How to Keep Your Feet From Stinking in Heels

If the room clears every time you take off your heels, chances are you have smelly feet. Foot odor is a by-product of perspiration, though on its own, sweat doesn’t have an offensive odor. It’s the naturally occurring bacteria on your feet in sweaty conditions that cause the stench. Since sweat is a factor in foot odor, keeping your feet clean and dry is paramount. Many products are available to help minimize the odor, but they’re ultimately ineffective since they treat the smell, not the sweat.

A close-up of four women's legs wearing heels at a party (Image: Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Step 1

Wash your feet thoroughly with an anti-bacterial soap, thereby reducing the amount of odor caused by bacteria. When you’re done, dry them completely, including in between your toes. You might even want to blow-dry them.

Step 2

Allow your shoes to dry thoroughly before wearing them again. Don't wear the same shoes every day; give them a chance to air out. If your shoes are old and the insides of them are not smelling very clean, change the insoles in the bottoms of the shoes.

Step 3

Dust your feet and/or the insides of your shoes with corn starch, which will absorb any perspiration.

Step 4

Soak your feet in warm water mixed with Epsom salts or white vinegar, which can help reduce the bacteria on your skin. Or soak your feet for 20 to 30 minutes daily in a strong black tea solution. The tea contains tannic acid, which limits sweating and foul odor when used for ten days.

Step 5

Use underarm antiperspirants on your feet to reduce sweating. Or use a salt crystal, labeled as a natural deodorant to kill the bacteria.

Things You'll Need

  • Anti-bacterial soap

  • Towel

  • Blow-dryer

  • Insoles

  • Corn starch

  • Epsom salt, white vinegar or black tea

  • Antiperspirant or a salt crystal


If all else fails, your family doctor can prescribe medication that will dry your feet and kill bacterial overgrowth.

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