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Foot Care Guide

Routine Foot Care: Daily Tips To Keep Your Feet Injury-Free

Routine Foot Care: Footwear Fundamentals

Too Much Time In Your Boots Can Mean Too Much Sweat And Odor

Treating Common Foot Issues
  • Dry/Cracked Skin
  • Blisters
  • Aches And Pains
  • Calluses
  • Fungus
  • 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.
    Up Next:

    Treating Common Foot Issues: Dry/Cracked Skin

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    Planning Out Crop Rotation for Your Vegetable Garden

    If you’re fairly new to farming and have just started planting vegetables in your backyard, it’s safe to say that you haven’t thought about crop rotation yet. So for those of you who don’t know, crop rotation is the practice of growing a different series of crops in the same soil over a period of time. This is so that the soil you prep in an area isn’t exhausted of just one type of nutrients. Not only are nutrients not sucked out of your soil, but pests won’t be able to settle when you’re moving your crops around.

    A full crop rotation cycle is completed over four years since the types that need to be rotated are usually annuals and can be divided into four categories; legumes (edamame, beans, peas), roots (beets, garlic, radishes), fruit (cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers) and leafy varieties (lettuce, herbs, cabbage). To make things easier, try dividing your garden area into four parts where you plant the varieties mentioned above.

    Let’s go over how crops are supposed to be rotated by using the example of a single part of your garden. Let’s say that you’ve planted a fruit-bearing crop in your first bed that takes up a lot of nutrients, so after the first year of growing tomatoes or squashes, you’ll have to replace them with legumes. They use the remaining nutrients while adding nitrogen back to the soil, an important mineral that can help you grow leafy vegetables that have to be planted in the third year.

    In the third year of your crop rotation cycle, you can plant spinach, lettuce or herbs. Then, in year four, you can plant root vegetables like carrots or radishes in the same bed. Now follow this chain; fruits, then legumes, then leafy vegetables, and then, roots. Now let’s go over how you’ll work in each bed.

    1st Bed

    This is where you previously grew roots and it’s depleted of nutrients and needs to be replenished. Hence, you’ll grow ‘fruit’ types that feed on many nutrients. During fall, start adding a good amount of organic matter such as compost to your soil. Come spring, your soil will be nourished to plant your crops. After you’ve harvested, you can plant some of the legume variety.

    2nd Bed

    This is where you’ll start by growing legumes and it’s not necessary that you prep the soil or were previously growing ‘fruit’ types of crops. However, they could do with some mulch because they grow pretty tall and thin.

    3rd Bed

    Preferably, you can start growing your leafy vegetables wherever you were previously growing legumes but if not, simply add some nitrogen-fixing matter like manure. You can add compost to this soil during the spring before planting your crop. Later on, you can add some mulch to keep the plants protected throughout autumn.

    4th Bed

    You’ll be growing roots here in the first year and these don’t need much prepping at all. During the winter, use some green manure for the soil so that it’s filled with nutrients for the upcoming ‘fruit’ types.

    Follow these simple steps so you can get a fantastic yield that makes you proud each time. Happy farming!


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