Friday 2 March 2012

Shoe Guru #3: How to get rid of the stink (Smelly shoes & feet)

Picture this scenario: You get home after a long day, kick off your shiny Buffed shoes and…. Ah! What is that smell??

Smelly cheese, sour milk, stench of death, stinky foot syndrome – smelly feet happens to the best of us. So what causes stinky feet?

Answer: Sweat and heat.

Did you know that your feet contain more sweat glands than any other part of your body? There are approximately 250,000 glands in each foot! Sweat is odourless but because your feet are trapped in footwear all day, the warm and moist environment is perfect bacteria breeding ground.  This bacterial growth (aka Brevibacteria) is what causes the unpleasant smell.

(Psst! Brevibacteria is the same bacteria used to ferment certain cheeses that give them a similar pungency.)

How can I prevent stinky feet then, Shoe Guru?

It’s fairly simple to prevent stinky feet. Here are some tips the Shoe Guru has put together for you.

  • Good foot hygiene reduces bacteria growth.
  • Wear cotton socks. The cotton wicks away moisture. Change your socks at least once a day if you sweat a lot
  • Wash your feet with warm soapy water and make sure you scrub to get rid of the dead skin. Dry thoroughly (don’t forgot to dry between the toes!)
  • Use foot powder/sprays. These powders or sprays absorb the excess moisture that causes foot odour. You can find them in all pharmacies, supermarkets or speciality shoe stores.
  • Try not to wear the same pair of shoes twice in a row. Your shoes need time to dry out in between. If you wear in-soles, make sure you take them out to dry too.
  • Wear shoes that allow your feet to “breathe”.


Try this Stinky Shoes B’Gone home remedy:

You will need:

  • Baking soda (a.k.a sodium bicarbonate)
  • White vinegar
  1. Fill an empty spray bottle with a small amount of white vinegar and spray the vinegar inside smelly shoes.
  2. Once the vinegar has dried completely, sprinkle a good coating of baking soda into the shoe and leave it on for at least a couple of hours (overnight is best). Empty the excess powder by gently tapping the shoe on concrete or somewhere outside.
  3. Use the baking soda method any time the shoes need freshening.

Do you have any other tried and true remedies to share?