Smelly feet (foot odor; malodorous; bromhidrosis) can be embarrassing and uncomfortable. Fortunately, there are a number of things that can be done to help.
Feet can smell as the foot sweats and the perspiration is trapped inside footwear. It is the interaction of these two factors along with bacteria that cause the smell. Feet have more sweat glands than any other part of the body, so they can sweat profusely which can not evaporate (like it can on the hands) due to being enclosed in footwear. The bacteria produce isovaleric acid which is what causes the odor.
A number of conditions can increase the chance for smelly feet, such as a sweaty foot (hyperhidrosis), stress, some drugs and hormonal changes.
It is relatively easy to control most cases of smelly feet by taking number of preventative steps:
Good foot hygiene to reduce bacteria to low levels is the first place to start:
Avoid the use of nylon socks or plastic shoes - wear shoes that are made of leather, canvas, mesh or other materials that let the feet breathe.
It is best not to wear the same pair of shoes two days in a row - they need time to dry out. Remove the insoles from the shoes to help with the drying.