By Rehan Iqbal
Often described as a thick, pungent, cheese-like smell, foot odor is unmistakable and very embarrassing. In our previous segment, we learned all about foot odor and how to prevent your loyal dogs from stinking up the place. From general hygiene all the way to lathering your feet with antiperspirant, there are lots of cheap and convenient ways to avoid foot odor.
Unfortunately, most of these methods won’t have the full desired effect if you continue to cram your feet in the wrong shoes. In addition to creating a detrimental environment for your feet, your job requires you to stand all day. This combination can be very lethal if you’re prone to having smelly feet. If you’re going to be on your feet all day, then you need footwear designed to minimize foot odor and excessive sweating. As promised, here are the best features that a shoe can possibly have to battle sweaty feet and atomic foot odor.
3 Must Have Footwear Features for Smelly Feet
As you would expect, a shoe made to combat foot odor needs to have special features. While each feature is unique and functional, they are all primarily centered on reducing the amount and rate of sweating in your shoes. Of course, sweat being odorless it doesn’t pose any threat on its own. The problem comes in when your shoe gets well soaked with sweat after being on your feet for most of the day. This is the ideal environment for certain bacteria to grow and produce some very foul byproducts. All these and more features should be considered when shopping for your shoes.
1. Breathable Uppers
When your car or home gets hot, you either crank up the AC or crack open a window. Now, since your shoes don’t come with AC, we’ll go with the second option. The most important feature that a shoe meant for beating foot odor could have is very breathable uppers.
By allowing some air to pass through your shoe, you help reduce instances of sweating and constriction. Not only does this creates a very conducive environment for your feet, but your hogs can now remain fresh, cool and stink free. Standing all day on the job is bound to get hot and uncomfortable; it pays to get shoes with mesh uppers or any other form of breathable materials. If your sweat and odor problem is a bit extensive, go for shoes with larger than normal perforations on the uppers for maximum breathability.
2. Moisture Wicking Interiors
Being in an enclosed environment and under pressure from standing for hours, your feet are bound to sweat. Breathable uppers will significantly reduce the rate of sweating, but there will be traces. This is why you need footwear built with moisture absorbent interiors to help wick away moisture as soon as it appears.
Typically, moisture wicking fabric consists of layers and layers of towel-like fabric engineered for maximum absorption. Not only does this ensure that your feet remain dry and fresh, but you also minimize the chance of foot odor. By wicking away moisture and sweat from your feet, harmful bacteria and fungus won’t get a conducive environment to breed. Moisture wicking interiors also make for a more comfortable and dryer feel without having to put up with wet conditions.
3. Antimicrobial Linings
Dealing with the sweat aspect of smelly feet is not enough. To effectively achieve success, you also need to take the fight to the bacteria, fungus and all other harmful agents that feed off the tiniest drop of sweat. Footwear with antimicrobial linings actively prevent bacteria and fungus growth as well as war off infections. Silver and Ortholite are among the top antimicrobial lining for their desirable properties. But recently, lots of manufacturers have come up with unique, incredible technologies just for this purpose.
That’s because antimicrobial linings naturally and continually resist the growth of agents like yeast, mold, bacteria, fungus, algae, mildew, spores, microbes and other biofilms. With a great lining in your shoe, you actively reduce microbial populations within a couple of minutes and maintain optimal performance for years. This is achieved by simply blocking the cell wall on pathogens which prevents them from breeding and replicating.
If you suffer from sweaty feet and offensive foot odor, it pays to keep an eye out and consider a lot of options before you decide on one. Also, you should always be cautious about the type of socks you wear as well as the overall weight of your shoes. For socks, materials like plastic, nylon, polyester or other synthetics are a definite no go. Try to wear light wool socks or liners. For boots, avoid heavy, metallic footwear whenever possible. Buying light shoes will ensure your feet and legs don’t have to work extra hard on and off the job. And finally, don’t forget to hydrate and stay cool; maybe even kick off your shoes when you get a chance.