Wintertime excursions call for insulated boots to keep your feet warm and safe from frostbite. Sometimes, however, our boots do too good of a job, and our feet begin to sweat. That can cause some issues – namely, smelly feet and footwear. If you’ve been noticing that your boots are on the smellier side this winter, try these 7 easy tips to get them smelling fresh and new again:
Let Them Air Out
As soon as you’re back indoors, remove your boots and allow them to dry completely. Remove any inserts and liners your boots may have. Next, stuff your boots with newspaper – it works wonders in absorbing odor-producing moisture and sweat from the boots! Leave the newspaper in until your footwear is completely dry. If you need to venture back out before they’re dry, switch to another pair in the meantime.
Wash the Inserts and Liners Thoroughly
Remember those liners and inserts you took out in the previous step? Now it’s time to wash them. Prepare a basin of warm water, one cup of white vinegar, and just a small amount of laundry detergent, soak and scrub the items, and rinse them completely in clean water. Squeeze any remaining water out of them and hang them up to dry. Your boots should smell fresh once they’re dry!
Use Tried-and-True Odor Eaters
Deodorizing your winter boots can be as simple as using a few kitchen staples – namely baking soda, cornstarch, and coffee grounds. Mix 3 tablespoons of baking soda with 1 tablespoon of cornstarch, sprinkle it into your shoes or an old pair of socks, and let it sit overnight. Coffee grounds can also do the trick – just place one cup of fresh coffee grounds in an old pair of socks or nylon tights and leave them overnight in your shoes. Dump out the powder in the morning and voila – your boots are as good as new!
Try the Freezer
We know – it sounds kind of uncouth. But one thing that bacteria absolutely hate aside from soap is the bitter cold. Set your boots inside your freezer to kill off those pesky, odiferous bacteria overnight. Take your now-odorless boots out in the morning and let them thaw out a bit before wearing them. Don’t have a freezer but live in a colder climate? If the mercury regularly drops below freezing at night, leaving your boots outside can also work quite well!
Wear the Right Socks
Sometimes your socks can hold the answer to your problem. Wearing high-quality, moisture-wicking socks can keep your boots smelling fresh all season long and your feet sweat-free. If you tend to sweat a lot, make sure to change your socks frequently to keep your feet cool and odorless (and less prone to fungal infections)!
Pamper Your Feet Regularly
You heard it from us – now’s the time to treat your feet like royalty! Winter can be incredibly harsh on your feet, so take the time to exfoliate your feet with a pumice stone to remove dead skin cells and keep them supple and soft. Don’t forget to moisturize your feet every day as well! Just let them dry before you put them into shoes and socks.
If All Else Fails, Treat Yourself to New Boots
Let’s say you tried all these methods and nothing worked. It might be too late for your boots, so go ahead and treat yourself to a new pair – perhaps boots that have a little less insulation. If you’re unsure how much insulation your boots should have for your climate, the knowledgeable doctors at The Foot & Ankle Center can help! Struggling with sweaty, smelly feet or footwear? Have you noticed anything unusual with your feet lately? Don’t put it off – make an appointment with the experts at The Foot & Ankle Center! Call us at (314) 487-9300 or request your appointment online!