How to prevent stinky feet

Having smelly feet, known as bromodosis, is a common problem that is embarrassing for you and affects those around you.

Controlling foot sweat can be difficult, but by focusing on your feet and shoes, being odour-free isn't completely out of reach.

Let your toes breathe

Here is a tip for fans of lunch workouts. If you are constantly slipping from gym shoes into formal pumps (especially after a shower), you are encouraging a warm and damp environment that fungi and odour-causing bacteria thrive in.

Instead, pack a pair of open-toed sandals so your feet can air out as much as possible before you head back to the office.

Clean your shoes

If your shoes stink, do not throw them out just yet. Try sunning them to kill bacteria first.

Also, if you can remove the laces and insole, be sure to do that first to maximise the deodorising effects of the sun's rays.

In fact, you might want to replace your insoles altogether.

With pumps, some light cleaning with rubbing alcohol or antibacterial wipes will sanitise them in seconds.

Pick a more exciting shoe design

No, we are not talking about crazy colours or overly fanciful details, but to encourage better airflow around your feet, you might want to trade your covered pumps for ones with a peep toe design, strategically placed floral cut-outs, woven or braided material.

Get a few pairs so you can rotate them daily and let your shoes air out between wears.

Swap your socks

When it comes to socks, designs abound when it comes to cutting, patterns and hues, so you can (and should) wear them with any type of footwear.

Cotton or wool varieties effectively absorb moisture, and there are even pairs made of bamboo, which supposedly have good breathability, and others are threaded with carbon or silver to reduce odour.

However, try to stay away from nylon, polyester and other synthetic materials, which may trap perspiration.

At the end of the day, even if socks don't seem sweaty, put them in the wash as a second wear almost guarantees foul-smelling feet.

Soak your feet

Kill bacteria living on feet with an antibacterial soak.

Fill a tub with warm water, tip in some vinegar or antibacterial solution, immerse your feet and relax for 10 minutes.

Use foot sprays and powders

These quell iffy odours almost instantly and are easy to use.

They keep feet comfortably dry too. The effects don't seem to last for more than a few hours, but the bottles are often small enough to slip into your bag.

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