We get this question a lot. Why do my feet continue to sweat and smell? What socks should I wear to keep comfortable all day? How can I stop my son's socks from walking out by themselves? All these issues were what actually led us initially to creating our socks in Bamboo, its natural moisture wicking and antibacterial properties smash sweat and odour out of the park. The discovery of Bamboo ’s environmental credentials was just the icing on the cake.
To help you better understand the process of feet sweating, and why it is important to get a handle on it, we have done some research and provided a quick round up below.
Why do our feet sweat?
We have a few areas on our body where sweat glands are clustered, feet being one of them. We have 250000 sweat glands in our feet producing up to 2 cups of sweat a day.
The three main reasons for our feet to sweat are:
1. Heat regulation - sweating cools the body down by wetting the skin’s surface and consequently evaporating - our own inbuilt evaporative cooling system.
2. Excretion - a great way to rid the body of excess water and salts.
3. Skin protection - sweat is slightly acidic, thus provides a protective role against bacteria which naturally resides on the surface of the skin. It also helps keep the skin soft and supple.
Why can sweaty feet be an issue?
Bacteria naturally thrives in warm moist environments. If sweat is not allowed to evaporate, bacteria can take hold leading to infections such as Athletes feet and fungal toe infections
What can cause our feet to sweat excessively?
1. Warmer temperatures.
This can be caused by a myriad of reasons such as physical exercise, fever and illness or emotional stress
2. Toxins. Foods such as those high in saturated fats and also alcohol are excreted by the body through our sweat glands. This usually happens when we exercise, but if the body is inactive, it will naturally secrete through our sweat glands.
3. Wearing tight shoes. Restricting the flow of air inside the shoes restricts the evaporative process causing sweat to be trapped, and the hot environment created encourages sweat production to increase.
4. Socks made from Cotton and Synthetic fibres such as nylon, acrylic, polyester. Cotton & synthetics absorb but don't wick moisture - meaning they act as a sponge, soaking up the sweat but trapping it, keeping your feet wet all the time
5. Shoes made from synthetics - runners are the most common offender. Again they trap moisture providing a fertile environment for bacteria to grow.
6. Poor hygiene - washing feet infrequently, not changing your socks daily, wearing the same shoes every day, all contribute to a build-up of sweat and odour.
7. Work & Stress. Being on your feet all day, or dealing with levels of emotional stress and anxiety.
But what actually makes feet smell?
When sweat builds up and remains on the skin inside your socks and shoes, an ideal environment is created for bacteria to thrive. The bacteria break down the sweat, and that tell-tale smell is created.
So how can we prevent or deal with this smelly issue?
1. Hygiene, Hygiene, Hygiene. Washing your feet every day with soap & making sure they are completely dry before covering them with socks and shoes will go a long way to keeping on top of sweaty smelly feet.
Sprinkle bicarb soda in your shoes regularly is a great and inexpensive way to kill bacteria. Just head to the baking section of your supermarket aisle.
Before washing, turn your socks inside out to allow the dead flakes of skin to wash away more easily.
Remove the hard skin from soles of your feet, as this hard skin softens in a wet moist environment and is one of the first places bacteria will take hold.
Probably the easiest change to make is to wear absorbent socks made of natural fibres. Socks that naturally wick moisture - which basically means they draw the moisture from the surface of the skin, through their fibres and allow it to evaporate from the surface of the sock, thus keeping your foot comfortable and dry. Avoid nylon, acrylic, polyester and cotton fibres in your sock, as they will trap the moisture against your skin making you more susceptible to blisters and foot infections. Not to mention it will be like walking around with a sauna on your feet.
Try and choose shoes that breathe and fit comfortably - and alternate and rotate shoes so they have time to dry out and breathe between wears.
Avoid tight-fitting shoes.
3.Try Home remedies
Tea - soak some plain black tea in a bowl of water and soak your feet for 30 minutes every day for a week. The tannic acid acts as a drying agent, reversing the moist environment bacteria needs to grow.
Salt - place half a cup of sea salt in 500mls of water and soak your feet for 20 minutes. Don’t rinse off, just dry thoroughly with a towel. This again works on the principle of drying out the feet so Bacteria can’t thrive.
If you now find there is a voice in your head saying “Yes! I want socks that are best for smelly feet!” then click the link below to grab some of our best selling classic black socks, we guarantee this will change your life!”
If you have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and would like to better understand how to really look after your feet, take a look at this easy infographic we have created for you.