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Foot stink question.

Discussion in 'EDC Clothing' started by karlito, Jun 9, 2019.

  1. karlito

    karlito Loaded Pockets

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    A bit off the wall, but I have a question regarding foot stink. Google was no help.

    Why is it that when I wear synthetic moisture wicking socks my feet stink, but NOT when I wear 100% cotton. My feet and socks are damp at the end of the day but not smelly. Everything I have read says that cotton is to be avoided as it absorbs and holds on to sweat; perfect for breeding bacteria therefore stink. While synthetics leave my feet drier, they and the socks smell awful. Wool works well but rather too warm.

    Just late night wonderings.
     
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  2. echo victor

    echo victor Previously "YankeeHotelFoxtrot"

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    Karlito,
    Probably just a reaction between the artificial fibers of the socks and sweat. Years ago, I had a similar feeling about synthetic polo shirts. Re socks, I would recommend Smartwool. They have a small percentage of synthetics but are primarily merino wool, which will keep your feet dry and eliminate the problems of synthetic socks. I have aprox 10 pair of Smartwool socks. I recommend them. They came in various thicknesses for different sorts of WX.
     
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  3. McNasty

    McNasty Loaded Pockets

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    Try wool..
     
  4. RogerStenning

    RogerStenning EDC Junkie

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    Worst comes to the worst, add an antifungal foot powder to your morning hygiene routine. Works for me.
     
  5. karlito

    karlito Loaded Pockets

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    Thanks for the replies guys. I have tried wool and it is better.
    My thinking / wondering is to the why the wicking synthetics cause the stink rather than the cotton. I was led to believe that it should be the other way around.
     
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  6. twoisone
    • In Omnia Paratus

    twoisone EDC Junkie!!!

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    It is weird isn’t it? My marathon training shirts made of poly get stinky despite washes and I end up chucking them for new ones at intervals. Anecdotally I find, synthetics hold the stink.
     
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  7. BigGreenTick

    BigGreenTick Loaded Pockets

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    Synthetic fibers tend to hold onto body oils which bacteria feed off of. It is the bacteria which are the actual cause of the odor.

    Try soaking your synthetics in a baking soda solution before washing and add vinegar to the wash. Avoiding fabric softeners & dryer sheets can also help.
     
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  8. HeadOffice

    HeadOffice Loaded Pockets

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    Also, the synthetics could be wicking moisture in your shoes and it's not the socks at all. I've had sneakers that end up stinking after a day's wear and switched to boots with no problem or other changes. I put it down to cheap sneakers.
     
  9. ran23
    • In Omnia Paratus

    ran23 Loaded Pockets

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    Cedar Shoe Trees in sneakers help.
     
  10. karlito

    karlito Loaded Pockets

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    I know that it is essentially "bacteria poop" that causes the stink. Synthetics holding on to the oils does make sense. Has anyone worn polypropylene shirts? Ugh... I'll try the washing tips, thanks.

    It is most definitely the socks! :confused:
     
  11. DCBman

    DCBman Loaded Pockets

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    Anything fabric or fiber with polypropylene will stink to high heaven with body smells. Insulated shirts are the worst, but socks do the same thing. Polypro is a great insulation fabric, but it does get to stinking pretty quickly. It's great because it doesn't absorb water, but it does absorb 'stink' like a magnet!

    As others have noted, wool is a great alternative, but wool can be bulky. Personally, I like wool socks better than any other, and I reserve the polypro for things like insulated under-layers, but just know...you will be stinking pretty bad (as in "ripe") after a day or so of wearing the material. It still works great as an insulator, even when stinky, but you probably won't get any dates until you change clothes and take a shower!
     
  12. gdwtvb

    gdwtvb Loaded Pockets

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    I don't know if it will work for you, but I had a similar problem with a neoprene wetsuit. I forget which product I used but it was a natural urine deoderizer for cleaning carpets that had active microbes. It happened to be in the closet and I thought, what the heck. They sell 'sink the stink' wetsuit deoderizer that is has 'odor eating bacteria' I had ordered some but then saw the urine neutralizer and decided to try it out, worked great.

    You just need to populate the clothing with non-stinky bacteria.

    Grizz