If this is your first time visiting my website and you haven't read the previous step about maintaining your feet hygiene, I recommend you to click on the link above to learn the previous step first.
Knowing how to maintain good foot hygiene is only half the job, how you use and take care of your foot gear also plays a very important role. Without proper care, your foot gear can contribute a significant part to the smell. Let's take a look at what you should take note in this step...
Top 8 Tips To Put Your Foot Gear in The Best Condition
Tip #1: Don't Throw Your Shoes in a Dark Cabinet
Some of you may have the habit of putting your shoes directly back to your shoe cabinet after wearing. I have to say your mom taught well. You have the good habit of keeping things neat and tidy. But this is not good when it comes to foot odor.
After wearing your shoes, there will be some sweat trapped inside, probably some dirt and dead skin cells as well. If you put them directly back to a dark cabinet, your shoes become an even better place to breed bacteria. As explained in the causes of stinky feet, bacteria will decompose the sweat to produce bad-smelling by-product which causes foot odor.
So, remember to place your shoes at places that is well-lit and ventilated after wearing.
P.S. If you want to use hairdryer to blow dry your shoes after wearing, don't use the hot air, use the cool air. Blowing cool air acts as ventilation but blowing hot air may provide a better environment to breed bacteria.
Tip #2: Change Your Shoes and Socks Daily
Firstly, I suppose most of you do change your socks daily. You should be doing that. If you have a really bad foot odor, you should bring extra pair of socks so that you can change it in the middle of the day.
Secondly, you should be changing your shoes everyday. I'm not saying you need to have 7 pair of shoes to change everyday in a week. You just need at least two pairs so that you won't be wearing the same pair of shoes everyday. You wear the same pair of shoes on alternate days. It is recommended to have at least 24 hour breathing period for your shoes.
Tip #3: Wash Your Socks Inside Out
Another simple tip you should take note of is to wash your socks inside out. What this does it that it can more easily wash away the dead skin cells that are trapped at the inner side of the socks which is in contact with your skin.
As you would have known, bacteria do feed on your dead skin cells. Removing them also reduces the amount of bacteria and thus foot odor.
So, stop asking your child to flip over his socks after he takes off. Keep it inside out.
Tip #4: Use Shoe Freshener
There are a myriad of shoe fresheners in the market. They can be classified into two main types: the spray type and the insert type. They can be further classified into deodorant and odor absorber which is also called "air purifying bags". The difference is that the former diffuses deodorant and the latter absorbs moisture and odor.
Another more natural way is by using cedar wood and cloves to freshen shoes.
Tip #5: Choose The Right Insole
If your shoes have replaceable insoles, it's recommended to replace them with insoles which are better at combating bacteria.
For example, cedar insoles are highly recommended for almost any purposes. Cedar wood naturally has anti-fungal and antibacterial effect. So having cedar wood in the insoles can help combat bacteria and foot odor more effectively.
There are many other types of insoles in the market claiming that they can cure stinky feet. But most of them use chemicals to achieve the effect which is definitely not as good as cedar insoles.
Tip #6: Wash Your Shoes!
This is the step that most people tend to neglect or ignore. We all wash our clothes, socks and even ourselves everyday. But many of us never ever wash our shoes at all.
Definitely there will be sweat and dirt leaving behind in the shoes after we wore them. The only thing we do at most is to air them at well-lit and ventilated place or blow dry with hairdryer. (One common mistake is to keep them in dark cabinet after wearing as mentioned in Tip #1)
Please don't ignore the power of washing your shoes because it can wash away the sweat and dirt that are accumulated over the period. Just make sure you wash them once per month at least.
That's not very demanding and tiring. In fact, many shoes today can be washed in washing machine. Just put them in laundry net will do. For those that cannot be washed in washing machine. You can send them to shoe washing shops once per month. If your shoes are high-end expensive ones (especially leather shoes), they can help you maintain it so that you can wear them longer.
Tip #7: Use A Shoe Dryer
Shoe dryers are great products. I love them.
Most shoe dryers today have the basic function of not only drying your shoes but also preventing the growth of bacteria and mold.
The more advanced ones are the ones that I like the most. In addition to the basic functions, some have special features like emitting ozone molecules to kill up to 99% of bacteria without using any chemicals. I love this because I will always know that my shoes are cleaned after disinfecting by the machine. Just like foot SPA makes washing feet more enjoyable, shoe dryer makes maintaining your shoes more effective and time-saving.
See my thorough review on the Advanced Shoe Dryer Here.
Additional uses for these shoe dryers include drying other gears such as hats and gloves.
Additional Tips: What Kind of Shoes and Socks Are The Best?
1. Wear Open-Toed Shoes
This is a no-brainer. If there isn't a need to wear covered shoes, just wear open-toed shoes such as sandals and slippers to enhance ventilation at the feet area.
2. Wear Clean Leather or Canvas Shoes
For covered shoes, leather and canvas are materials that are better at ventilation. Stay away from rubber, plastic and synthetic leather shoes. Be aware of synthetic leather shoes. Although they contain leather, their smell are terrible after a while. If you budget allows, go and get real leather shoes instead of synthetic ones.
The same principle applies to rubber and plastic, they are bad at ventilation.
3. Wear Cotton or Wool Socks
The material of the socks also plays an important role. Try to get cotton or wool socks as they are more ventilating than the synthetic ones like polyester and nylon (similar to leather). Cotton has natural antibacterial property which can reduce odor. It is recommended to get socks that are at least 70% cotton.
Sports socks are good to reduce odor as they are designed to absorb more sweat and have good ventilation.
Another misconception is that some people think thinner socks are better as thicker ones let you sweat more. However, thicker ones can absorb more sweat and thus less sweat will be trapped at the inner side of the shoes.
These are all my tips for you to take care of your foot gear. Some of them have smaller effect than others but they are all important tips to take note if you want to truly defeat stinky feet.
What do you think of these tips? Do you have anymore tips? Please share them in the comment below.