If your feet sweat then you might be very familiar with smelly shoes, particularly closed shoes such as sneakers. Footwear that is worn during sports or other strenuous activities can be even smellier, and this can lead to embarrassment. If you have ever wondered what makes shoes stink and if there is anything you can do to avoid this problem, then read on to find out.
What Causes Smelly Feet?
A buildup of sweat is the main cause of smelly feet, and this can occur during sports as mentioned above, when the weather is hot, if you are standing on your feet all day, or if you are overweight. Another cause of excessive sweating is hormonal changes, particularly during puberty, pregnancy, and the menopause.
There are some people who have a medical condition that causes them to sweat more than others, which is known as hyperhidrosis. Or it could be that a particular medication being taken for a health problem such as depression could be causing excessive sweating as a side effect.
When feet get sweaty, they create the perfect environment for bacteria to grow. These bacteria then produce organic acids, some of which smell particularly foul.
Can You Prevent Smelly Feet?
While you cannot stop your feet from sweating, there are a number of ways to prevent them from smelling, according to the experts at ShoeFresh, who make a range of products for this very problem (including shoe deodorizer and foot odor spray). Using products such as these can help to keep your shoes smelling fresh and may even prevent bacteria from breeding, giving you stink-free shoes for up to three months.
There are other things that you can do in conjunction with shoes deodorizers to ensure you do not have to suffer with smelly shoes or feet anymore. Below are a few ideas:
Freeze Your Shoes
This one might sound like a strange suggestion but when you consider that bacteria typically thrive in warm, dark, environments, sticking your shoes in the freezer overnight might be the answer to your problems. The cold air in the freezer will kill any bacteria in the shoes, leaving you with a germ-free shoe which can then be sprayed with deodorizer. However, do not just throw your shoes into the freezer on top of your frozen foods, for obvious reasons! Make sure you place them in a plastic bag and tie it and only leave them overnight.
Stuff Your Shoes
Some people like to stuff their shoes with paper overnight as this can help to draw out any moisture and limit the number of bacteria that is allowed to grow. Alternatively, you could use cat litter as this will also absorb moisture in the shoes. Moreover, because of its very nature in dealing with cat poop, it works to eliminate bad smells.
Wash Your Shoes
Most sneakers can be washed in the washing machine, especially those made from canvas and fabric. If you are washing your shoes in the machine, you need to make sure that you choose a delicate setting, or at least a setting that does not use hot water. If the water is too hot, it could shrink or warp your shoes. It is also best practice to take the insoles out when you wash your shoes so that they get a better clean. Remember, never put your shoes in a dryer as it is just too hot. Also, be sure to let your shoes dry fully before wearing them again or you run the risk of bacteria growing rapidly again in the damp environment.