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Pre-teen's extremely smelly feet

May 2012

We are having issues with a pre-teen's extremely smelly feet. We've tried a few strategies, but I'm wondering if there are suggestions to ease this overwhelming odor. I would love some advice, like socks vs no socks or suggestions for shoes that allow feet to breathe, does diet or water intake make a difference? Thanks Pb


So what have you tried so far? In our family, when this begins to inflict itself on a family member we forbid/discourage sneakers without socks. We make sure theye have at least 2pairs of sneakers and encourage that the same pair is not worn 2 days in a row, and always with fresh socks. In that way the little cheesy-smelling organisms (dont mean your kid) have more time to die off between wearings. Also, socks can be washed and dried in the hot dryer, but sneakers dont take so well to it. When the person gets home from a long day they are encoraged to take off their shoes and let their feet breath(dry out), perhaps in the back yard. The socks should be put in the laundry, but in a way that allows them to air dry if they arent thrown directly in the washing machine.

If they wear tevas or keens that are water proof, they can be washed, scrubbed with soap if needed, rinsed and left to dry in the sun (try not to wear 2 days in a row). After showers they can take extra care to dry between toes. Can also use a bit of clotramizole or tolnaftate (?) cream between the toes if needed for athletes foot. You can get it in the foot section of the drug store. Stinky Feet No More!


If his feet are extremely smelly then he probably has athlete's foot, which is a fungus. My 3 sons all got this during the summer at sports camp, and anytime they were playing sports. When it's really bad, the feet start itching and peeling.

You want to minimize wet and warm. Wearing socks will keep the feet drier than enclosed sandals with no socks (like Keens). But if they are playing sports and running around and sweating, then socks alone will not do the trick. Once the socks are damp (and warm) you have the perfect growing medium for fungi (athlete's foot.)

Do this: 1. Get athlete's foot powder and use it religiously after bathing, and again in the morning when he puts clean socks on. We like Tinactin which is a powder. 2. He should take his shoes and socks off as soon as he gets home to air out his feet. 3. Wash socks on very hot water with bleach. 4. Wash shoes every week or so. 5. Rotate shoes so he isn't wearing the same pair two days in a row. The pair he isn't wearing should be opened up and aired out, preferable outside in the sun.
It only takes a few days of this to notice a difference. Good luck!


Kid's smelly feet and sandals

Sept 2008

What to do with a kid who insists on no socks with sandals? With this warm weather, we're having a lot more challenge with smelly feet, I mean not just smelly but unbelievably stinky. Any tricks for how to minimize the problem? We're having problems especially with sandals like Keens. smell sensitive mom


Try cleaning the tot's feet and sandals thoroughly with soap and water. Then when dry, apply this stuff regularly to feet and sandals: http://www.amazon.com/Gold-Bond-Medicated-10-Ounce-Containers/dp/B000FKGH8Y/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=hpc&qid=1220474328&sr=8-2 You can probably find this product at local stores too. Works like a charm for me. Judiah
Two words: Washing Machine
A very helpful sales associate at Cotton and Company recommended buying all-leather sandals for my stinky-footed son. It has made a HUGE difference! In fact, we had an odor- free summer for the first time since my son started walking. - Pepe Le Pew No More
Keens can be washed in the washer. Also when ours were really smelly I kept a spray bottle near the shoes and sprayed them periodically to remove the smell. Fill the spray bottle with mostly water, some drops of lavender oil, a few drops of tea tree oil and a bit of witch hazel. Supposedly keeping them in the sun also helps. not so smelly anymore
I always had good luck putting Birkenstocks out in full sun for a few hours. I'm sure that's not great for the Birks, but I think it killed the stink pretty well... for a while, at least. kevin
I hate smelly feet too. Get him some Crocs. No smell, and comfy. -No Stinky Little Boy Feet
I missed the original post, but the person who said there are no smelly feet with Crocs has never met my son. His stinky feet can clear a room, and they're not much better when he wears Crocs. We've started throwing his shoes in the washer on a regular basis, spraying them with Lysol to kill the bacteria, and having him wash his feet with anti-bacterial soap every night. The situation is MUCH improved.

My smelly feet

Oct 2003

I have a smelly feet problem and am looking for a home remedy. I looked on the web and found a variety of salves and powders to buy, one site recommended putting Boric Acid Powder on my feet, another recommended washing my feet daily with anti-bacterial soap, another recommended spraying my feet with an anti- perspirant. Does anyone have a treatment that works that they can recommend? Thanks! Reeking While Walking


A type of body work I use called Jin Shin Jyutsu has a special ''flow'' that works for smelly feet (when all else fails). It works! You can do this for either foot.

Hold your left little toe with the left hand (use thumb and any of the 1st 3 fingers) and hold the sole of the same foot with your right fingers. To do the other foot: Hold your right little toe with your right hand (same as above) and hold the sole of the same foot with your left fingers. This is a bit awkward for you to do, so someone else can do this for you when facing you.

I suggest 20 minutes of this daily, alternating each foot, for a few weeks. This can be done while watching kids, TV, socializing, etc. if you are limber and wear long pants. To have a practitioner work on you, Pam Reynolds (548-0126) or Leah Statman (525-5080). This body work is totally amazing. It is being used in some Bay Area hospitals to ameliorate the side effects of conventional cancer treatments. A student who was 7 months pregnant with pre-term contractions and sciatica was relieved of both symptoms within 30 minutes and later delivered a healthy full-term child (no further sciatica either). Nori Hudson


I feel for you. I tried Essential Oil Products ''Foot Spray'' lavender & tea tree. It's herbal and works. I sprayed it on my bare feet before putting on socks, even sprayed my socks before putting on shoes. I sprayed the inside of the shoes as well. I did it a few times a day. I also tried keeping my feet out of sweaty shoes as much as possible. Good luck. no more smelly feet
I'm sort of a sweaty person myself, and sometimes this means stinky feet. I guess I have a couple of control (not elimination) strategies: 1. Drink less coffee/caffiene 2. wash my feet in the morning with a normal soap and dry them well 3. wear breathable shoes (leather, canvas, slip-on) and cotton or Smartwool socks (the latter are expensive but ultra comfy and they stay drier than anything I've tried). Also, I frequently air out my shoes, placing them outside, with the insoles removed and also airing in direct sun for a few hours. The sun is an amazing antiseptic! Knows whereof you speak
My feet sweat a lot and I used to have smelly feet. But about 10 years ago someone told me to use my anti-perspirant on my feet. They sweat less and there is now no smell. I also switch my shoes and never wear them 2 days in a row. I will buy 2 pairs of my favorite and let the one I wore air out the next day while I wear the other pair.

8-year-old has smelly feet

My 8 yr. old's shoes and feet smell horrible after a day in regular shoes (with socks), but her feet don't itch. I tried baby powder in the shoes but that doesn't help much. We had to throw out one pair of tennis shoes, they smelled so bad. Is this normal? Thanks for any advice.
I have noticed that my son's feet sweat a lot during the day. I attribute it to the non-breathable materials many kid's shoes are made of these days. I would suggest that you get your child two pairs of shoes and alternate them, so one pair has time to dry out for a day. This is recommended for regular adult shoes, anyway. Fran
I know from experience that most kinds of sneakers hold up OK in the washing machine - take out the inserts if they are removable and let them air dry after you wash them. Also, little kids do get athelete's foot - mine did - and the stink could also be from that, so you might want to get some athelete's foot powder to put in her shoes. Good luck! Ginger
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