The Best Way to Cure Smelly Feet

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Do you have bromodosis, otherwise known as smelly feet?  Do you want to learn an easy, simple and effective method to cure that awful odor from your feet?  Great! Because this article is going to do exactly that.

But before we delve into a few methods (as well as the best) to treat smelly feet, it’s a good idea to first understand what smelly feet are and what causes them. That way, you will understand why some of these treatments work the way that they do.

The Best Way to Cure Smelly Feet

It’s not exactly your sweat per se that is causing all that odor, but the lack of ventilation which does not allow the sweat to evaporate. That sweat then gets trapped on your feet, in your socks and shoes and is feasted on by bacteria which then produces a foul smell.

Now, you can do various things, such as wear breathable socks and shoes, wear insoles to kill bacteria and wash your feet daily to remove any previous traces of said bacteria, but your best option is to simply reduce your sweat by as much possible.

And since you know now that your feet have in them more than 250,000 sweat glands, you know that that is going to be a tall task.

Luckily, there is a quick, easy solution to all of this.

Foot Powder or Body powder, specifically talc.

Using talc powder, in combination with a few other methods (that are described below), is going to virtually eliminate your foot odor problem.

Talc works by soaking up water and moisture. The less sweat available, the less bacteria to feast on that sweat and produce bad odors.

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You don’t necessarily need a talc however, you can use a cornstarch-based powder as well.

They both have the same function, soak up moisture.

Here’s the best way to cure smelly feet by using talc.

  • wash and scrub your feet the night before
  • the next morning, before you get dressed, sprinkle some talc body powder into your hand
  • apply it rather liberally to your feet, making sure to get the soles, the tops and in between the toes

Put on a pair of breathable socks, make sure your shoe has a good anti-bacterial insole and voila!

You will never need to fear taking off your shoes around others ever again.

What is and What Causes Smelly Feet?

Bromodosis, or smelly feet aren’t actually caused by your feet, but rather by sweat.

Now, your body sweats for two primary reasons:

  • to regular your body’s internal temperature, especially when it becomes too hot
  • to keep your skin moist and to prevent it from drying out

In another article here on Manscipated, I pointed out that there are two different types of sweat glands, exocrine and apocrine, and it is the apocrine glands which secrete out a thicker body fluid which, when it makes contact on the surface of our skin, often produces a foul odor.

So, you may be thinking that, just like your armpits and any other sensitive area, the problem must be the type of sweat gland.


The sweat glands on your feet are exocrine, similar to the sweat glands everywhere else on your body (save your armpits).

Thus, it’s not the type of sweat gland that is the problem.

Furthermore, a person’s foot has on average, more than 250,000 sweat glands. That is far more than nearly every other area on your body.

Is this the main culprit? The fact that there are just so many sweat glands?

We’re getting closer.

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So, what is it?

The primary cause of smelly feet is a lack of ventilation.

Here’s how this works:

  1. Your feet have more than 250,000 sweat glands on them, and thus your feet sweat a lot more often than other parts of the body.
  2. Your feet also typically, in any given day have two tight coverings over them; your socks and your shoes, unlike other parts of the body.
  3. As your feet perspire, the sweat has no where to evaporate and gets trapped inside your socks and your shoes.
  4. Normal bacteria that lives on your feet eats all that sweat, producing isovaleric acid, which causes smelly feet.

Now that you know what exactly bromodosis, or smelly feet is, let’s get on to explaining some very quick solutions and treatments!

Quick, Common Treatments for Smelly Feet

Some of these treatments and solutions may not be applicable to you, however it’s best that you at least know about them.

Practice Good Hygiene

This goes without saying, but it still needs to be said. Always make a habit of practicing good hygiene.

What this means specifically is to wash and/or scrub your feet daily.

As we learned above, all that sweat that is secreted by your feet gets eaten up by bacteria which then produces a foul odor.

So, the less sweat you have sticking around on your feet from the other day, the less potentially smelly your feet are going to be.

Wear Breathable Shoes and Socks

Again, as we learned above, it’s the lack of ventilation which is the primary causes of foot odor.

So, any way that you can ‘let your feet breathe’ will have a huge effect on how much sweat is able to dissipate and evaporate. The more sweat that evaporates, the less sweat that sticks around on your shoes and your feet.

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An easy way to do this is to simply make sure your next pair of shoes has a spot, somewhere on the shoe (usually on the upper side) that is made of a mesh-like material or something that will let more air into your feet.

Nike Freerunners are a really good option here.

Now, when it comes to dress shoes, you can try a few more options, considering you often simply won’t have this option if you are wearing dress shoes.

Grab a pair of odor-eating insoles.

The great thing is these are often cheap, and can be used if you simply have no option to let your feet breathe a little more.

They won’t stop your feet from smelling, nor will they totally block all the odor coming from your feet, socks and shoes however they will put a significant dent in it.

Insoles like this work by eliminating the bacteria that feasts on your sweat, and as the soles of your feet contain the bulk of your foot’s sweat glands, it’s a good starting spot to curing smelly, stinky feet.

Your shoes aren’t the only issue here though, you will need to address what you slip on first.

Your socks.

There aren’t any fast and hard rules here except your socks should, generally speaking:

  • be made of wool, cool-max or any other type of moisture-killing material
  • be anti-bacterial and anti-odor

Qing Outdoor makes a great pair of very affordable, and very comfortable socks which fit both of these purposes.

Ideally, if you were to combine all three of these treatments:

  • daily foot washing and scrubbing
  • apply a good talc or body powder
  • breathable socks and shoes
  • wear odor-eating insoles

You would be well on your way to drastically reducing any foot odor problem you may have.

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