Is the Heat Killing Your Feet? These Shoes Are for You
August 10, 2022
The AskMen editorial team thoroughly researches & reviews the best gear, services and staples for life. AskMen may get paid if you click a link in this article and buy a product or service.
With additions by Alex Bracetti
Guys don’t think much about how much a pair of shoes may make his feet sweaty. Nor are they usually willing to compromise fashion over function just to have a breathable shoe. This can lead to problems if a guy has a tendency to sweat through his socks every day whether it’s during the high heat of summer or even cooler days throughout the year.
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Excessive sweating is quite the common foot condition, one that’s more prevalent among men than women, and more frequent in younger adults. It can also exacerbate other health issues such as athlete’s foot, itchiness, toenail fungus and all around funky odors.
Airing your feet is one way of cooling off. Even athletic socks made from moisture-wicking materials can help tame foot perspiration, but let's be realistic. Unless you’re planning to sport sandals for every occasion in life, you’ll need some shoes or sneakers built for sweat control and relief. We can help fit you in the right pair.
What Causes Sweaty Feet?
Dr. Doug Tumen states that both of your feet have a total of 250,000 sweat glands and they can produce a half a pint of moisture per day. Despite perspiration being our body’s natural way of cooling off, it’s important to understand that too much sweat on any body part can create a cesspool of bacteria, which can develop into severe body odor.
What exactly causes sweaty feet? John Hopkins School of Medicine attributes excessive sweat — needing medical diagnosis and prescription treatment — to plantar hyperhidrosis. Podiatry Today also notes that it is an inherited condition that affects three percent of the US population. The blame game doesn’t stop there though. Other factors come into play that may prevent sweat from evaporating among men who don’t suffer the most severe sweaty situations:
- Emotional anxiety: Perspiration is a natural response to stress that exerts extra energy to help cool someone down.
- Footwear fabrics: Polyester, lastic, nylon, and socks made of other synthetic fiber can easily lock moisture in. Opting for merino wool and bamboo socks, moisture wicking socks, or plain old cotton socks can help curb a lot of sweat that causes stinky feet.
- Rigorous exercise: Working out in humid conditions for lengthy periods will elevate body temperatures and bring on the downpour in your shoes.
- Toxicity levels: Foods high in saturated fats and alcohol can trigger sweat and lead to smelly feet.
How to Get Rid of Smelly Feet
If you have been wondering about how to get rid of foot odor, it’s not always as easy as just washing and drying. There are a few additional steps you may want to try.
- Shoe deodorizer: Since shoe odor is developed from bacteria and foot fungus, foot powder, shoe fresheners, deodorizer sprays, and deodorizing balls all work to eliminate the bacteria and fungi to make shoes less smelly while helping protect from athlete's foot and further foot sweating as well.
- Antiperspirant for feet: Just like armpit sweat, foot sweat comes from sweat glands. It’s harder to block the glands with various aluminum salts the same way you do your underarms, but they exist and they can help.
- Breathable shoes: Well duh, that’s why we’re here, isn’t it? Breathable natural fibers and looser weaves can work wonders on feet that need to, well, breathe.
Walking around in soaked feet isn’t your idea of convenience, no matter how fly or fitness-ready your sneakers or shoes may be. Which is why you can use some expert opinions on what to stock up your closet with. We narrowed down some of the stylish and most practical footwear, per category at that, designed to keep feet dry when on the move.
Best Breathable Sneakers
Adidas Ultraboost Sneaker
An essential for clean-cut hypebeasts, these Ultraboost running shoes maintain a crisp profile, yet add a contemporary twist to a classic Adidas design. The sock-like primeknit upper is perfectly shaped for breathability with step-in cushioning and an OrthoLite liner that wards off odor. The result: dry feet.
Allbirds Tree Dashers
Despite a narrow profile, these machine washable running shoes offer superior breathability, great ankle support, and a snug, secure fit without suffocating your feet. Allbirds’ proprietary mesh knit creates a cooling effect for active feet while the ZQ merino wool along the inside of the heel counters to center, support, and lock your foot in place comfortably. Maybe the most standout feature on this new take on the old running shoe is the new outsole geometry, which allows the sole to bring together proprietary SweetFoam and natural rubber traction pads to provide increased pronation control and stability.
Cariuma The IBI
If you’re a fan of podcasts, then chances are good you have heard of the newest brand on our list: Cariuma. Founded in 2018, this is the future of sneakers. Whereas old school brands have to figure out how to upgrade existing models to be conscious and sustainable, Cariuma has the practice ingrained in its DNA. By using renewable materials such as bamboo and sugarcane as well as certified recycled plastic and Mamona Oil — a natural breathable material alternative to petroleum — these classically stylish shoes are made to last. With the OCA Low available in almost 45 different colors, we love the IBI for sweaty feet thanks to its superior breathability.
Soludos Lagos Mesh Sneaker
Talk about a breathable sneaker. Made in Porto, Portugal (a city world famous for its footwear production and one of our destinations on Earth) these new sneakers are a step in the right direction from the brand known for its breezy, breathable espadrilles. If you are looking for something as comfortable as those summer staples, but don’t want to vere from your stand-by sneaker silhouette, these are the best place to start.
Best Breathable Dress Shoes
Nisolo Alejandro Woven Slip On
Oh yes, you can wear these. We suggest you pair them with a baller linen suit. The stylish slip on woven dress shoes from Mexico are not just a fashion statement, but an ethical statement as well. When you purchase these bad boys (also available in two smooth leather options) you are supporting a Certified B Corporation that focuses on sustainability from conception to execution. The woven style allows for air to flow throughout while keeping feet nice and covered.
