Why do my feet smell?


Some people can remove their shoes in a room, and everyone wants to run away because of the stench. Almost everyone is familiar with stinky feet. You might know a friend, relative, or you may have even faced the problem at one point in your life. It is a very uncomfortable and can be an embarrassing situation that can affect even the cleanest individuals. It can even make someone stay away from people because they do not want them to discover their little foot problem.

The scientific name for the condition is bromodosis. Thankfully, you do not have to suffer from this for the rest of your life because knowing what causes the odor can help you take the proper steps to prevent or eliminate the issue. Below, you are going to learn several reasons that answer the question why do my feet smell?

Wearing the Same Shoes for Extended Periods

Among the culprits of why your feet may be smelly feet are people who put on the same pair of foot wear for a very long time without a break. Note that many feet will start smelling when they are put in an enclosed space. It especially happens when it is warm because the feet start to sweat abnormally. The sweat is usually odorless, but it turns lethal because it becomes trapped making the area warmer and wetter presenting the perfect environment for bacteria to thrive. The bacteria in this instance is responsible for the bad smell, because it breaks down dead skin cells and the sweat to create something unpleasant. Other situations where shoes might be the cause of the issue include:

  • People who prefer to put on closed shoes always. It may also cause the problem because your feet do not get enough time to breathe attracting foul smell easily.
  • Wearing poor-quality footwear can also cause issues.
  • Putting on shoes that do not match the contours and shape of toes and feet can also bring about smelly issues.

Putting on the Wrong Kind of Socks

Another reason feet smell bad is the fact that some people do not have a problem putting on dirty or damp socks. Many individuals think because people cannot see the socks in their shoes, they can rewind them as many times as they wish. It is a wrong move because when the dirt mixes with sweat and other conditions in the shoes like lack of oxygen and availability of nutrients for bacteria, they can produce a terrible smell. Wearing damp socks also means that they will dry while you are still wearing them and the results may not be pleasing. Some people also wear socks that are not adequately breathable which means that they do not wick moisture away if their foot is sweating. Lack of wearing socks might also cause a person’s shoe and feet to smell nasty. Some shoes demand that the wearer put on socks while adorning them. Failure to do so for a while can make bring about the bad smell.


Poor Personal Hygiene

Some people will ask the question why do my feet smell, but they are not washing that part of the body well. If a person does not clean up well using water and soap regularly, the results may be devastating where they remove a stench. The same applies to individuals who wash their feet well, but they do not bother to dry them properly. The wetness can harbor many things that can result in smelly soles.


Hormonal Change

Changing in hormones can also affect how the body functions making a person’s foot sweat more than usual. It can also affect general smell. It is particularly common with pregnant ladies and acne prone teenagers whose hormones are usually all over the place. Such groups may notice pungent smell originating from their heels.



Some infections can get the best out of their patients affecting the foot. A perfect example is athlete’s foot. The condition is one that exercise enthusiast fear most. In addition to discomfort, the fungus also plays a huge role in the development of foot odor.


Certain Diseases and Medication

There are some diseases like diabetes that can make the feet of a person more prone to smelling. Worth noting is that foot problems are common with many people who have blood sugar issues. It is because the condition can lead to nerve damage which can cause wounds that smell bad. Some medications that people take for a variety of health issues can also have foot odor as one of the side effects.


Inherited Condition and Harsh Environments

There are some rare cases when a person will experience a foot smells bad, because they inherited the disease from their parents. Harsh conditions usually mean a place that is too hot, then a person proceeds to wear foot wear that is made from a non-absorbent material like plastic, patent leather, rubber, and vinyl. Most shoe manufacturer’s usually glue their products together instead of sewing them. When a person works in an extensively warm environment or participates in vigorous activities, it can make the feet to sweat a lot more something that can naturally lead to reeking smell because plenty of sweat regularly presents an opportunity for odor.


Hyperhidrosis and Stress on the Foot

It is also among the answers to the question why do my feet smell. The condition causes feet to sweat too much something that may lead to foul smell. Stress on the foot can also lead to bad smelling foot. It may be due to structural problems or simply because the legs are tired or under strain. An example is someone who has to stand on their feet for many hours.