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Ways to Cure Sweaty Feet and Avoid Stinky Situations

Updated on August 30, 2017

How to cure sweaty feet easily and without visiting a doctor

Sweaty feet are undeniably one of the most embarrassing problems one can have. When you have sweaty feet, you are always thinking about ways to avoid entering someone else's house if they require you to remove your shoes. When you have sweaty feet, your family will certainly mind it, and sometimes even avoid you until you wash your feet and safely dispose of the toxic socks. If you have a wife, she'll hate you for it almost as much as she hates your snoring. Fortunately, there are some good solutions for this condition, although some of them require a lot of patience and effort if you want to be rid of sweaty feet.

I know from experience how it feels like to inhale the 'oh-so-lovely' odors that emanate from your feet and socks if you have sweaty feet. At points in my life I have wondered where exactly is that thin line that separates some sweaty feet smells from biological warfare agents. Most of the time, I did not know the answer. Now, I have no intention of telling you whose stinky feet I endured - it might have been mine, it might have not. You will never know. What you will know is how to solve this awful problem and get out of that highly uncomfortable predicament.

In my opinion, the worst thing that happens because you worry your feet will smell bad is that your social life suffers. Imagine a situation when you enter someone's house, and they immediately ask you to remove your shoes. Imagine that same situation again, but also imagine that you walked for a mile in your sneakers beforehand. Ouch, right? You'll find an excuse to leave, most likely, because you know the way your feet and socks will smell, and you even fear you will leave wet sweaty footprints all over the place.

It doesn't have to be that way. You don't even have to resort to going to the doctor. In this article I will tell you exactly how to get rid of sweaty feet, smelly socks and shoes, and finally relax.

Photo credit: darkmatter / / CC BY-NC-ND

What exactly causes sweaty feet?

Hyperhidrosis - Know the name of your enemy!

Okay, in order to discuss this ghastly problem, we first have to understand why feet sweat excessively and why it smells so awful.

As you can see in the subtitle of this part, excessive sweating is called hyperhidrosis, and it does not only affect your feet, but also your armpits and the palms of your hands. You've noticed that already, I guess, that if you sweat a lot, these are the critical areas.

Now, the concrete problem of this article is when feet sweat too much, and that condition is called plantar hyperhidrosis and it implies that the inner - bottom side of your feet sweat excessively. This can lead to a number of problems and unsavory conditions of the skin of your feet, and you don't want that.

It is estimated that each foot has about a quarter of a million sweat glands, but the number of these glands can be and is usually much higher in people who have this specific issue. Does that mean it can't be solved? Nope!

The problem with your sweaty stinky feet is not the amount of sweat glands, but something else entirely. The stinky situation arises when the sweat does not evaporate quickly as is case with most people, but sticks around which allows for the growth of bacteria that in turn put your skin at risk of more complications. The smell is just a symptom.

Speaking of symptoms, another one is itchy skin of your feet, wet socks (of course), fungus, and even other more complicated conditions. Did I mention athlete's foot?

Of course, you are probably aware of the symptoms by the time you start looking for solutions, so I will list three main causes of sweaty feet here before we start speaking about solutions.

Photo credit: Fadzly @ Shutterhack / / CC BY-NC-ND

Top three causes of sweaty feet

Know your enemy...even better

1. The first one would be heredity - and it's logical. For instance, if one of your parents had a much larger number of sweat glands on their feet or generally a problem with excessive sweating, you can bet it affected you. If it didn't affect you, or if neither of your parents had this problem, you can cross this out and move on to the other two.

2. This one is so unpredictable you're going to roll your eyes. I can practically see you doing it. Physical activity and sports. This one is self-explanatory, really, but I will elaborate shortly. Physical activity implies excessive sweating, and if the sweat doesn't evaporate quickly that creates a bacteria Eden in your shoes. They will bask and frolic in your sweaty socks and they will love it, and you will have a situation afterwards and you will hate it.

