Nothing ruins your entryway, date night, or a good pair of shoes like a stink. And once the smell starts, it’s hard to keep it from invading the rest of your footwear. That’s because even the most delicate shoes are a dark, sweaty breeding ground for odor-causing bacteria. You can’t completely remove it, but you can control the stench. Before you lose another pair of pumps, try these expert tips for nipping smelly feet in the bud before it starts. So the next time a hostess says, “Would you mind taking your shoes off,” you can do so in confidence.
Try to stay dry
“The best way to prevent smelly feet is to keep your feet dry,” says Dr. Rebecca Baxt, a board certified dermatologist. Towel off your feet—especially in between toes—after the shower, and dab them with anti-fungal powder that keeps you dry while warding off odor-causing fungus.
Wear socks when you can
Socks (preferably cotton socks) and pumps aren’t exactly a fashion statement. But when you skip out on socks there’s nothing to absorb the sweat your feet naturally produce, trapping it between your toes and inside your shoes. If you know you’re going sock-less, try dotting antiperspirant on the bottoms of your feet and between toes.
Prep your shoes
Sprinkle baby powder (or a more targeted odor-eating powder) on the inside of your shoes before and after you wear them. And get them out of your dark, damp closet! Just like your aching dogs, your shoes need to be aired out, too. If is best not to wear the same shoes two days in a row. Shoes need a couple of days to air out completely
If your feet end up smelling less than swell no matter what, wipe them down with a vodka-soaked washcloth to get rid of the stench. It's the same principle as rubbing alcohol (which works equally well if you'd rather drink your Grey Goose). Vodka contains alcohol, which is antiseptic and drying, so it destroys odor-causing fungus and bacteria and dries out the moisture that lets these organisms grow.
When to see a doc
If you still can’t get your sweat under control, see your dermatologist and ask her about Drysol, an anti-sweat prescription in the form of a roller ball specifically formulated for reducing the amount of sweat your foot produces.