Do you dread the idea of removing your sneakers when you’re shopping for new shoes or in any social setting? If so, chances are you’re one of the many people who happen to struggle with sweaty or smelly feet.
Although it’s quite embarrassing, it’s not an uncommon issue. Fortunately, it’s not something you can’t prevent. In fact, the culprit behind your stinky feet is your socks. Finding the right pair can go a long way in keeping your feet odor-free and dry.
In this article, we’ll show you some of the best selling socks for smelly sweaty feet in the market. And also tell you everything about finding the right socks – the materials you must avoid, the ones you should consider, and all the nitty-gritty information to help you with your smelly situation.
Without further ado…
Top 6 Sock Picks
Materials You Need to Avoid
The foul odor arises when the sweat from your feet mixes with the bacteria and wearing socks that aren’t made from the right material further aggravates the situation.
The material of the sock determines how well it can manage moisture. This is why you need to be aware of what it’s made from.
Here are some materials that you need to avoid:
Despite being the most favored material for clothing, it isn’t the same when it comes to socks. If you suffer from bromhidrosis, cotton-based options are the worst types to own.
Yes, they’re much lighter and more refreshing and quite breathable. But they’re not capable of absorbing as much moisture without becoming damped and sodden.
When cotton-based socks get wet, they remain that way for a long time. This is problematic because it becomes a perfect environment for Brevibacteria to thrive on. These bacteria are responsible for the musty, cheesy odor of wet socks.
Synthetic (Nylon, Plastic or Polyester)
Synthetic-based socks, in general, can cause your feet to sweat a lot. It gets worse during the summer. Synthetics aren’t quite breathable, and they do not allow sweat to dry off your feet.
On top of that, they can’t absorb moisture either, which means your feet will remain wet and sticky for a long time. The damped socks can even cause sores and blisters from rubbing. It provides the perfect breeding ground for fungi and bacteria, which then leads to foul smell.
That said, there are some synthetic fabrics specially engineered in such a way that it keeps your feet dry and odor-free. So, whenever you’re buying a new pair of socks, make sure they’re made of specialized-synthetic fabrics. Otherwise, it’s better to avoid it.
Best Sock Material for Combating Sweaty Feet
Excessively sweaty feet or hyperhidrosis can cause other annoying issues like constant discomfort, bad odor, damage to shoes, and difficulty in wearing open-toed shoes, to name a few. That is why it’s is very important to look for good moisture absorbing socks.
Generally, socks that are meant for moist feet are made with special fibers and materials. They are not only capable of absorbing sweat but can also wick it away. Such types can also prevent fungi or bacteria from growing.
Our feet have over 250 thousand sweat glands, which is more than any other body part. With this fact in mind, it’s evident that we can’t stop our feet from sweating completely.
Owning a pair or two of moisture-absorbing socks makes all the difference. They can reduce sweating and other adverse effects by helping you keep your feet cool and dry.
The socks I’ve listed below have moisture-wicking characteristics in one way or another. Consider replacing your current socks with a pair of these:
Most people already love woolen socks for their impressive insulating properties and soft texture. They not only help in keeping your feet warm during winter but also keeps them cooler in summer.
The reason why this type makes it in my list of best socks for wet feet is that it has a more absorbing capacity as compared to cotton. It can wick up to thirty percent of its weight in liquid.
Although it can soak in more water, the surface stays rather dry because it traps the moisture in the fiber itself. This means that your socks won’t get damped or soaked quickly.
Such material also generally tends to last longer as compared to cotton because it is a much stronger and durable fiber.
A more effective variety of woolen material is merino wool, which is the wool of merino sheep. It can soak up to thirty-five percent of its weight in liquid after which it becomes moist. It has antimicrobial characteristics so you won’t have to worry about stinky feet and the growth of fungi and bacteria.
Also, it has a very soft and delicate feel to it so that it’s a perfect option for those who find woolen socks scratchy or itchy.
This type is specifically designed to remove sweat off from your feet. Its fabrics are made with specially engineered polyester fibers, and it has four to six channels each that wicks sweat away from your feet. The moisture is then moved to the outer surface of the fabric.
Coolmax fibers can be also be found in many major brands like Puma, Reebok, and Nike. It is usually combined with cotton, nylon, wool, and sometimes spandex.
Since it’s a polyester fabric, it doesn’t take long to dry and is quite durable. We also love that it has antimicrobial properties.
Another synthetic-based material, Olefin fibers, is made of polyethylene. This highly advanced synthetic is extremely strong, very lightweight, and durable. It also dries quickly and is stain resistant.
This fiber can repel moisture while also wicking it away. Aside from its moisture-wicking ability, it is also hydrophobic and can dry the sweat 25 times quicker than any other synthetic material in the market right now.
In fact, two scientists even won the Nobel Price in 1963 for designing Olefin fibers. Like Coolmax fibers and wool, it has antimicrobial properties. Therefore, it is another excellent option for tackling bacteria and odor.
As strange as it may sound, bamboo-based socks are great for preventing sweaty feet. These are environment-friendly and do wonders for diabetes, sensitive or allergy-prone skin.
Since bamboo has thermal regulating properties, it keeps your feet warm or cool when necessary.
Bamboo fabrics are known for their antimicrobial properties that protect against fungus while keeping your feet fresh and odor-free. They also feel incredibly soft and gentle on your feet.
Tips to Prevent Sweaty and Stinky Feet
While having an excellent moisture-wicking sock is essential for treating your smelly feet, it isn’t enough. Tackling sweaty feet also requires specific measures. These include:
- Changing your socks regularly. It will also be worthwhile to carry an extra pair with you while you’re at school or work.
- Using powders designed explicitly for treating moist feet (at least twice a day).
- Use hot water to clean your socks. In doing so, it’ll kill the bacteria present and sterilize the fiber. Once you’re done washing it, dip it in an antiseptic solution then rinse it and let it dry.
- Put on a second pair over the first one (socks) to increase absorbency.
- Purchase breathable shoes (e.g., mesh, canvas, or leather). Wearing tight shoes can also trigger unnecessary sweating.
- Wearing different shoes every other day can help the other pair dry faster. Remove your shoes whenever possible, allowing it as well as your socks to air dry and prevent bacterial growth.
- Wash the insoles of your shoes as it generally traps more moisture, causing the shoe to deteriorate faster.
- Although hiking shoes are usually breathable, most people still experience wet feet. If it’s the case for you, opt for a non-waterproof pair without the membrane.
Whether you prefer to pick a natural fiber, like bamboo or a synthetic like Coolmax, it all comes down to your personal needs. Either way, both choices are ideal for combating the smelly issue.
If the problem persists even after wearing the right pair of socks and following the other alternatives, you need to see a podiatrist.
They can prescribe a much effective antiperspirant or suggest getting iontophoresis and even botox injections in worse cases.
Finally, remember to look for materials that are capable of keeping moisture off of your skin to prevent your feet from getting irritated and smelly because of damp conditions.
The ideal socks for sweaty feet combine both antimicrobial and moisture-wicking properties to keep your skin dry and odor-free. If your feet sweat excessively, it is best to avoid common polyester and wool-based material as they do a terrible job in keeping the foot dry.
Finding the right socks is not easy as there are plenty of options in the market. We hope this article has provided you with a head start, and by now, you’re probably aware of what to avoid and look for when making your next purchase.