3. Number three is something that seems to be becoming an answer to most questions regarding most medical issues nowadays. Why is my heart pounding erratically? Stress. Why am I insomniac? Stress. Why do I sweat and smell? Stress. It's true though, and the two particular areas affected by stress are your feet and palms. You will notice how your palms get sweaty when you are in a pinch, or close to a person that makes you nervous, regardless of reasons. It's stress, and it's the same situation with your feet.

Essential exfoliating tools - You will find out why you need them below

Exfoliating your skin is generally beneficial, and should be done from time to time. Your skin has to be able to breathe properly in order to stay smooth and renew itself properly. Dead skin makes sweating worse, and that is particularly the case with feet.

Avon Footworks Exfoliating Foot Bar Soap
Avon Footworks Exfoliating Foot Bar Soap

Exfoliating soaps are beneficial, easy to use, and a must have for anyone who takes good care of their personal hygiene.


When to see a doctor

A short note before listing the solutions to sweaty feet

What you must keep in mind is that sweating is a problem some people face their entire lives, or at least for the good part of it. This means that excessive sweating is unfortunately a predicament for some people and they have to deal with it however they can and wherever they can. Fortunately, maintaining proper personal hygiene is not only a must, it's a healthy habit we all (hopefully) have, so the only difference is that people who sweat a lot may need to take a little extra care.

Now, if you started sweating excessively suddenly a short while ago, and if this does not happen to you all of the time, you need to see a doctor.

The thing about excessive sweating and sweaty palms and feet is that it is mostly constant and it does not just appear and disappear. If you are under a lot of stress, this could happen, but it could also indicate that something else is wrong with your body. Excessive sweating can be a symptom of something more serious if it's sudden. Even if you think that stress is causing this, you should go see a doctor because stress usually triggers a lot of things in your organism if you're under a lot of it. Do not ignore this.

Among other things, excessive sweating can be a sign of a heart condition. Be careful.

Photo credit: dhammza / / CC BY-NC-ND

Sweaty feet solutions

Get rid of your sweaty feet naturally and without a doctor

There are a lot of great solutions for sweaty feet and smelly shoes, among which some require better and more regular personal hygiene, and some require uses of certain helpful agents you can find at home.

First and foremost thing you need to do is take good care of is your personal hygiene and make sure you have several pairs of shoes and a lot of socks.

You absolutely have to select your shoes carefully - your feet have to be able to breathe in them, so nothing too tight and nothing out of rubber or cheap synthetic materials. It does not matter how good some shoes look - if they are not good quality do not buy them. Ever. Even if you don't have sweaty feet, you are creating perfect environment for the bacteria in these kinds of shoes.

You socks have to be cotton if you have sweaty feet. Nylon and cheap synthetics are out of the question.

Photo credit: Hamed Saber / / CC BY

#1 Change your socks and shoes often

And keep them clean and dry

I mentioned above that you shoes should be comfortable and allow your feet to breathe, and that your socks should be 100% cotton. Now, assuming you have at least two good pairs of shoes and a lot of socks, this step should be the easiest one to follow.

Important thing to mention is that a lot of people who are experiencing this problem stop having sweaty feet and smelly shoes after a while of doing this.

What you need to do is simple - rotate your shoes often, if possible twice a day. Each time you remove your shoes, wash your feet, dry them well and put on a fresh socks. The trick is to keep your feet and shoes dry 100% of the time. After a while, you will notice that even when your feet sweat, it does not smell too bad at all.

This is the best method you can use, and something you should do anyway, even if your feet don't sweat all too much. Do not create a friendly environment for the bacteria in your shoes.

Photo credit: an untrained eye / / CC BY-NC

#2 Drying your feet and antiperspirants

This second tip is also quite easy to follow and it's something you should do anyway, but it's still worth mentioning.

Whenever you wash your feet, try to do that with warm or hot water because warmer water opens up your pores, which allows for the better and more thorough cleaning. Do not use any aggressive soaps or shower gels - if you notice the itchiness stop using what you are using immediately and opt for a natural soap that will not irritate your feet. The skin of the feet is more sensitive than it looks.

Immediately after washing your feet, make absolute sure that they are completely dry. Use a towel to thoroughly dry them and avoid getting them unnecessarily wet whenever possible. It's generally hard for bacteria to thrive in dry environment, so this is your trump card.

