Why Feet Sweat & How to Stop It
Why Do My Feet Sweat?
Soles are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy, and your shoes smell like week-old spaghetti. Nervous about feet sweat? Don’t lose yourself in damp, stinky socks and shoes. Having occasionally sweaty feet is normal, but if you struggle with excessive feet sweat, then managing it can be a hassle.
There are several reasons why your feet sweat. Practicing better foot hygiene can help prevent problems like foot odor or judgy glances from your roommate. Plus, using a shoe insert that replaces your socks, like FLAT SOCKS, gets rid of the sweat and the stench, leaving your feet feeling ultra fresh.
What Happens When Feet Sweat
The feet have more sweat glands than any one area of the entire body - about 125,000 of them on each foot. The amount of perspiration a person produces depends on how many of these glands are working and at what rate. Your nerves, hormones, and even your gender affect how much you sweat.
If you ever felt like you didn’t really work out because you didn’t break a sweat at the gym, it’s not totally true. Some people just sweat less than others because their glands aren’t as ready to break open the flood gates. Meanwhile, others sweat more.
Still, sweating is natural. Our bodies sweat to:
- Regulate body heat
- Cleanse the body of extra water, salts, and toxins
- Protect the skin from certain germs
- Help keep skin supple with moisture
- Increase friction on bare feet for better grip in case, you know, you find yourself running barefoot from a hungry leopard or an angry cow (It could happen.)
Causes of Sweaty Feet
While sweating at your toes is toe-tally normal, if your feet look like Ted Striker in Airplane as he’s about to land or a very wet Rambo charging through the hot, steamy jungles of Thailand (AKA really sweaty dudes) then you might have a condition called hyperhidrosis.
Plantar hyperhidrosis, meaning you have excessive feet sweat, happens when the sweat glands in your feet are constantly working and don’t properly shut off. There’s no definitive cause for hyperhidrosis, though it may be hereditary. Along with this condition, other sweaty feet causes may include:
- Living in a hot environment
- Having a high body temperature
- Anxiety or emotional stress
- Eating certain foods that trigger increased perspiration
- Being in nervous situations
- Shoes that are too tight or not made of breathable materials
- Wearing socks that aren’t breathable
- Higher than average bodyweight, or obesity
- Certain prescription medications, such as antidepressants
- Medical conditions including high blood sugar, an overactive thyroid gland, etc.
What’s the Problem?
Unusual amounts of perspiration at the feet lead to quite the dilemma with your shoes, your friend group, and possibly your doctor. You must take precautions to prevent the sweat or keep your feet dry as much as possible. Otherwise, failure to tend to those clammy trotters (or some other word for feet) could lead to:
- Foot Odor: The Stink. The Stench. The Stunk. Sweat doesn’t smell bad at first, but when left on the skin, bacteria will break down that sweat, producing a foul, oniony odor that only an ogre’s mother could love.
- Athlete’s Foot: You thought you escaped middle school gym class? Think again. Athlete’s foot is back, baby. That is if you don’t take care of your foot sweat. Damp feet increase the chance of infection as the bacteria stays on your feet.
- Toenail Fungus: Like athlete’s foot, your chance of getting a fungal infection is higher with persistently perspiring piggies. Don’t ruin that $70 pedicure when good hygiene and FLAT SOCKS cost so much less – especially our clearance deals.
- Soggy Shoes: Feel like you're swimming under a tropical sunset with flippers on? If we’re talking about your shoes, then you shouldn’t. Sweaty feet can ruin a good pair of Nikes, Converse, ballet flats, or boots, leaving you with unsightly stains, perpetuating odor, and worn insoles.
- Cold Feet: Another excuse you can tell your parents for not being married yet is having cold and sweaty feet. When perspiration stays on your feet, it can feel cold as it dries. If your feet sweat in cold weather, too, you might want to consider a furry insert to stay warm and dry.
- Embarrassment: Whether it’s the smell rising from underneath your work desk or fear that someone will have to watch you peel your socks off those glistening toes, feet sweat and foot odor can be embarrassing and socially distressing.
How to Stop Sweaty Feet
If you have a medical condition like plantar hyperhidrosis, it’s best to discuss treatment with your doctor or healthcare provider. Otherwise, there are steps you can take to stop your feet from sweating so your piggies can feel just peachy.
The best way to stop sweaty feet is washing them daily with antibacterial soap and water. Dry your feet, including between the toes, to prevent bacteria from growing in those nooks and crannies. You can also try anti-fungal soaps or use essential oils like tea tree and eucalyptus for an extra antimicrobial boost.
After your feet are all dried and dandy, slip a pair of FLAT SOCKS into breathable shoes. FLAT SOCKS pull the sweat from your feet. These antimicrobial sockless shoe insoles have odor control technology built-in, reducing bacteria and minimizing foot odor. Wear a fresh pair every day and feel free to toss them in the wash like normal socks.
When it comes to over-the-counter products that stop feet sweat, antifungal powders help keep your feet dry and curtail the odor. If your feet sweat at night, spraying antiperspirant on them blocks sweat glands temporarily. Just be sure to put it on before bed and wash it off as soon as you wake up.
The Best Socks for Sweaty Feet are FLAT SOCKS
Got a perspiration problem? Don’t sweat it. FLAT SOCKS are the best socks for feet that sweat. They’re moisture wicking and they help control odor and bacteria. With a comfortable, trim-to-fit design and cushy, supportive foam, FLAT SOCKS make every step comfy and dry. Choose from an assortment of colors and prints to suit your individual style. These barefoot shoe inserts are the simplest solution for people who hate socks but hate sweaty feet even more.
Hodge BD, Sanvictores T, Brodell RT. Anatomy, Skin Sweat Glands. [Updated 2022 Oct 10]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK482278/
Sweaty Feet | Why do my feet sweat? | Treatment. (n.d.). Patient.info.
Two Types of Hyperhidrosis. (2019, October 16). International Hyperhidrosis Society | Official Site.