Three Ways to Fight Stinky Feet (and Hold On to Your Friends)

The lowdown on foot powders and other strategies for foot odor warriors

Male legs on car dashboard
Fresh air smells better when your feet don't stink.Edmundas Stundzius via Unsplash

Some feet stink worse than others. Deadly sneaker gas is the bane of locker rooms and closets alike, and its source isn’t limited to athletic shoes, or even guys! Caused by a combination of moisture from perspiration or wet conditions, bacteria and fungus, and warm temperatures, odiferous feet can have consequences from the comical to seriously impacting relationships. In addition to regularly washing your feet and changing your socks, here are three stench-fighting strategies for foot odor control.

Strategy 1

Natural foot deodorizer
Foot powders like this one are highly customer- rated and employ only natural ingredients.Amazon

Standard medicated foot powders and sprays have been available for over 100 years. Often using zinc oxide as a base, these powders (and more recently sprays) can be effectively used on feet and in shoes. Depending on the product they may also control itching and fungal issues like athlete's foot.

Strategy 2

Arm & Hammer baking soda
Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) is a great odor-eater and commonly found in products like this.Amazon

Traditional remedies to combat foot odors include washing feet with anti-bacterial soap, or soaking feet in a solution of Epsom salts, or vinegar and baking soda (and adding thyme or lavender oil). Dusting feet in talcum or baby powder, or a baking soda/corn starch mix can work. For shoes themselves, in addition to keeping them dry, consider filling an old sock with cedar shavings and keeping them in your shoes while storing.

Strategy 3

Lumi foot powder
This product features 100% natural ingredients and essential oils, and comes in a variety of scents in both powder and sprays.Amazon

Natural oils-based strategies are gaining in popularity with the mainstreaming of aromatherapy and homeopathic approaches to health. Not surprisingly, essential oils can be used to fight foot odor as well, often employing the direct application of lavender or thyme oil to your feet.