Why Do My Feet Smell So Bad?

Why Do My Feet Smell So Bad?

Can you take out a room full of people by simply removing your foot from your shoe?

If you’ve got stinky, fermented feet, well that’s unfortunate. But you’re not alone.

We know it can be embarrassing to ask about your smelly feet problem. So, we answer common questions about why your feet smell just the way they do – putrid.

Do my feet actually sweat?

A pair of feet has 250,000 sweat glands, and leaks about a cup of sweat daily. In relative terms, that means your feet produce more sweat per square inch of skin, than any other part of your body.


But, the sweat made by your feet is actually odorless – it’s the bacteria that’s the problem.

Bacteria thrives in the moist, warm environments created by socks in shoes, or even on your bare, sweaty feet. The bacteria digests amino acids present in your foot sweat, producing a byproduct that, well, stinks.

My friends don’t hesitate in taking off their shoes. Why is my foot odor worse than theirs?

All bacteria aren’t created equal.

Some will give off that classic stinky foot smell, akin to cheeses, while others that digest dry skin, will smell more like a Sulphur byproduct – or, rotten eggs.

What does this all mean? If you have a lot of bacteria in your feet, you’re more likely to have foot odor issues. It’s as simple as that.

Related: Why do your farts smell that bad?

How do I know if I have something like Athlete’s Foot?

Athlete’s foot is an itchy, fungal infection that grows between your toes if they’re perpetually veiled under shoes and socks. The treatment is simple, requiring nothing more than an anti-fungal cream.

But back to the odor – what can you do to stop it?


Besides keeping your shoes on at all times – that’s what got you here in the first place, most likely – you can wash your feet with antibacterial foot scrub for a few minutes. Be sure to avoid scrubs if you have broken skin, or eczema.

It’s also imperative to wash your feet every day, including the toes, and drying them thoroughly. Try not to wear the same set of kicks two days straight, too.

Change your socks daily – cotton or wool offer more breathability than nylon. And if this still fails, invest in an aerosol deodorant or antiperspirant.

In terms of footwear, leather or canvas shoes are the most breathable; open-toed sandals in the summer and going commando (barefoot) at home will also help.

Photo Credit: Robert Przybysz/Shutterstock; blambca/Shutterstock; UV70/Shutterstock

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