Foot Care Guide
Too Much Time In Your Boots Can Mean Too Much Sweat And Odor
Treating Common Foot Issues
As farmers, we spend a lot of time in our work boots. Those boots are usually well-insulated, which is great when you’re traversing a muddy field, but not so great when it comes to allowing your feet to breathe. This issue gets especially bad in summer, when your feet are likely sweating more than usual.
While it’s great to do everything possible to prevent excessive sweat, it’s also true that sweat is a natural, unavoidable part of life.
What you can do is prevent the build-up of moisture in your shoe, which leads to stinky feet and eventually stinky boots. Here are some tips to help.
- Avoid foot powder. Many people automatically turn to foot powder to reduce foot sweat and odor, but most brands contain cornstarch, which becomes a breeding ground for fungus when it’s wet. Instead, try inserting activated charcoal, kitty litter, or another absorbent material into your shoe overnight to soak up odors.
- Wear breathable materials. Unfortunately, the same materials that protect your feet from moisture can also trap the moisture from your own sweat inside your boots! However, some materials are definitely more breathable than others, even if they’re waterproof. Try wearing a boot with a natural, breathable surface material, such as natural leather. Synthetic, artificial membranes trap sweat and bacteria.
- And breathable socks, too. Cotton is not your friend here. Cotton socks absorb sweat and trap moisture, among other problems. Instead, you want the type of socks that athletes wear – performance socks, heavier than cotton, but still made from natural materials such as merino wool.
- Wash up often. This might seem obvious, but keeping your feet clean will definitely cut down on the stink. Wash your feet with a strong soap daily. For a treat, you can turn this into a miniature foot soak to give your muscles a break.
- Foot deodorant. There are lots of natural products that can double as a foot deodorant, such as coconut oil, tea tree oil, witch hazel, and lavender essential oil.
- Antimicrobial linings. In addition to buying boots with a breathable lining, you can look for a pair with an antimicrobial lining, which kills the bacteria that cause odor.
- Change your socks. No, it’s not excessive to change your socks more than once a day. Changing your socks is a quick and effective way to get rid of sweat and odor, since that’s where the sweat usually begins. So if you’re feeling icky, change ‘em out.
- Alternate boots. If you can swing a second pair of work boots, make sure to alternate them daily. Alternating your footwear is useful because it allows your shoes to fully dry out over a 24 hour period, which prevents the build-up of sweat and odor.
- Dry your boots properly. After you’re done with work, store your boots in a light, ventilated area so that they can air out properly. Bacteria thrive in damp, dark areas, and bacteria = stink. If you don’t have a second pair of work boots, and they’re quite sweaty, try stuffing them with newspaper or invest in a boot dryer.