The type of footwear you wear might change with the seasons, but the perennial problem of smelly feet never seems to go anywhere. Your feet may do the sweating, but it’s really the shoes to blame. And there are many ways that shoes can contribute to a foul smell after wear – and just as many ways you can do something about that. Foremost among them being to acquire a top-quality shoe deodorizer like ShoeFresh. One spray of one such deodorizer and shoes can stay fresh for three whole months before requiring a second treatment. 

But you may also wish to make your work a little easier by targeting the reasons your shoes and feet begin to smell in the first place. The most fundamental reason is obvious – shoes trap a sweat-producing part of your body (and feet produce more sweat than any other part) within a poorly ventilated and warm space. These are perfect conditions for the growth of bacteria. And it is these bacteria that produce the smell. 

Seasonal Shifts 

Where smell is concerned, there are upsides and downsides to each season and the types of shoes we typically wear. 

In the summer months, we tend to wear better ventilated shoes; but while this might seem like it would help the situation, it is also hotter at this time and we wear socks less often. This means that not only do we actually produce more sweat, but there’s less material to dry it up before bacteria forms. 

In winter, lower temperatures mean that your entire body will generally produce less sweat. However, this is the time of year when we wear the shoes with least ventilation, and which tend to be hefty and warm. Yet where foot odor is concerned, winter probably has the edge over summer as the use of warm wool or cotton socks at this time can dry up moisture before it becomes a problem. 

Other Reasons 

Wearing Shoes Too Often 

However well ventilated your shoes are, wearing a single pair too often is a sure-fire way to produce a stink. This is because shoes need to dry out between periods of use. If they do not, then the moisture that soaked into the shoe upon the last wearing is only compounded and is never given a chance to evaporate. This means that the shoes are always moist and, where that is the case, a foul smell is never very far behind. 

Shoes Without Sufficient Ventilation

Some shoes are specifically designed to provide good ventilation, normally those designed for physically activity. In the world of fashion, however, ventilation very quickly drops down the list of priorities. Materials such as suede and leather are notorious for trapping moisture and stagnant air, and these are the shoes that have the potential to smell the worst. Nevertheless, bear in mind that that these shoes will probably be worn less often and see less physical activity, which is why sneakers still smell the worst.

Washing Shoes Improperly (Or not at all) 

A good shoe-deodorizing spray will remove the need to wash shoes particularly often, but it is still something you should consider doing once in a while – and doing properly. Simply dipping them in water won’t cut it. Use the “gentle” setting on your washing machine or scrub them down with detergent in a sink full of water. Most importantly, always let them completely dry out before wearing. 

Your feet and the shoes you wear are a villainous tag team when it comes to stinking things out, but knowing how that smell is produced can help you do something about it.

About The Author

Daniel Quinn