Also, if you have severe sweaty feet issues, apply antiperspirants or baby powder on the critical area - the bottom of your feet. This little trick can save you some embarrassment if you are going somewhere where you have to remove your shoes.

Johnson's baby powder - Always look for some Vitamin E for your feet

Johnson's Baby Powder, Pure Cornstarch, Aloe & Vitamin E, 22 Ounce (Pack of 2)
Johnson's Baby Powder, Pure Cornstarch, Aloe & Vitamin E, 22 Ounce (Pack of 2)

I recommend Johnson's baby powder with Vitamin E, because this vitamin will help rejuvenate the skin of your feet and keep your feet looking nice.


#3 Exfoliate your feet from time to time

Scrubbing your feet with creams that are based on acid with rough scrubs and pumice stones, and then massaging a rich moisture foot cream is a life saver when you have sweaty feet.

Remember, the point of exfoliating is essentially to get rid and shed the old, dead and rough skin in order to allow for the new skin to come to the light of day.

After exfoliating your feet and massaging the rich moisture cream into them, put on a clean pair of socks. By doing this from time to time you will also kill a lot of bacteria, cleanse your pores which will allow your skin to breathe easier, and keep your feet looking their best at all times.

Photo credit: Nicholas_T / / CC BY

#4 Soaking in salty water

This sound almost to simple to be effective, but it's more to salt water than we think. I recommend using sea salt, and soaking your feet at least twice a week in the beginning.

Salty water will dry your skin but keep it soft as well, get rid of any dead skin you might have missed with exfoliating, and generally clean your pores. Remember to keep the water warm so that your pores open. This way, your exposure to salt will be increased, which will get you better results, faster.

Keep in mind that if your skin is damaged anywhere on your feet, the salty water soaking is out of the question. Wait for the wounds or irritations to heal completely in order to have your salk soak.

Sea salt scrub for your feet - Do this from time to time

Dead Sea Salt Scrub with Argan & Aromatic Oils- Milk & Honey (15.5 fl.oz.-450ml) by Juiceika
Dead Sea Salt Scrub with Argan & Aromatic Oils- Milk & Honey (15.5 fl.oz.-450ml) by Juiceika

It's not that important which sea salt scrub you choose, they will all work. This one works pretty well, and your feet skin will be nice and smell even nicer.


#5 Apple cider vinegar soaks

Soaking your feet in apple cider vinegar also helps with sweaty feet, because this vinegar is an astringent. This treatment is one of the most common ones.

The way to do this is to mix half a cup of apple cider vinegar in a basin of warm water. Your skin will, just like with salt, lose any dead cells remaining and it will dry out. When you are done with this soak, which should ideally last from 20 to 30 minutes, you need to dry your feet immediately and put on some fresh socks.

Apple cider vinegar will keep your skin completely dry for hours after the soak, and it will eventually reduce your sweaty feet problems to a bare minimum.

Photo credit: dhammza / / CC BY-NC-ND

#6 Soaking feet in sage tea

One of the best natural astringents is called tannic acid which can be found in tea, wine and a lot o other things. Soaking feet in wine would be expensive and downright outrageous, though.

Now, in order for this to work you have to make really string tea for the soak, which means at least 5 to 6 bags for your basin. Don't freak out when you see that your feet changed color because of the tea - this is normal and it can be easily washed off. Sage tea soaks should also ideally last from 20 to 30 minutes.

In the long run, these tea soaks will give you the most results, and are possibly the best way to get rid of your sweaty feet and smelly shoes for good.

Leave your comment here! - Tell us about your experiences, or about what you know of the matter. Do you know someone who has sweaty feet? Do you think it's poss

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    • SimonJay profile image


      4 years ago

      Informative lens lots of good useful tips for i stinking problem.

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 

      5 years ago from Canada

      My first husband was in work boots for quite a few hours and his feet were awful. We could have used these tips back then.

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 

      5 years ago

      I would never throw anyone out of my house for stinky feet, but maybe I have low standards. :) No honestly, I think this is an important problem and you came up with some great cures.


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