No More Stinky Feet – Tips from Jim Edwards – Master Shoe Fitter

Reduce Foot Odor and Increase Comfort (So why do feet smell and noses run?)

Conditions inside shoes can be as hot and humid as a jungle. Feet release as much as ½ pint of perspiration per day and temperatures reach 110º F. (Some doctors refer to the feet as the 3rd kidney.) These conditions promote the growth of  bacteria and molds, contributing not just to foot odor – but foot disease. Here are 11 keys to increasing your comfort while keeping your feet fresh**.

11 Ideas to Keep Shoes Smelling “Fresh” while Increasing Shoe Life

  1. WASH FEET DAILY thoroughly with soap. Key: scrubbing kills odor-causing bacteria.
  2. WEAR SOCKS! CHANGE ‘EM DAILY, washing them in a detergent to kill bacteria. (Socks protect a shoe’s inner sole from dirt and the accumulation of old skin.)
  3. ROUTINELY CLEAN, SCRUB, AND BRUSH UNDER TOENAILS. This is where soap scum and old skin accumulate, then compact allowing odor-causing bacteria to hide and grow.
  4. AVOID WEARING THE SAME PAIR OF SHOES TWO DAYS IN A ROW. Time is needed to allow perspiration to evaporate and shoes to recover. Shoe life will more than double and foot odor will decrease.
  5. For leather shoes INSTALL CEDAR SHOE TREES IMMEDIATELY AFTER WEARING. Not only keeping the front (vamp) of your shoe smooth, they soak up excess moisture, acids and salts. (When the shoe trees lose their freshness, their scent can be rejuvenated by sanding lightly with very fine, 100-grit sandpaper.)
  6. PURCHASE SHOES WITH LEATHER LININGS rather than with less costly fabric. Leather “wicks” away moisture better. Leather-lined shoes cost a little more, but are well worth it. Don’t wait until inner soles wear out, purchase new ones when they lose their freshness.
  7. LOOK FOR SHOES WITH VENT HOLES ON THE INNER SOLE allowing perspiration to evaporate. Some inner soles even have anti-bacterial composition on the underside to keep odor in check. (Remember vent holes will not keep feet warm in the winter.
  8. FOR PERSISTENT ODOR – TRY A FOOT SPRAY OR POWDER WITH THE ACTIVE INGREDIENT 1% TOLNAFTATE commonly found in the foot-care section of drug stores, pharmacies, supermarkets and discount department stores. You may look for Lotrimin with a 1% solution of Clotrimazole for an effective “athlete’s foot” treatment.
  9. ODOR-DESTROYING INSOLES such as “Dr. Scholl’s Super Sports” or “Odor Eaters”, can continue to halt bacteria growth. They should be changed at least every six months. These may be found in foot care sections of drug stores, drug departments of supermarkets and/or discount department stores.
  10. THICKENED TOENAILS USUALLY INDICATE PRESENCE OF A FUNGUS NEEDING TREATMENT. An over-the-counter product with 25% Undecylenic Acid may be chosen. A less costly treatment is Tea-Tree Oil (available at many health-food and discount department stores). Apply this directly to the nails. Finally, soaking feet for 15 minutes in a ½ cup of peroxide and ½ cup Epson salts solution also kills bacteria. (This is a great time to trim nails as they are soft and pliable.)
  11. TO RESTORE BALANCE OF “GOOD BACTERIA” IN YOUR BODY, TAKE ACIDOPHILUS. Each foot has tens of thousands of sweat glands, heat and high humidity, so invite “yeast” infections. This stems from stress and/or improper eating habits (over indulgence in sugar, white flour, alcoholic beverages, etc. The capsules are available at health-food stores.

**While researched in depth, these ideas are meant as a guide only. Author accepts no responsibility for adverse effects (rashes, allergic reaction or other negative reaction). For proper solution or persistent foot odor problems – consult your physician.

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James S. Edwards  © 2010

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