Are your feet sweaty in shoes? For the most part, foot sweat is normal. Sweating is the body’s natural method of temperature regulation, and it just so happens that our feet are one of our most vital regulators.
But when the foot sweat is excessive, it can be less than comfortable, and can lead to persistent odors, blisters, or even foot fungus. Learning how to prevent sweaty feet in shoes—as well as how to manage it when it happens—can be the key to your foot comfort and health.
Understanding the Causes of Sweaty Feet
To manage sweaty feet, it’s important to identify the cause. Excessive foot sweat can be prompted by many factors, including:
- Heat – Did you know our feet have more sweat glands than any part of the body?1 It makes sense that when our body temperature rises, it affects our feet. This includes both external heat and our internal body temperature, like a fever. Our bodies, and especially our feet, sweat when it’s hot.
- Physical activity – Physical activity is another factor that causes our body temperature to rise, which can lead to sweaty feet.
- Stress – Our emotions often trigger physical responses in our bodies. Having stress, for example, can lead to excessive foot sweat as your body responds to, and copes with, the emotion.
- Footwear – Shoes can be made of materials that don’t allow proper ventilation when you wear them, meaning the accumulated sweat doesn’t evaporate and ends up pooling inside your shoes. This is where the importance of finding breathable shoes for sweaty feet comes into play.
- Medications – Certain medications, like opioids and antidepressants, can involve excessive sweating as a side effect.2
- Hyperhidrosis – Hyperhidrosis is a condition involving excessive sweat. It is unrelated to body temperature or exercise, and while it can affect all parts of the body, it may also be localized to the feet.3
The Problem With Sweaty Feet
Despite the cause of your foot sweat, the excess moisture can lead to common foot problems if not managed properly. When our feet sweat excessively, they’re trapped in moisture for long periods of time. This can lead to issues such as:
- Blisters – The moisture on your feet weakens the skin and causes higher friction against your shoes. This can lead to blisters.
- Athlete’s foot – Athlete’s foot is a fungal infection that occurs on the feet, usually in between the toes, due to your feet being exposed to excess or prolonged periods of moisture. A sign of this infection is an itchy, peeling rash.
- Foot odor – Bacteria thrive in warm, wet environments, which means sweaty feet are a perfect breeding ground. This bacteria is what causes our feet to smell.
Don’t worry, we’ve got some tips and at-home remedies so you can help prevent these kinds of issues.
Socks Matter: The Impact of Footwear Liners
Socks are essential. They play a vital role in foot health by providing a layer of protection between your foot and the shoe.
In this case, socks and footwear liners help manage sweaty feet in shoes as they supply moisture control and temperature regulation. The best socks for sweaty feet are those made of wool and bamboo, as the fibers absorb excess moisture from your feet. While popular, cotton socks don’t have the same moisture-wicking properties.4
Foot Hygiene: Tips for Keeping Feet Fresh
Many foot problems, like excessive sweating, can be managed by daily foot hygiene practices.5 Here are a few tips that you can implement to keep your feet fresh:
- Wash your feet every day and make sure to dry them completely. Ensuring that your feet are dry will help prevent bacteria and fungus.
- Keep your toenails clipped short, and keep them clean. Long toenails are at greater risk of breaking, and these breaks can lead to infection.
- Change your socks every day. Not only will this help prevent bacteria and remove any shed dead skin, but it will also keep your feet smelling clean.
- Don’t ignore foot pain. Check your feet for cuts, dryness, rashes, or infected toenails, and seek treatment if you’re concerned about anything suspicious.
While it can help, clean feet don’t guarantee sweat-free feet. If you’re still experiencing excess sweating, there are a few additional remedies you can try.
DIY Remedies for Sweaty Feet
If the sweat on your feet just won’t quit, don’t fret. There are a few tried-and-true remedies you can test out right at home, with ingredients and tools you likely already have.
Cornstarch acts like a natural deodorant by absorbing the excess moisture on your feet. This helps to keep your feet dry and free of odor.
Sprinkle cornstarch on your feet a few minutes before putting on your socks and shoes.
Speaking of common household items, baking soda is also a great remedy for foot moisture and odor. You can sprinkle baking soda into your shoes after use, which will absorb the sweat and leave your shoes odor-free.
Another option is soaking your feet in baking soda. Add 2 tbsp of baking soda into warm water and soak your feet for 30 minutes.
Black Tea Soaks
This one might sound strange, but soaking your feet in black tea can help reduce foot sweating and odor. The acid in the tea closes the pores and kills off the bacteria living on your feet, which helps keep your feet dry longer.
