top of page
Are your feet are a bit on the nose?
Book an appointment with Southport Podiatry Clinic to discuss your options today!

Did you know that feet have over 250,000 sweat glands?

And some people can perspire up to 600 to 1200mls of sweat a day!

Why do feet smell so much?

Sweat is mainly water but it also contains trace amounts of other chemicals like body oils, ammonia, different salts, urea and some sugars, (and anything else that you had for dinner, which is excreted through the skin). The water evaporates off leaving behind the residue.

The residues that the body excretes through the skin can be a reflection of your health. We can absorb all types of chemicals through our skin, via the food that we eat, our clothing, and through the air that we breathe. These chemicals, such as heavy metals, petroleum products, and preservatives, can block hormone receptor sites and other chemical reactions within our body.

This residue and old skin cells becomes smelly because of bacteria working on it. They produce isovaleric acid, which is what causes the bad odour.

These bacteria use warm damp places to live and thrive. Inside your shoe is an ideal breeding ground, as it is the darkest and warmest and most moist area on the body.  Now the problem lies here. Wearing synthetic socks or shoes does not allow your feet to breathe. Instead, the sweat, skin cells and other residues remains within your shoes or socks, providing the source for which the bacteria to break down. This may be complicated by any fungal infection that you may have picked up.

Can you stop smelly feet?


There are some simple yet effective ways to rid yourself of this problem.

  • Wear cotton socks. (At least 80-90%cotton). Cotton allows your feet to breathe naturally. It also absorbs sweat really well. There are a range of other socks that may also be helpful.

  • Wear natural or leather shoes that are not synthetic lined. This will allow the shoe to breathe and the sweat to evaporate. You may need to throw out those shoes affected by the smell, even if they are your most treasured pair of shoes.

  • You may need to use some anti-fungal cream if you are suffering from a fungal infection, such as Tinea. 

  • Some people like heavy duty, odour-absorbing innersoles. They absorb sweat, so that there is less chance for a moist environment for bacteria to breed in.

  • Use some cornflour to soak up the odour. We don’t recommend talcum powder as it contains Aluminium, which can be a harmful heavy metal if it builds up to certain levels.

  • When you are at home try and avoid wearing closed in shoes to allow normal evaporation of sweat to occur.

  • Give your feet a footbath once a week. It is not only relaxing, but it is effective in taking off dead skin cells.

How can Southport Podiatry Clinic help?
  • We will talk through your options and can source socks which inhibit the production of odours produced by bacteria.

  • Smelly feet can also be from excess sweat from over worked arch muscles. During an initial examination I may assess your gait or walking to look for excess pronation.

  • Footwear recommendations.

For more articles on common foot problems, click here

Call us on 5531 3877 today
to book an appointment with 
Southport Podiatry Clinic
bottom of page