If you find your favorite shoes slipping off your feet from sweat, you’re not alone. Medically referred to as hyperhidrosis, sweaty feet are a surprisingly common condition that can ruin your favorite footwear. It can even cause embarrassing odors. Antiperspirant blocks your pores from emitting sweat, and regular use can help prevent excess foot sweat.
Choosing the Right Spray
Aluminum chloride hexahydrate, which has sweat gland-inhibiting capabilities, is the active ingredient in antiperspirants. Spray versions are easy to use in hard-to-reach areas of the body, which is why they make more sense for the feet than roll-on stick versions. Over-the-counter antiperspirants typically contain 10 to 15 percent of aluminum chloride hexahydrate, which may be enough for the underarms. However, to prevent foot sweat, the International Hyperhidrosis Society recommends concentrations of 30 percent or more.
If your feet continue to sweat and slide around in your shoes despite over-the-counter antiperspirant, ask a doctor for a prescription version. These are commonly prescribed by podiatrists to help prevent hyperhidrosis because they are stronger than drugstore versions, and the the right strength of antiperspirant can help to prevent the infections and odors that are often associated with excessively sweaty feet. Test the formula while wearing an old pair of shoes or socks — prescription-grade antiperspirants may stain fabrics.
Antiperspirants and deodorants are sometimes used interchangeably. If you suffer from foot odor from sweating, you may mistakenly reach for deodorant instead of an antiperspirant. While deodorant has fragrances and alcohols to mask odors, the ingredients don’t minimize sweat the way antiperspirants do. If excessive sweating is your problem, opt for antiperspirants to beat the sweat.
While antiperspirants can help control sweaty feet, they don't do the job alone. Wash your feet every day with a mild soap to help wash away bacteria. Dry your feet completely before spraying antiperspirant. If you wear socks, change them throughout the day, and spray a fresh coat of antiperspirant every day. It is important to avoid wearing the same pair of shoes two days in a row, particularly if you suffer from foot odor. This step can help save your favorite shoes from being ruined.