Shoes hold our feet all day, but they also pick up some other passengers along the way. Bacteria can live off the sweat produced by your feet and leave some foul-smelling byproducts. Fungus can flourish and spread to your feet, leaving unsightly nails or an itchy case of athlete’s foot. Protecting your feet from odor or fungal infection is a matter of creating conditions these organisms hate.
Both bacteria and fungus enjoy dark, damp places. The insides of your shoes can fit this bill rather well, so it’s time to change the atmosphere. If you wear the same pair of shoes every day, give them break. Alternate your shoes between days to give each pair at least 24 hours of airtime to dry out.
If you have an older pair of shoes, they might be worth washing as well. Make sure they’re machine washable, and put them in a pillowcase along with the laces. Allow them to air-dry in a cool, dry area. A cloth dipped in warm, soapy water is an alternative for shoes that can’t be dropped in the machine.
Anti-fungal powder regularly applied to shoes can be an extra barrier of protection, and if odor is a problem, then items such as orange peels or socks filled with kitty litter left overnight can help freshen the aroma and absorb nasty ones.
There are times, though, when your shoes just need to go. If you’ve recently recovered from a fungal infection, those shoes should likely be replaced. And if your toenails touch the insides of your shoes? It’s time to get a bigger pair as well.
If you have persistent problems with foot odor or fungal nails, there might more at play than your shoes. Contact Dr. Sanjay Patel and the staff at Family Foot Care & Surgery can help you get to the bottom of it. Call us at either of our two locations: (203) 288-4055 in Hamden or (203) 876-7736 in Milford.