Sockless in the City: How to help prevent food odour

I ADORE wearing sandals and shoes in the summer without socks.

For one thing, I just hate putting them on, and for another, they tend to add an extra layer of warmth that is not needed on a super hot, humid day.

But foot odour inevitably becomes an issue, even for the cleanest of folk.


Sweat, Bacteria and Dead Skin Cells.

When you sweat, you breed bacteria. Lots of it. Then the bacteria feeds off your dead skin cells on your feet.

After they’ve finished their meal, they fart and expel an odour known as smelly foot odour.

Therefore, you need to stop the sweat and stop the bacteria.

1. Wash your feet every night.

Get in between your toes, use a brush, scrub off the dead skin cells and use an anti-bacterial soap.

2. Air out & rotate your footwear

I wore my ballet flats for 3 days in a row before I noticed a wet, squishy feeling (eww). I had to switch to sandals to let my ballet flats air out.

Give your shoes at least 24 hours to air out, and if possible, stick some cedar or newspaper in there to absorb the moisture & refresh the shoes.

3. Foot powders work wonders

I broke down and bought Dr. Scholl’s Odour Eaters in a convenient spray format. I spray it on my clean, dry feet (paying attention to in between my toes) after a particularly humid or sweaty day, and I spray a little into my shoes as well.

I prefer the spray over the powder itself, because I don’t experience any clumping or graininess on my feet.

4. Go on the freeze

Freezing your shoes kills the bacteria. Fun for summer, not so hot for winter. (Get it? GET IT? Oh forget it.)

5. Wear very low cut foot socks

You can buy them almost anywhere. My friend wears them in her ballet flats, and says she can’t do without them.

I tried them, but am not sold because they show just a tiny bit above the vamp, even in the neutral pair I picked up. Sure, no one may be looking at my feet all the time, but it bothers my vanity.

6. Give them up

Sometimes the smell is SO entrenched into the shoes, nothing will work.

This is when you either have to say goodbye to them, or banish them to yard work for life, with no parole.

Any other tips?

About the Author

Just a girl trying to find a balance between being a Shopaholic and a Saver. I cleared $60,000 in 18 months earning $65,000 gross/year. Now I am self-employed, and you can read more about my story here, or visit my other blog: The Everyday Minimalist.