Men's Grooming

How to Get Rid of Smelly Socks in Summer

It can happen to anyone at any time. Even if you don’t suffer from smelly feet, summer can get the better of us. The increased risk of swimming, going to the gym, and generally being more active, combined with summer heat becomes a disturbing mix. One day, you go to take your shoes off and the entire room evacuates. Yes, smelly feet are embarrassing but they can lurk in your socks waiting for the big reveal all year round.

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There are a few precautions you can take to make sure your feet smell fresher throughout the day, but first check to see if you have a fungal infection that’s to blame. While no one wants to discover there are hitchhikers in the feet department, it’s a lot less embarrassing than being told to, “Get out of the pool, Sir.” Fungal infections are more common in summer because the bacteria thrive under humid, warm conditions.

If you find that you have a case of the summer time blues, then these actionable steps will help you recover for feet’s good fortune:

1. How to Wash Smelly Feet

OK, so I know this sounds obvious, but how you wash and (more importantly) dry your feet will have a massive impact on how your feet hold up to daily wear. When washing feet that are prone to nasty smells, you want to invest in a quality antibacterial soap such as Tea Tree Therapy, which will kill the normal but excitable bacteria to blame. Tea Tree is a natural way to prevent Athletes foot, and helps to restore balance.

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When washing feet, make sure that you take the time to get in-between the toes and really scrub the surface. There’s more to feet that skin and a quality nailbrush will help you get under the nail bed and into wrinkles for a deep clean. You can use both sides of a nailbrush for dual-action cleaning. First, exfoliate dry, hardened skin, and then to the nails so that you cover ever based. Once your feet are truly clean, they’re much less likely to smell.

2. How to Dry Your Feet Correctly

Drying your feet is one of those things we know we should be doing, but never seem to do and the repercussions can be severe. Dry, chapped skin is extremely painful, and can create a feeding frenzy of bacteria and germs that live on the surface of our skin. The best way to dry your feet is to spend a good three to five minutes on each foot, until they are bone dry before moving on to the next stage.

Make sure that you pay extra attention to the gaps in-between your toes, which have a high risk of infection, and consider adding talc powder once they are dry. Talc is absorbent, and will act as a foot anti-perspirant, to fend off sweaty humid feet later in the day. You should repeat this process at least twice a day, especially if you are active. Once a day is most for most men but many appreciate having clean feet all the time.

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3. How to Dress Fresh Feet

It might seem silly to think of dressing your feet, but think about how many different shoes and socks are out there, and how many we throw at our feet without due consideration. If you grab the first pair you find, especially if you can’t remember where you bought them, it might be time to upgrade. Unless you can guarantee these clean socks are 100% cotton, it is safe to say synthetic socks might be letting you down.

Socks have a relatively short life span and should be upgraded every few months. The sweat and heat cause thinning of the fabric, reducing their absorption and ability to mask smells in the day. If you wear socks at night, then double the amount you buy. Your feet sweat nightly as well, and can build up residue and stains that add to the problem. Always wash socks and shoes (where possible) on a high-heat, with bleach, to make sure you kill off bacteria.

Feet aren’t always the biggest factor in funky smells, the socks and shoes you wear will contribute to this heady mix. Consider adding insoles to your shoes that absorb foul smells and that can reduce the odor between washing. Avoid leaving feet, shoes, and socks in water for extended periods. If you keep them in a gym bag, add an odor neutralizer or spray to your bag until you can get home and follow steps 1, 2, and 3.

Photo credit: Amazon

Photo credit: Amazon

So now, you know how to keep those smelly socks at bay, where will your feet take you this summer? Leave a comment below and retain your bragging rights to the far off or exotic lands you’ll be visiting!

Discover the top-secret expert tips that have been locked away in the vaults, and get your questions answered by experts on how to groom those weird body parts no one talks about in The Ultimate Guide to Grooming