Shoe Odor Prevention
Since we now know that shoe odor is caused by bacteria requiring warm and moist environments, we should make our footwear inhospitable to them. The best (and easiest) method of keeping foot and shoe odor at bay is to keep your feet and shoes dry! Here’s some tips:
•After your showers take care to dry your feet well, especially the spaces between your toes. If your feet are moist when you put on your shoes then your shoes are going to be moist, and you’ll have just created a nice, warm stink incubator.
•If you suffer from excessively sweaty feet, apply an anti-perspirant to your feet to help keep them dry and coat the inside of your shoes with talcum powder to absorb any excess moisture.
•Wear thick, cotton socks and change them as often as is needed to keep your feet dry. Stay away from synthetic materials because they don’t absorb moisture or breathe as well as cotton.
•If your shoes ever get moist or wet, let them dry completely before wearing them again. You can stuff them with newspaper, coat them with talcum powder, or even throw them into the dryer (shoe-care-instructions permitting) – but don’t put them back onto your feet!
If ‘kicking off your shoes’ at the end of a long day magically clears the room (and that’s a bad thing), we’ve got some easy, home remedies to get rid of your home-made shoe cheese. It’s important to remember that you’re not just combating a smell, you’re also combating living bacteria that produce the smell – if you just attack the odor and leave the bacteria then you’ve only fought half the battle. Kill the bacteria and then remove the odor. Here are some easy ways to do just that:
•When you remove your shoes for the evening, coat the insides thoroughly with baking soda, seal them in a plastic bag, and put them in the freezer until morning. The cold will kill the bacteria, and the baking soda will absorb the odor. When you pull them out, set them in a well ventilated area for a while to dissipate any excess moisture that remains.
•If you don’t have room in your freezer, pour or spray just enough rubbing alcohol into your shoes to coat the insides and then place them on their sides in a well ventilated (but unpopulated) area. The rubbing alcohol will kill the bacteria and evaporates quickly. Afterwards, coat the insides with a little baking soda (For other uses of baking soda, read how to make baking soda applications) to soak up any remaining odor or moisture.
•If these methods leave you in the lurch, experiment with different products (usually powders and sprays) that are designed to eliminate foot and shoe odor.
Remember, it’s all about the bacteria! Keeping your feet and shoes dry will prevent it from growing, and cold or alcohol will kill it off quickly. Please leave any tips you may have using the form at the bottom of this page. MonsterGuide.net also writes a great article and teaches us how to cure smelly feet.