You aim to be memorable—but not because of the smell of your feet. Stinky feet can be a big problem and an embarrassing one. You may have wondered if over-sweating is causing your foot odor. After all, there are more sweat glands in the feet than anywhere else in the human body. However, those sweat glands serve an important purpose: They release sweat throughout the day to help cool your body and keep your skin moist. You may also have wondered if problematic bacteria is causing your aroma-rich feet. But bacteria occur naturally on your skin. So, what’s behind your foot odor? Good news! It’s probably not you. It could be what you’re wearing on your feet, but rest assured there are socks out there like EcoSox’s made with viscose fibers derived from natural bamboo that can help. But first, let’s answer the question: Are your socks causing your smelly feet?
Many sock varieties can cause your feet to sweat more and encourage bacteria to grow. In other words, your socks may actually be causing you to have stinky feet. Here are a few reasons your socks may not be cutting it.
1. Your Socks Are Synthetic
Even when you’re in a comfortable, room-temperature environment, synthetic socks can make your feet hotter. The hotter it gets, the more your feet sweat. That dark, warm, damp environment makes your feet a bacteria playground. Even if they’re naturally occurring, bacteria can quickly grow out of control, leading to a stink-fest. If the sweat soaks into your shoes, the effect is only heightened. On the other hand, bamboo fibers are naturally thermo-regulating. They work to keep your feet at a reasonable, non-sweaty temperature, even in the warm summer months.
2. Your Socks Aren’t Absorbent
Not only can some socks cause your feet to sweat, but they may also keep moisture next to your skin. Talk about a double whammy! Because odor-causing bacteria flourishes in damp areas, socks that absorb moisture can help prevent smell. The hollow fiber of bamboo allows it to absorb well. So well in fact that it outperforms cotton—often the go-to choice for absorbent socks—by four times.
3. Your Feet are Suffocating
Many synthetic socks aren’t breathable. In other words, they don’t allow air to circulate around your feet. This can cause your feet to overheat and stay moist. Bamboo socks beat different varieties when it comes to breathability. Airflow helps pull moisture away from the skin. Once away from the skin, the moisture can then evaporate without causing stinky-feet syndrome.
4. Your Socks aren’t Cooling
Breathable socks are cool socks. Why? First, air circulation pulls moisture away from the skin. Then, as the moisture evaporates, it draws out heat with it. That leaves feet cooler. But many socks aren’t breathable. Socks made from fibers derived from plant cellulose such as bamboo socks are naturally breathable, which makes them cool in the summer and warm in the winter. You could even call them the Goldilocks of socks.
5. Your Socks are Too Thick for the Climate
When it comes to socks, bigger isn’t better. The weight or thickness of socks can be a factor in foot odor. Lightweight socks are best for hot or mild weather, while heavy socks are right only in the coldest conditions. Overestimating the weight of socks you need for the conditions can lead to your feet overheating—and creating the warm, damp conditions that stench-causing bacteria adore. Bamboo socks come in a variety of weights and each is tailored to a specific use. Additionally, the natural breathability of bamboo makes them all good fits in a range of temperatures.
6. Your Socks Aren’t Antibacterial
Bacteria happens. In fact, having bacteria on your feet is an integral part of your body’s health. Naturally occurring bacteria on your feet help break down sweat as it’s released. Malodorous problems only occur if sweat and bacteria build-up over time. Socks can help keep bacteria in check with anti-bacterial qualities. Many socks, however, don’t have this skill set.
However, socks made from bamboo viscose naturally inhibit bacterial growth. Studies from the American Society for Microbiology have shown that fabrics made from viscose discourage germ growth. The research also indicates that viscose outperforms materials made from cotton, polyester, and many other synthetic yarns.
As you can see, it’s not you. Or your feet. It’s your socks. Your socks could be causing or contributing to foot odor. It might be time to break up with your socks and find a better solution. Check out EcoSox and its full line of socks made with Bamboo viscose, which are naturally breathable, moisture-managing, and blister-resistant. You’ll love the next-to-skin comfort, and satisfaction is guaranteed. Not only will you love the fit, but you can forget about smelly feet.
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Written by Ashley M. Biggers for Matcha in partnership with EcoSox.