Is it Normal for My Feet to Stink?


We often get patients at our office here at Maple Springs Foot Center who are struggling with foot odor. Is it normal for feet to stink? The answer is complicated, it turns out. Our feet have over 250,000 sweat glands that produce ½ a pint of perspiration each day, so it makes sense that our feet get stinky sometimes. It’s not the sweat itself that stinks; odor is produced when sweat mixes with bacteria. Conditions such as hyperhidrosis – a genetic condition that causes excessive sweat – can exacerbate the condition. Excessive moisture can also be triggered by:

  • Excessive stress

  • Medication side-effects

  • Body changes

  • Excess fluid consumption

How can I prevent foot odor?

The best way to reduce foot odor is to control the circumstances that cause it. Try the following tips to help rid your foot of odor and the bacteria that causes it:

  • Wash your feet every day with warm water and soap. Dry them well, focusing on the areas between the toes.

  • A foot powder after washing can help soak up excess perspiration and prevent odor and also certain fungal infections.

  • Always wear shoes that are clean and dry. Bacteria and fungus thrive in wet, warm, dark places – like boots and shoes. Choose shoes made from breathable materials that allow air to circulate.

  • Switch your shoes every day if possible. Wearing the same shoes every single day doesn’t give them the chance to dry out as well.

  • Never wear shoes with no socks.

  • Wear socks made from cotton or other wicking materials. If your feet get sweaty, change them throughout the day.

  • Soak your feet after a long day. Soaks with Epsom salts, herbal teas, or vinegar have been known to help rid your feet of odor and bacteria.

If you’ve tried it all and you’re still experiencing foot odor, give our office a call today. Dr. Stuart Snyder here at Maple Springs Foot Center can help assess and treat any foot or ankle issues you might be experiencing. To get in touch, request an appointment online or call our office conveniently located in Gaithersburg, MD at 301-762-3338.