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Inevitable for feet to stink, or a sign of bad shoes?

Discussion in 'Equipment Questions' started by KyleJ, Jan 7, 2012.

  1. KyleJ

    KyleJ New Member

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    Hi all,

    I've bought a pair of Merrells and tested them out in the desert. After just a day of wearing them, my feet smelled like death itself. Is this something I should just counter with foot powder, or is it a sign that I should invest in different waterproof shoes?

    Thanks much,
    Kyle
     
  2. jeff001

    jeff001 Active Member

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    Try applying some hand sanitizer to your feet in the morning. Most foot odor is caused by bacteria and the sanitizer will help control that. It sure has worked for me.
     
  3. Nicholas Moody

    Nicholas Moody New Member

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    Location:
    Northallerton, North Yorkshire, England
    I find that leather boots help to reduce foot odour, although after a few weeks on the road even they will begin to smell. I have used zinc oxide powder and that certainly helps to reduce the smell and also fights fungus issues.
     
  4. dutchpilgrim

    dutchpilgrim Active Member

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    Location:
    Zwolle, Holland
    Camino(s) past & future:
    2002, 2005, 2008, 2012
    All foot odour is caused by bacteria.
    So every day clean feet and clean socks. (There are even silver-socks which kill odor-causing bacteria, thus preventing odors).
    Those bacteria might have infested your shoes. You can kill them by placing your boots overnight in a freezer at -20 Celcius.
    And finally, there are specialized products against smelly feet.

    Ultreya,
    Carli Di Bortolo.
     
  5. Tia Valeria

    Tia Valeria Veteran Member Donating Member

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    Location:
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    Camino(s) past & future:
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    C. Inglés 2011
    C. Primitivo '12
    Norte-C. de la Reina '13
    C. do Mar-C. Inglés '15
    We wear leather boots but still use a good powder for both our feet and boots. Ask for 'fungusol en polvo' at any farmacia in Spain. A little expensive but worth it. Ours is 60gm size and has lasted for ages. I use it on my feet after a shower, Terry prefers to use it in the morning begore setting off. We both put some in our boots overnight, helps keep them smelling sweet and dry.
    Then there are also various socks etc............
     
  6. espnnk

    espnnk New Member

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    Camino(s) past & future:
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    My uncle is a shoe repair man and when I recently asked him how to cure sandals that stink he advised to take a bucket of temperate water (not too hot - its bad for the glue) and add some vinegar and let the sandals soak - probably for a good while.
     
  7. Kiwi-family

    Kiwi-family Veteran Member

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    Location:
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Camino(s) past & future:
    Astorga to Santiago (2012); Baztan, Voie de la Nive, Frances to Leon, Salvador, Primitivo, Fisterra and back (2014); Oxfam Trailwalkers NZ (2015); Portuguese from Porto (June 2015); Via de la Plata/Sanabres (May/June 2016)
    Won't work in sandals, but baking soda sprinkled in shoes or boots will control the smell too.
     
  8. Kitsambler

    Kitsambler Jakobsweg Junkie

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    Seattle WA
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    Le Puy (2010), Cahors (2011), Prague (2012), Nuremberg (2013), Einsiedeln (2015), Geneva 2017
    Responding to the OP: I'm noticing you report the problem after wearing waterproof shoes in the desert. There's a chain of causation here: heat> heat buildup due to inadequate ventilation > feet sweat > bacteria grow in moisture > bacteria make odor. So anything (or everything) you can do to interrupt this chain will improve the problem.

    - Ventilate your feet by removing the boots at every rest stop
    - Dry out your boots at night by wearing an alternate pair of shoes at the lodging, and pulling out the insoles to facilitate drying
    - Improve moisture evaporation by using liner socks
    - Remove moisture by changing to dry socks at the midday halt
    - Use a foot powder on the feet and in the socks to control moisture
    - Control bacteria by washing thoroughly with soap when you shower. Supplement by using sanitizer gel and/or anti-fungal powder.

    But I think, really, the cause is inappropriate footwear for the environment: waterproof boots are not (generally speaking) appropriate for hot desert temperatures, precisely due to the lack of ventilation.
     
  9. tyrrek

    tyrrek Veteran Member

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    Halifax, West Yorkshire, UK
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    On occasion my feet have been known to stink very badly. :oops: I've used Odoreaters and Scholl sprays, which help greatly, but better to start using them on feet and boots before the problem even starts to develop. I also tried two 'pill box' sized things (also Scholl) that you put in each boot at night and were reasonably effective, but not as good as spray.

    Buen Camino!
     
  10. malcolmrobert

    malcolmrobert Member

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    Odor comes from bacteria. Use antibacterial spray to kill the odor. No bacteria, no odor.
     

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