndrome once in a while; nothing to be ashamed about.
Foot odor is a very common occurrence that can happen to anyone. However, pregnant women, teens, the elderly and people with diabetes and heart disease are very prone to the condition. But before we get to all the wonderful products that can help you get rid of stinky feet, let’s prod a stick in this smelly phenomenon.
What Causes Foot Odor and Stinky Feet?
While the primary cause of foot odor is indeed foot sweat, the saga is a bit more complicated than that. On one hand, a career athlete can run all day in the hot sun and drench his shoes in sweat, but they won’t stink at all. On the other hand, Mikey here barely moves an inch while standing all day in a cool, air-conditioned mall but man do those dogs reek.
When it comes to rancid foot odor, the real culprits are microscopic buggers by the name of bacteria and fungus. In fact, sweat itself is odorless, what it does is to create a very conducive environment for certain fungi and bacterium to thrive and produce fouls smelling by-products. This can be very devastating, especially for people who spend a large part of their day active and on their feet. Fortunately, you don’t have to be embarrassed by foot odor anymore. With the following methods, you can confidently remove your shoes anytime, anyplace, all day any day without fear of setting off a major nuclear alert.
Observe Foot Cleanliness
I know; what sounds like common sense may not actually be so common for most people. But’s let’s take a moment to reflect. But do you really give your feet the same attention in the shower that you give your face? C’mon, I’m sure your armpits get a 5 start treatment compared to your walking sticks.
The truth is, you could try a barrage of products on your feet and in your shoes, but it’s all essentially useless if you can’t wash up nicely. And I’m not talking about a quick rub with soap and warm water; you have to really get in there. Wash your feet first, then exfoliate the entire surface. Take out that brush, pumice stone or any other abrasive mechanism and work those stinkers to the bone with some antibacterial soap. You’ll thank me later.
Convenient Chemical Warfare
At ease soldier; I’m not talking about bubbling up a tub of Sulphuric acid or some other crazy chemical concoction. But there are a few nifty products right under your nose that could help you avoid foot odor. First off, grab your hand sanitizer. It may sound a bit weird, but germ are germs man! A great hand sanitizer to the foot can actually kill off all those pesky germs and inhibit the growth of smelly bacteria. And that’s just round one.
Round two involves using antiperspirant on your feet. Don’t look so surprised! We all know that your feet have over 500,000 sweat glands combined; that’s more than any other part of your body. Antiperspirant works by reacting with electrolytes in sweat to form gel plugs that plug off your sweat glands. A little underarm antiperspirant can go a long way. Just be sure to buy a different bottle for your pits and your feet; no sharing.
Rotate your Work Shoes
It’s been said time and time again; always have more than two pairs of shoes for the average work week. Unfortunately, the cost of work boots today makes it so hard to afford multiple pairs. However, having at least two pairs will allow the previous one to dry up so that bacteria and fungi do not get the chance to settle in there. While one is in use, the other can be taken apart as much as possible to get a good airing out of all components. Alternatively, you can crumple up newspapers in your shoes overnight so they can absorb the sweat.
Now, I don’t want to get into the desirable footwear features you should look out for when buying shoes for sweaty, smelly feet just yet. That’s a whole different topic to be covered in the next piece because there’s a ton of exciting technologies designed specifically to prevent foot odor. This concludes our subject for today. But before I wind up, I leave you with one more product that even though it may cost you an arm and a stinky leg (pun intended), it brutalizes any trace of smell in your shoes.
Fancy Shoe Powders
I may have embroidered a bit on the price of the products, but some shoe treatment powders are really expensive to purchase, especially since you have to top up regularly. However, the major benefit of these fancy powders is that in addition to murdering and eliminating even the slightest trace of bad odor, they keep bacteria and fungi at bay for over six whole months. If you’re looking for a semi-permanent solution that doesn’t involve surgery or other extreme measures, this is it right here.
There are also other products such as soaks, socks, foot baths and tea baths as well as activated coals that you could buy to help remedy the stinky situation; it’s all about finding what works best for you.