Did you know that your feet produce around one cup of sweat every day? And when your feet become sweaty inside your socks and shoes, this causes your footwear to become quite damp. The resulting combination of dampness and darkness inside your shoes and socks creates a favorable environment where bacteria can thrive. These bacteria are what cause your feet to smell bad.
When you put on your shoes and socks without cleaning your feet first, these foul odors can permeate your footwear. Unfortunately, the stink can be embarrassing and hard to eliminate, and this can be frustrating if you’re very particular about what you wear. When you only invest in well-made shoes and high-quality socks, like Burlix’s socks, the last thing you want is to ruin them with an awful smell.
Fortunately, you can avoid this fashion and hygiene disaster by learning how to keep your shoes and socks stink-free. To help you get started, try out the following tips:
Ensure Your Socks and Shoes Are Always Clean and Dry
Because the funky smell is caused by sweat and bacteria, the most important thing you need to do is to keep your shoes and socks clean and dry. This will prevent odor-causing bacteria from multiplying on your footwear.
Try throwing your socks into the washer as soon as you take them off, especially after intense sweat-causing activities. Make sure to clean your shoes regularly as well, and to check that they’re completely dry before you store them or wear them again. Remember: even the slightest bit of moisture can end up causing really nasty odor in your shoes and socks.
Use Baking Soda to Absorb Moisture and Unwanted Odors
You may not realize it, but your shoes are usually damp with sweat whenever you wear them the whole day, even if you have socks on. So, what will happen if you put them in the shoe closet immediately after taking them off? If you guessed that they’ll start smelling nasty, you guessed correctly.
To prevent this stinky situation, all you need to do is dust the inside of your shoes with baking soda. This common baking ingredient is effective at drawing out and absorbing the sweat from your shoes, ensuring that they’ll be nice and dry before you wear them again. Baking soda can also deodorize your shoes by eliminating any lingering, unpleasant smells.
Give Your Shoes and Socks a Break
Do you always wear the same pair of socks or shoes several days in a row? While you may think you’re making the most out of your footwear by doing so, this actually causes them to smell worse each day. If you want to keep your shoes and socks smelling fresh, you should give each pair a break every so often.
Again, it makes good sense to throw your socks into the washer as soon as you take them off to immediately rid them of any sweat or odor. As for your shoes, you may need to start using your various pairs of shoes in rotation throughout the week. This will give each pair enough time to completely dry before you wear them again.
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Keep Your Shoes in a Cool and Dry Area
Odor-causing bacteria thrive in warm, dark, and damp environments. As such, you’ll want to store your shoes in a dry place that has good airflow and natural lighting. This sort of environment will prevent microbes from growing on your shoes.
Moreover, avoid leaving your shoes inside your gym bag after your workouts. If you forget to take them out of the bag immediately, your footwear will end up smelling even worse once you finally do retrieve them. Instead, air your footwear out for a day or two before placing them back into a shoe cabinet or onto a shoe rack.
Take Care of Your Feet
Finally, you’ll want to take extra good care of your feet to prevent your shoes and socks from smelling bad. If your feet are always clean and fresh, your shoes and socks will stay odor-free, too.
Instead of simply rinsing your feet in the shower, you should thoroughly scrub them using a soaped-up washcloth instead. That way, your feet will be free of things that encourage bacterial growth, such as dirt and dead skin cells. Don’t forget to dry your feet well afterward, especially between your toes, as any remaining moisture can become a breeding ground for odor-causing germs.
The tips mentioned above are some of the more practical ways to keep your shoes and socks from smelling funky. While these pieces of advice may seem simple, they’re very effective in preventing foot odor issues. As with many other things, prevention is always the best strategy to take, after all. Give these recommendations a try as soon as you can. Before you know it, your shoes and socks will start looking and smelling good all the time.
Iskra Banović is our seasoned Editor-in-Chief at BlueFashion. She has been steering the website's content and editorial direction since 2013. With a rich background in fashion design, Iskra's expertise spans across fashion, interior design, beauty, lifestyle, travel, and culture.