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the causes of stinky feet

Why the French Never Wear the Same Shoes Two Days in a Row

October 2021 | 5 Minute Read 

Clean beauty industry maven Mary Futher founded kaia naturals® after spending 20 years working for global beauty companies. Mary now shares her weekly content series, delivering a quick fix, home remedy, or clean beauty product suggestion for a variety of human discomforts that some may find too embarrassing to discuss.

When I lived in France on an exchange program as a teenager, I lived with a very fashionable family. I remember Jacques (the father) told me in his distinct French accent: one should never wear the same pair of shoes two days in a row. He did not explain, and I was too embarrassed to ask (because I am sure that I was wearing the same pair of shoes two days in a row due to my limited wardrobe when living abroad). So I looked it up and here is the clever reason why.

After a long day in your shoes, keep them to the side and let them rest. Air them out and pick another pair to wear the following day. Why? Well, they will not only last much longer but will also help to prevent those seemingly embarrassing stinky feet.

Compression and sweat are the biggest culprits of stinky feet. Your feet produce half a pint of sweat a day, and the moisture amalgamates with the materials and bacteria to foster a righteous odor. This is especially common in running shoes, as you’re probably using them to work out and the sweat production is at an all-time high.

You may be scratching your head, and asking me, “why would I buy two of the same pair of shoes?”. Well, I understand that buying two shoes may be a little redundant and expensive in the short run, especially for people that require special shoes for work. However, in the long run, you will prolong the lifespan of your shoes and will mitigate replacing it more frequently.


How to Prevent Stinky Feet

Shoe Rotation

Like mentioned above, keep your shoes on rotation. Think of it as a chance to play with your outfits and bonus, you won’t have to hear your friends and family making comments about your stinky feet.

Choose Cotton or Wool Socks over Rayon

Choose natural fibres around your feet. Natural fibres let moisture wick, allowing for more breathability as your feet begin to sweat throughout the day.

Synthetic fibres are moisture trapping, perpetuating the stink. Think of a wet sponge in a Ziploc bag out in the sun, that’s what your feet are like in socks made from synthetic fibres. That visual may be extreme, but sometimes we forget to take really good care of our feet, they do so much for us, and they deserve the best care.

apply deodorant to prevent stinky feet

Apply Deodorant

Deodorant will help to absorb moisture that odor-causing bacteria needs to grow and neutralize odor. Applying a few swipes to your feet before putting on your socks will minimize odor and keep your feet and shoes fresher for longer.

Stinky Feet Determines Lifespan of Shoes

The moisture produced from the 250,000 sweat glands on your feet, mixed with bacteria and the fabrics from your socks and shoes will eat away at the actual materials of the shoes will hasten the speed at which your shoes will lose their shape and durability.

If you want to see your shoes in the next season, here are some things to keep in mind to reduce sweat and odor:

  1. Never wear the same shoes within 48 hours.
  2. Buy some socks made from natural fibres, stay far, far away from synthetic fibres.
  3. Wipe out your shoes with a cloth using a fabric detergent or Borax. Dilute the solution and let your shoes dry out for 24 hours.
  4. To help stop moisture build up on your feet, use a deodorant or brush your feet with a powder such as cornstarch or baby powder (always put on socks after that). Wear socks in close toed shoes and be cautious of not getting the powder on your shoes, as this can decrease the lifespan of your shoes.

The following steps will help keep your shoes fresh and odor free, say goodbye to this seemingly embarrassing body discomfort by wearing shoes, the French way.

Each week on my blog The Little Book of Human Discomforts I share clever solutions for seemingly embarrassing skin, body, and hair issues. Consider subscribing below to be the first to know when new content is live! I also share lots of body and skincare tips on Instagram @kaianaturals and on my TikTok page @madamesweat.

Medical disclaimer:

The information provided in this blog is taken from the Cleveland Clinic, NHS, and North Carolina State University Graduate Thesis.

All content found on this website is created for informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this Website. 

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