Work boots are necessary for many people to wear every day. They keep your feet protected from the harsh work environments of construction sites, factory floors, oil rigs, and more. Although boots and thick socks may keep your feet warm and dry in the winter, the summer months can be brutally hot and cause your feet to sweat excessively which can have a wide range of problems from athletes foot to smelly boots. The human foot contains over 200,000 sweat glands that release sweat to keep cool, so it is no wonder heavily used boots tend to smell! The exact cause of the smell is bacteria that thrives in the sweat. When you work hard, you sweat, and your sweaty boots are a breeding ground for bacteria. When the bacteria break down, you experience those unpleasant smells!
So how can you keep your work, hiking, or hunting boots fresh?
Socks, socks, socks: carry extra pairs of socks with you and change them as needed throughout the day. Although cotton is a very common material for socks, do NOT wear cotton socks as they will absorb sweat and keep it in contact with your feet. Wear moisture-wicking performance socks with the appropriate thickness for your boots.
Breathable boots: thick insulated boots can be helpful in the cold but can cause issues in warm or indoor work environments. ALTAI® boots are built with SuperFabric®, which is a tough yet breathable material to help keep your feet at an optimal temperature.
Back up boots: if you have an active work or outdoor lifestyle and your budget allows, consider getting a second pair of boots to wear on alternating days. This will give your boots a break and the time to fully dry out over a 24-hour period.
Newspaper method: if your boots are damp after a long day, stuff them with newspaper. This can help pull the moisture out of them and to dry out faster.
Storing your boots: store your boots in a well-ventilated area so they can dry out fully before your next use.
Keep your feet clean: Wash your feet daily with antibacterial soap to properly get rid of all the bacteria and smell that it can cause. You can also consider soaking your feet in Epsom salt to kill bacteria and help relax your feet after a long day. Check out our blog How to Care for Your Feet for more tips!
Combat the smell: an even more effective way to dry out your boots and reduce odors is to stuff nylons with cat litter and insert it into the boots overnight. You can also consider using cedar wood chips to have a similar effect.
Sunshine method: place your boots in the sun to reduce moisture and smell as UV rays kill bacteria. You may want to consider removing your insoles while doing this do maximize the benefits.
Spray-on antiperspirant: the same antiperspirants used for underarms can be applied to your feet to prevent sweating.
Keep your legs and body cool: wearing breathable work or hiking clothes that keep your temperature regulated can have a positive effect on your feet as well.
Although sweaty feet and smelly boots can be embarrassing and even cause safety concerns when it comes to issues like slipping, fear not. More sweat glands are located on the feet than any other place on the body, so these issues are incredibly common. Using some of the tips mentioned above can help improve your work, outdoor, and hunting life dramatically. So, make sure you get the right socks, keep your feet healthy and clean, and your boots dry and maintained. You can overcome and keep your boots fresh!
Check out ALTAI® for breathable work, outdoor, and tactical boots. We are here to keep your feet comfortable, protected, and ready to face every challenge life throws your way.
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