Remedy for Stinking Footwear

Footwear on Wooden Floor

Coming in varieties of pairs, footwear could be made of cloth, leather or canvass. With regular use, shoes and socks tend to give off foul odours which can sometimes be perceived even after washing. This could create significant discomfort, especially when one is in company of other people. Besides its social and stress consequences, there is a risk of developing or aggravating toe sores from the activity of bacteria which usually thrive in warm and damp areas – a condition aptly facilitated by the shoes.

Probing into the causes of smelly feet, scientists have discovered that this problem stems from the action of bacteria on sweaty feet which causes them to smell. The question then is how to inhibit the presence and activity of bacteria in shoes. Bacteria and germs are prevented by factors such as extreme heat or coldness for a fairly long time.

Apart from dealing with the bacterial cause of stink, shoe materials and architecture also have a part to play in either promoting or reducing smell. Some kinds of shoe leather are practically hosts to these micro-organisms because they haven’t been processed properly from the tannery. In the same vein, canvass fabric, being products of the cannabis plant, is biodegradable making it homely to micro-organisms provided that there is warmth and moisture (sweat).

Feet size and fitting have a major interplay with shoe architecture. The synergy among these factors is important because they determine the aeration which can starve micro-organisms of one of the components needed to cause odour – sweat. It therefore behoves men to take precautions like those that have been outlined below to prevent shoe and feet odour:

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1. Keep your footwear dry

There are simple ways to keep the inside of your shoes dry. One way to do this is by ensuring you always have your socks on. This helps to absorb and prevent direct contact of sweat with the shoes. Socks can be washed later and more conveniently than the inside of a shoe. Another way of ensuring complete dryness within shoes is the conditioning of the temperature of this part by removing shoes at intervals when you are not going to be discovered. This also affords your legs some ventilation which helps in drying up moisture. You could also be more deliberate about aerating your shoe by placing them around mechanically powered aerators like fans and air conditioners.

2. Wash

In case you have very sweaty feet and the sweat still find their way to the shoe linings, wash! This is assuming your shoes are not made of leather materials. Washing provides some (but not complete) remedy. A thorough washing with disinfectant liquid will kill 99.99% percent of germs and bacteria. However, the purpose of this method will be defeated if the shoes are not allowed to dry completely.

3. Multiply that favourite pair of footwear

Sweat doesn’t make contact with shoes unless the pair has been overused. Your favourite shoes are those that suffer from overuse and hence get some dab of sweat.


Photo credit: Etienne Girardet/fstop/Corbis

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