What can I do to prevent my socks from smelling?

The body tends to perspire more when the temperature increases. This includes your feet as well. This sweat is the primary reason for the bad smell that comes from socks. Some bacteria living on your feet’s skin can eat your sweat. They produce an acidic byproduct which causes that unpleasant smell.

Conditions like moisture, darkness, and heat of the inside of the shoes are ideal for bacterial and fungal growth. Below are some simple steps to help you to stop both the growth of the bacteria and bad smell from socks.

  • Clean shoes and insoles

To keep the shoes and insoles fresh, you have to wash and dry them. But don’t use detergents. They are capable of degrading the materials in the shoes. The best way is handwashing with cold water. You can add some disinfectant while you wash your shoes. Also, try to air dry them.


  • Choose sweat-wicking socks

Use socks made of sweat-wicking material instead of cotton. This material can maintain your feet and shoes dry. It helps the sweat to evaporate by removing it away from your feet. On the other hand, cotton can retain moisture which becomes an incubator for bacteria.

  • Go for copper sole socks

Just wicking the sweat away from your feet may not be enough. This is true in the case of wearing less-breathable shoes. There are socks for smelling that has metal fibres like copper or silver capable of stopping bacterial growth.

  • Foot powder

Foot powders can absorb the moisture and can hide the smell with its scent. Sprinkle the powder in your shoes before and after you wear them. This can greatly stop both fungal and bacterial growth.

  • Washable insoles

You can also try washable insoles called sole socks. On the top, they have cotton terry cloth that comes with a latex rubber sole. You can either replace or just place this insole in your shoes. They provide good grip which stays in place and cushioning. For every 3 to 6 uses, wash them.

  • Use antiperspirants

To prevent blisters, marathon runners use this tactic. If you stop your feet from sweating, you can stop the bad smell from socks because bacteria cannot grow. Do it with caution because certain sprays can cause a bad reaction. Before using this technique, test it out on a small patch of feet’s skin to see whether it causes any rash.

  • Use deodorants

They are not for keeping your feet dry. But they can stop the growth of bacteria that produces the foul odour. Use this with caution as well.

  • Proper storage

Store your shoes in a cool and dry room which has good airflow. You can also take an extreme step by freezing the shoes. But in the long run, they can ruin the adhesive in your shoes.

The bottom line

To stop your socks from smelling bad, you need to take care of your feet, shoes, and socks. With the above simple steps, you can easily prevent the bacterial growth which is a cause for the smell.