Florsheim Fuel Wingtips
Any gent who has a habit of sweating through his shoes might have reservations about wearing a pair of stuffy wingtips. That’s only because they’ve yet to find the right pair. Florsheim’s prime selection combines slick and stylish leather with a breathable knit upper and a fully cushioned footbed to provide a cool comfortable dress option for the summer. They’re dependable enough to soothe feet when walks to the office become burdensome.
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Mezlan Ornament Loafer
Nothing screams easy-breezy like a pair of handmade loafers. Mezlan designed its luxury slip-ons with ultra-soft calfskinleather to cool feet and release moisture. A memory foam-cushioned insole also enhances shock absorption and reduces foot fatigue, allowing you to stay on-foot for longer stretches throughout the day.
Best Breathable Slip-OnShoes
Toms Avalon Loafer
Toms is a casual cornerstone for summer wear and it’s Avalon Loader remains a summer fan favorite for a reason. The uber-lightweight twill fabric frame is especially breathable and the versatile, one-piece outsole offers relief most other shoes in its category fail to achieve.
Vans Classic Slip-On
Vans are the definition of classic all-season sneakers. Maybe not the technical definition, but when loyal fans include everyone from Julia Roberts and Reese Witherspoon to Kanye West and Wiz Khalifa, it’s hard not to call them the shoe anyone can wear for any occasion. With the breathable cotton twill fabric of the slip on style not only being comfortable but cool (we mean temperature here), these are a great go-to for the funky feet folks among us.
Sperry Authentic Original Surf Boat Shoe
Preppies can still pull off the ivy league look in moderate fashion with a pair of these super-comfy linen boat shoes. Sperry’s designs footwear to conform to feet without suffocating them courtesy of a non-marking rubber sole that aids with traction to maneuver easily around luxury yachts or boardwalks.
G.H. Bass Weejun
What goes around comes around, and Bass Weejuns have certainly come right back around. An old school style that has had quite the resurgence of late, these cordovan color penny loafers are shoes that you buy once, and have forever.
Best Breathable Boots
Danner Caprine Low Boot
If outdoor adventurers prone to blisters and hyperhidrosis don’t want to let up on wilderness fun, no problem. Every hiker can rely on Danner’s super lightweight and breathable low-cut hiking boots for the dynamic support needed to complete trails pain-free. The durable nubuck and abrasion-resistant knit upper stop dampness in its tracks before things get slippery down there.
Teva Gateway Mid
You may know Teva from its unmistakable sandals, but sandals are far from the only footwear this utilitarian shoe brand can handle. Crafted from 55% recycled polyester, this unconventional hiking boot has a ripstop upper inspired by the outdoor gear we all know and love. Since its ined with lightweight, breathable, and 65% recycled polyester mesh, it keeps your feet much more cool and comfortable than a lot of other stuffy full-leather hiking boots.
Blundstone Super 550 Boot
Sometimes you just want a pair of summer sh*tkickers and if you’re on the fence about which ones to get, then we have a pair for you. This is a low profile, lightweight, comfortable boot that looks good with jeans, chinos or shorts and carry into fall with ease.
Clarks Desert Boot
You can’t have a summer boot roundup without a callout to the OG Clarks Desert Boot style. The style has been going strong since 1950 and it doesn’t really show signs of slowing down. Sure you can go with the classic sandy color or a waxed chocolate leather, in fact, it's hard to go wrong withanypair of these classically stylish boots.
If you’re stuck with sweaty, stinky feet, don’t worry about it. And if you do, that’s cool, we got you, your sweaty feet, and your smelly shoes covered.
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Is the Heat Killing Your Feet? These Shoes Are for You
The article discusses the impact of heat on foot health and provides recommendations for breathable and sweat-controlling shoes. It addresses issues related to excessive sweating, foot odor, and the importance of breathable footwear. The article also features specific shoe recommendations for different categories, such as sneakers, dress shoes, slip-on shoes, and boots, all aimed at addressing sweaty feet and foot odor.
Concepts Covered in the Article
The concepts covered in the article include:
Excessive Sweating and Foot Health: The article discusses the common foot condition of excessive sweating, its prevalence among men, and its potential to exacerbate other health issues such as athlete's foot, itchiness, and toenail fungus.
- Excessive sweating is more prevalent among men than women and can lead to various health issues [].
- It can exacerbate conditions such as athlete's foot, itchiness, and toenail fungus [].
Causes of Sweaty Feet: The article outlines various factors that contribute to sweaty feet, including emotional anxiety, footwear fabrics, rigorous exercise, and dietary factors.
- Emotional anxiety can lead to increased perspiration, contributing to sweaty feet [].
- Footwear fabrics such as polyester, elastic, and nylon can lock in moisture, contributing to sweaty feet [].
- Rigorous exercise in humid conditions can elevate body temperatures and lead to sweaty feet [].
- Foods high in saturated fats and alcohol can trigger sweat and lead to smelly feet [].
Methods to Address Foot Odor: The article suggests methods to combat foot odor, including the use of shoe deodorizers, antiperspirants for feet, and breathable shoes.
- Shoe deodorizers, foot powder, and deodorizer sprays can eliminate bacteria and fungi to reduce shoe odor and foot sweating [].
- Antiperspirants for feet can help control foot sweat [].
- Breathable shoes made of natural fibers and looser weaves can help feet breathe and reduce sweating [].
Recommended Breathable Footwear: The article provides specific recommendations for breathable footwear in different categories, such as sneakers, dress shoes, slip-on shoes, and boots, aimed at addressing sweaty feet and foot odor.
By addressing these concepts, the article aims to provide solutions for individuals dealing with sweaty feet and foot odor, offering practical recommendations for breathable and sweat-controlling footwear.
If you have any specific questions about the concepts covered in the article or need further information on related topics, feel free to ask!