When a date moves from the restaurant to Netflix and chill on the couch, I panic about the inevitable shoe removal. When I fall in love with a pair of flats, I quickly remember that I only have a few wears before they start to deteriorate. Why, you ask? I have smelly, sweaty feet — to the point that they induce serious social anxiety. It's not the sexiest issue, I know, but after realizing I'm far from being the only one in these (stinky) shoes, I took it upon myself to get to the root of the problem and find out how to stop it in its tracks. Suzanne Levine
, DPM, explained that it’s natural for feet to sweat, since they have more sweat glands than any other area. The sweat is typically odorless; the bitter stench usually comes when it “sits around on your clothing or on your body and the [bacteria break down]." Long story short: My shoes breed bacteria after
there’s an excessive buildup of sweat — and it only gets worse when my feet soak in the same shoes day after day.
Excessive sweating can also be a medical condition
, called hyperhidrosis. Athlete’s foot can also cause perspiration, which leads to more fungal growth and then — you guessed it — the dreaded odor. Seeing a podiatrist for a diagnosis first is your best bet, but I've compiled some remedies that have been successful for me.
Ahead, see how I keep my feet smelling like an air freshener all day long.