1. Keep them clean. It sounds like a no-brainer, but many of us have a tendency to think our feet (especially the soles) are clean just by standing in the shower. Scrubbing your feet as part of your daily shower or bath routine will help eliminate the odor causing bacteria.
2. Add cornstarch. Before you don the socks and shoes, sprinkle cornstarch on your feet to help reduce moisture. You can also add a tablespoon of cornstarch to the inside of your shoes and boots for added sweat protection.
3. Wear sandals or flip flops. Whenever you can, choose to leave the socks and shoes in the closet. Wearing an open sandal allows your feet to breathe, and lets sweat evaporate naturally instead of being absorbed into your socks and shoes.
4. Give them a good soak. Add a 1/2 cup Epsom salts, mineral salts, or kosher salt to a quart or more of lukewarm water in a shallow basin or pan, and soak your feet for 15-20 min. Allow them to air-dry after soaking. The salted water will have a drying effect on your feet, reducing the moisture that contributes to smelly feet.
5. Avoid man-made shoe materials. Leather, canvas and other natural materials are best for your feet because they are porous, and allow the feet to breathe. Rubber, plastic and other man-made materials may be “all the rage”, but they are major contributing factors to bad foot odor.
6. Change your shoes and socks often. Always start with a pair of clean socks before you put on your shoes. Our feet have more than 250,000 sweat glands in them, and are capable of producing up to a pint of sweat each day. That’s a lot of sweat for one pair of socks to absorb! Consider giving your favorite pair of shoes a break by alternating different shoes several times a week. This allows the ones that aren’t being worn a little time to “air out”.
7. Relax. Being stressed out or upset can cause some to sweat profusely, and that’s not limited to just your armpits or brow. Reducing your stress with a few minutes of meditation or other calming activities can also reduce the amount of sweat your feet produce.
8. Use an antiperspirant. Antiperspirants aren’t just for under your arms. Unlike deodorants that are designed to cover up the odor caused by sweat, antiperspirants can be used on the soles of your feet to reduce the amount of perspiration you produce. You may however want to keep a separate stick of antiperspirant labeled “feet only”.
9. Consider changing your diet. If you are a big onion and garlic lover, you may want to consider reducing the amount you eat. Garlic, onions, and other strong smelling spices and foods can exacerbate your foot odor problem, as they are partially eliminated from the body via sweat glands.
10. See a doctor. If you continue to have a problem with strong foot odor even after reducing the common culprits, consider seeking the advice of a medical professional. Not only are there prescription strength remedies for foot odor, but there may be an underlying medical condition that is contributing to the problem.