My feet and therefore my cycling shoes stink. What can I do to get rid of the smell and prevent it from coming back?
Fear not, my smelly-footed friend. Foot odour affects most of us at one time or another, whether it be after wearing wellies throughout a muddy festival, getting over-excited about a recent purchase of Birkenstocks and not removing them for a fortnight, or indeed, not paying due attention to your feet and cycling shoes after a long ride.
The Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists understand your pain. They explain that your feet have more sweat glands per inch than any other part of your body in order to keep your toes smooth and supple. Therefore, these glands are working hard all the time – not just when submitted to certain conditions, like your underarm sweat glands.
This sweatiness in itself doesn’t smell: bacteria on the skin breaks the sweat down and creates the pong we all dread. This bacteria has a total whale of a time in damp conditions, and that’s why the considerably un-breathable nature of cycling shoes is a prime breeding ground. This is worsened in the colder months when your feet get wet from the rain too. It’s like a ready-made petri dish for pong.