Use two tea bags per pint of water and soak your feet for about 20 to 30 minutes, and repeat this treatment daily as necessary.6
Footwear Maintenance for Sweat Prevention
Maintaining the cleanliness and life of your shoes is also an effective way to manage sweaty feet. Here are some methods to care for your shoes:
- Wash your shoes – Footwear maintenance includes washing your shoes regularly, as this can help clear buildup or bacteria in your shoes from daily use. Wondering how to clean shoe soles properly? Look no further than our Shoe Care Kit!
- Keep your shoes dry – When we exercise, walk long distances, or work long hours in our shoes, sweat builds up. To help maintain their structure, understanding how to store shoes is crucial. Keep them in a cool, dry place so they can air out and evaporate some of that moisture.
- Wear socks – Wearing socks doesn’t only protect your feet, but it protects your shoes as well. Socks absorb the moisture from your feet so it doesn’t get absorbed into the footbed to prolong the life of your shoe.
Choosing the Right Shoes for Sweaty Feet
Additionally, your shoes could be the cause of your sweaty feet. Choosing the right shoe may help reduce sweat so you can stay dry and comfortable.
Make sure your shoes are breathable. Look for shoes made from materials such as mesh, leather, canvas, and suede. These fabrics allow airflow which helps keep your feet cool.
Open-toed footwear like sandals are also a good shoe option, as it allows your feet to breathe.
Lifestyle Adjustments for Dry Feet in Shoes
Managing sweaty feet can be a long, continuous process. There may be more to caring for your feet than keeping them clean with at-home remedies. Sweaty feet may also require lifestyle adjustments, such as:
- Changing socks – Your sweaty feet might require you to trade in your favorite cotton or nylon socks for a breathable alternative, like wool.
- Avoiding triggers – If you know the cause of your sweaty feet, like medication or stress, talking to your healthcare provider or avoiding stressful triggers may help prevent it.
- Applying antiperspirant to your feet – Applying deodorant to your feet may help them stay dry and odor-free.
- Using antifungal foot powder – Applying antifungal foot powder to your feet can help dry them out as well as alleviate odor.
- Seeing a podiatrist – If your foot sweat is interfering with your life, you may want to see a podiatrist to find out what treatment is best for you.
Preventing Odor: Shoe Care and Beyond
We all want to feel comfortable and confident in our shoes, without letting our sweaty feet get in the way. We’ve got the basics to help you maintain your shoes and foot health.
Shoe Care Kit
The Vionic Shoe Care Kit contains everything you need to make sure your shoes are cared for and looking as good as new. This kit includes:
- Cleaner and Conditioner
- Rain & Stain (which creates a waterproof barrier to protect your shoes from stains)
- Refresher to clean and deodorize your footbeds
- A nylon bristle brush
Combine this care kit with our tips for foot care and you’re set to go on your foot sweat management journey.
Looking for the perfect shoe to manage your sweaty feet? Our 23Walk Classic Sneaker is just the thing for you.
This sneaker is designed with leather or suede uppers and a breathable, moisture-wicking polyester mesh liner. The PU foam base inside helps reduce friction against the skin, which helps diminish excess sweating and works to combat blisters.
To top it off? This sneaker features an antibacterial top cloth which helps control foot odor. Comfortable, breathable, odor-free—these shoes check all the boxes.
Maintain Healthy, Sweat-Free Feet With Vionic
Sweaty feet can be a hassle, but many quick tricks and home remedies can manage it. Wearing the right socks and shoes, keeping your feet clean, and even investing in a box of cornstarch can help combat that moisture in your shoes.
With Vionic, you can begin your footcare journey today. Get the ideal breathable shoe with our 23Walk Classic Sneaker and extend the life of your shoes with our Shoe Care Kit.
We hope this helped you find what you were looking for so you can be comfortable and confident in your shoes.
- “Why Are My Feet So Sweaty (And What Does That Mean for My Foot Health)?” Curalta Foot + Ankle. https://www.passaicfootandankle.com/blog/why-are-my-feet-so-sweaty-and-what-does-that-mean-for-my-foot-health/
- “Do Prednisone and Lexapro Make You Sweat? 11 Drugs That Cause Excess Sweating.” GoodRX. https://www.goodrx.com/drugs/side-effects/medications-cause-excessive-sweating-side-effect
- “Hyperhidrosis.” John Hopkins Medicine. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/excessive-sweating
- “Why Are Socks So Important To Good Foot Health?” Sutherland Podiatry Centre. https://www.sutherlandpodiatry.com.au/blog/why-are-socks-so-important-to-good-foot-health/
- “Foot Hygiene.” Centers For Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/hygiene/personal-hygiene/feet.html
- Leonard, Jayne. “How can I stop my feet sweating?” MedicalNewsToday. Updated 30 March, 2023. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/322578#prevention