Why Do My Feet Stink? And How To Fix Stinky Feet

As we enter the season of sandals, bare feet, and outdoor activities one question may be looming in your mind. Why do my feet stink? A valid question because understanding the cause may lead you to the solution. And what better solution than finally learning how to fix your stinky feet? 


Feet sweat regularly and sweat by itself does not have an odor. The problem comes when bacteria mixes into the sweat. Sweat is an excellent breeding ground for bacteria. As they grow, bacteria often produce a foul odor. 


Basic hygiene is the cure to many a smelly foot. Our feet need to be washed regularly. Especially after spending time outside or wearing open-toed shoes, wash your feet with gentle soap and warm water. 

Towel dry your entire foot, including between the toes. (Hint: have a designated “foot towel” and don’t use it on your face). 

This is a great time to check your feet for cuts, blisters, or calluses. You can also try an antiperspirant on your feet to decrease sweat production-apply right before bed for best results. Hand sanitizers can also help by killing bacteria on your feet. 


The shoes you wear may be contributing to the smell of your feet. Shoes should be allowed to completely dry between uses. This usually takes at least 24 hours so plan on wearing a different pair of shoes tomorrow if the ones you wore today got wet. This includes moisture from rain, creeks, and sweat. 

If your shoes become soiled or seem to stink, look into washing them. Most tennis shoes can be put in the washing machine and other shoes can often be hand washed. Be sure to check the manufacturer’s instructions for details on soap, water temperature, and drying needs. 

Make sure you are changing your socks every day or more frequently if they become wet. Socks are dark, warm, and moist–the perfect breeding ground for odorous bacteria. Nylon, rubber, and polyester materials do not dry out quickly so you may notice a stronger smell after wearing them. 


If your feet are beginning to hurt or the skin looks odd, you may be harboring a bacterial or fungal infection. As these microorganisms grow, they let off menthol gasses and other byproducts that can mix with sweat and turn malodorous. If you begin to experience pain, swelling, or changes in skin color contact your provider. Best Foot Doctor NY treats patients in Queens and the surrounding area. 


Changing hormones, such as in puberty and pregnancy, can cause changes in your body odors. These changes are temporary. As your body begins to regulate your hormones you will notice a change in sweat and smell too. 

Other Treatments

Here are a few other at-home remedies to try to fix your stinky feet. If they are not working or seem to make the problem worse, consult your local Queens provider. 

  • over-the-counter foot powder
  • 1:1 vinegar and water solution with baking soda
  • black tea (make sure the water has cooled before immersing your feet)
  • salt soak 
  • exfoliate

At some point, everyone will have feet that stink. And everyone benefits when you take care of yours. For more information contact Best Foot Doctor NY with convenient locations in Queens and beyond. 

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