If you’ve tried everything that you can think of to combat the problem of sweaty feet, it may be time to look into specialty socks for sweaty feet. Many people assume that if they are washing their feet often enough and using an antiperspirant on them, sweaty feet shouldn’t be an issue, and to some degree they are right.
Both of these things can make a big difference in how much your feet smell, but if you have on the wrong socks, all the washing and antiperspirant in the world won’t end the problem.
The thing to keep in mind is that shoes and socks can prevent the sweat on your feet from drying out, which is what makes that funky odor that comes when you remove your shoes. That’s why it’s imperative that you find the right pair of socks that will wick moisture away from the feet and let air pass freely in order to keep bacteria from accumulating and creating bad smells.
While many people naturally assume that 100% cotton socks are ideal socks for sweaty feet, this is usually not such a great idea. Cotton does breathe nicely, but it is also soaked thoroughly by not a lot of moisture, so it gets wet fast and will stay that way for as long as the perspiration continues.
You’ll also want to avoid synthetic materials for your socks, since these fabrics don’t allow for the passage of air and they won’t absorb the moisture, causing your feet to stay wet until the socks are removed.
Synthetics include polyester, plastics, and vinyl, so take a look at your current sock collection and get rid of the ones that have a lot of them in the blend. If your socks are tight, the problem can be much worse, so you’ll definitely want to take that into consideration the next time that you’re buying a pair.
The Best Socks for Sweaty Feet
Look for socks with wicking materials that will pull the moisture away from your skin and allow the feet to remain drier. There are also sports socks that feature panels for ventilation and socks that use all-natural fabrics known for having a drying effect due to their capability to absorb moisture, as well as for allowing air to pass through freely.
Despite its reputation for keeping you warm and toasty in the wintertime, wool actually makes an ideal fabric for socks on sweaty feet. This is because it can wick up to 30% of its own weight in water and hold it inside the fiber and away from the skin, reducing the chances of bacteria build-up.
This results in the surface of the wool remaining drier to the touch. In fact, wool has something on the order of twice as much absorption ability as cotton does. For this reason, wool socks are generally thicker than cotton varieties, but wool also breathes exceptionally well, so they won’t make your feet feel hot.
If wool makes your feet itch but you really want to give them a shot, try switching brands to see if you can find one that isn’t an issue for you. SmartWool socks have developed a reputation among wool sock fans for not being itchy and for helping out a great deal with sweaty feet.
Merino Wool Socks
If 100% wool socks still seem as though they are getting clammy to you, merino wool is an alternative that many people find works well for them. Merino wool is a naturally unwelcoming environment for bacteria, so it reduces the presence of it and its resulting odors on the feet.
Due to the fact that this special wool can hold up to 35% of its weight in moisture, it can also provide an even more reliable solution for excessive perspiration.
Its wicking ability means that it will stay warm when it gets wet, which can make for a much more pleasant experience if you’re working outside or hiking in colder temperatures.
Even better, this fabric dries more quickly than cotton or 100% wool, so if you do have to remove your shoes, you can count on your socks drying without creating an odor.
SmartWool and Wigwam both make good merino wool socks, but there are plenty of other good brands available these days as well. You’ll often see merino wool socks sold as sock liners, so keep an eye open for this term on the label.
Liner socks are about the only time that someone with sweaty feet will want to look into buying foot coverings that are made using synthetic materials. That’s because they are worn inside of traditional socks as a way to pull the moisture away from the feet and hold it there. They are also comfortable and help to reduce foot odor and blisters.
Nowadays, there are liner socks on the market that offer added protection through the inclusion of anti-bacterial substances, like in Protect Guard Anti-Odor Socks.
CoolMax technology pulls the sweat away from the feet quickly so that dampness can’t accumulate and bacteria won’t build up. Socks made using CoolMax also utilize lycra, spandex, and durofil fibers in order to create socks that are appropriate for daily use and for any level of activity.
These socks are made up of polyester, olefin, elastane, and nylon to draw moisture from the feet and to the outer layers of the fabric, where it will inevitably dry out faster. Since CoolMax is the name brand for olefin, users get the combined advantages of using both technologies in their socks when they go with those featuring the DryMax name.
It used to be that there were copper insoles for your shoes as a strategy for dealing with sweaty feet. Now those who have excessive perspiration have the option of wearing socks that are made using copper fibers woven into the yarn instead. The fibers don’t wash out during cleaning and they keep fungi and odor-causing bacteria from building up.
Aetrex Coppersole Socks are a popular brand that also claims to help restore collagen in the soles of your feet, thereby keeping them thicker and healthier for longer.
Bamboo Fiber Socks
This is an environmentally-friendly option, due to the fact that bamboo is a fast-growing and sustainable material. Socks made from natural bamboo are well-liked by people who suffer from allergies or sensitive skin, as well as with people who have diabetes and other medical conditions.
Socks made with thermo-regulating bamboo fibers are great for keeping feet cool when it’s hot out and warm when it’s cold and they can absorb nearly four times the moisture that a pair of cotton socks can, resulting in less foot odor.
Bamboo is also a natural anti-bacterial and anti-fungal material, so it’s an ideal fabric for socks for sweaty feet. Best of all, bamboo socks are very lush and soft, so these make a great alternative if wearing wool is simply out of the question.
Since they are designed for some of the world’s harshest environments, military socks are another good option for fighting sweaty feet. They are generally a wool and acrylic blend that will keep your feet from staying wet and also make walking great distances less likely to result in painful blisters.
It’s also possible to find them nowadays with a silver lining that helps to ward off infections and distribute heat more evenly for better comfort.
Covert Threads makes a popular and readily available military sock that also provides wearers with sculpted cushioning and that is made to withstand both the heat and the cold.
Silver Ion Socks
One of the latest methods for reducing smelly feet and discomfort from sweaty feet is through the use of silver ion technology. Threads that are carrying silver ions are woven into the fabric and they work to kill off bacteria and other microbes.
It should be noted that while there are many people who swear by this strategy, there are also a number of others who are equally concerned about possible negative side effects.
X-Scent Socks are one well-known brand that makes socks using silver ion technology.
More Tips On Socks For Sweaty Feet
Whatever type of sock that you decide on, always wash them on the hottest cycle of your machine and then put them through a mild antiseptic rinse before drying them out thoroughly. Although it seems counterintuitive, some people do find that wearing two pairs of socks helps with absorbency, while others simply change their socks throughout the day.
It’s also worth mentioning that shoes should be cleaned and switched out on a regular basis in order to allow them to dry out too. The materials for your shoes should be leather or another breathable fabric since vinyl and plastics won’t let air in. Through the use of these tips and by switching to appropriate socks for sweaty feet, it’s possible that you can conquer your stinky feet problem once and for all.