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.