Ew! Beauty: How To Avoid Stinky Boot Feet

Battle one of fall's biggest offenders

Let’s face it: Along with fall's chill (which means piling on the layers and drying, dulling skin) comes a ton of gross beauty problems. From smelly feet to chapped lips, there’s a lot that can hold you back from living the confident fireside, pumpkin spice latte-sipping lifestyle you were meant to lead. But don’t worry—we’re talking to experts about how to fix them. Welcome to Ew! Beauty.

If there’s one thing that fall means to us, it’s going on a hunt for that perfect everyday fall boot. However, to some of us, wearing your brand-new go-tos every day means something else—super-smelly feet. 

Many of us have been here: You arrive at your friend’s fall gathering, a living room wine and cheese party perhaps, only to find out (to your horror) that their apartment is a “shoe-free” zone. After running from wine shop to grocery store to wherever else, you can’t help but fear that your feet probably smell rank. 

So, how does one avoid stinky boot feet and learn to live without fear of taking off their shoes in public? We talked to the experts, Dr. Suzanne Levine of Institute Beaute, and Dr. Mark Landsmen of Manhattan Podiatry Associates, to get to the bottom of this dilemma. 

First things first, what actually causes smelly feet is a condition called bromhidrosis, otherwise known as “smelly feet syndrome,” which, in plain terms, is an excessive sweating condition. Dr. Levine explains that when bacteria growing in your shoes interacts with your foot sweat, it causes odor. What can make the odor worse is our diet—when we consume foods like onions, peppers, and garlic, they can actually excrete their strong odors through the sweat glands in your feet. “To make matters worse, spicy foods often cause you to sweat more, exacerbating the problem,” says Dr. Levine.

But hey, we all love to eat (I mean, who doesn’t love garlic?)—so what does one do to prevent and stop bromhidrosis in its tracks? Click through the gallery below to read expert tips.