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What's that Smell? Why Your Kid's Feet Stink

May 8, 2017 1 comment
What's that Smell? Why Your Kid's Feet Stink

How can something as ghastly as the stench of stinky feet issue from something as sweet and gentle as your beloved baby? But it’s true. Those supposed angels, your kids, are frequently the source of that foul, overpowering stench. How can this possibly be?!

What Causes Stinky Feet?

For a start, don’t freak out. Stinky feet are a fairly common occurrence in kids. They’re often far more active than us and work up quite the sweat before they’re even puffed out. Here are some of the reasons your kid’s feet might be creating a nasty pong…

Kids Sweat More

And not just a little bit more, either. Kids’ feet sweat 2-3 times more than an adult’s. Newborns and toddlers only have active sweat glands in their hands, feet, neck and head, meaning these glands work overtime to keep bub’s body temperature regulated.

But we shouldn’t unfairly put the blame on the sweat itself – it’s actually the bacteria already living on your kid’s feet, and in the socks and shoes, that stink so much.

Bacteria feed off dead skin cells and thrive in moist, hot environments, so you do the maths.

Poor Shoes Materials

As active as they are, kids’ feet have got to breathe. And when they’re often swaddled in socks and shoes for extended periods of play (or all day at school!), they’re bound to develop a pretty ripe odour.

Many kids’ shoes are made of cheap materials that lock in the sweat and encourage even more perspiration. For this reason, shoes made of plastic, rubber or polyurethane are less than ideal.

Kids Wear Out Their Shoes More Quickly

All that extra activity and sweat means kids tend to cycle through shoes much faster. If the shoes aren’t top quality, the soft inside lining can degrade quickly and dry more slowly, leading to shoes that never quite lose that “off” smell.

How to Deal with Smelly Feet

Short of putting your kid in shackles, the best way to prevent your kid’s feet from stinking out the car or house is to keep those feet clean and dry. Here are a few other ways to suffocate the stench…

hand holding baby feet

1. Scrub-a-Dub-Dub

Regularly bathing your child’s feet can help to banish the stench. Try to wash them twice daily with soap and water and dry them thoroughly afterwards, especially between the toes.

White vinegar is another fab way to battle bacteria. Wash your child’s foot in some vinegar mixed with lukewarm water.

2. Keep ‘Em Dry

Give your kid’s feet a fighting chance by dusting on a bit of (talcum-free) foot powder, corn starch or baking soda, all of which can help absorb some of the moisture and keep kids’ feet dry.

For even longer days out and about, you might even want to consider getting your kids some moisture-wicking socks.

3. Rotate the shoes

So that your kids’ shoes have a chance to dry out, make sure they’re not always wearing the same pair of smelly old trainers day in, day out.

baby crawling through grass

4. Wash Their Shoes

I don’t want to gross you out, but your kid’s shoes are a veritable Amazon filled with dirt, bacteria, and fungus. So yes, it’s OK to toss them in the washing machine – just as long as they’re not made of leather. For leather shoes, you can simply wipe down with a damp cloth and a mild detergent.

Simply add a dash of laundry detergent or even some baking soda and, hey presto!, the smell is gone.

5. Let Them Go Barefoot

Easy. Eliminate the shoes and you’ll eliminate the smell! If your kids are in a safe environment, let them wander barefoot.

Once they’ve come home from a long day of play, be sure to remove their shoes and socks ASAP so their feet can feel the freedom again. If it’s chilly, just put a pair of fresh, clean socks on.

6. Visit the Docs

If you’ve performed all these steps and you simple can’t eradicate the stench, your child might have something else going on, such as hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating), infection or hormonal imbalance.

Taking them to the docs is the easiest and simplest way to get to the root of the problem quickly – and your doctor will hopefully have the solution

7. Let Their Feet Breathe

In summer, this is all too easy by slipping your kids into some light sandals. In winter, ensure your kid’s closed-toe shoes are well-circulated and made of natural fibres so their feet can breathe. Steer clear of synthetics and opt instead for leather, cloth, or canvas. Also, make sure the insoles are made to absorb moisture.

Bobux's kids shoes are made with your kid's needs in mind. Our natural materials and breathable design will help reduce sweating and that bad-foot stench to promote healthy feet in your kids. Shop our range for babies and kids up to 8 years old today!

Posted in: Foot Health
Sam Taylors By Sam Taylors

Social Media Manager at Bobux

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Ms. Sanderson October 28, 2018 at 7:39 PM
This all hits home all so well. The only thing that is missing from this article is the fact that little GIRLS feet are the worse, and I should know being the parents of 3 girls and 3 boys, AND I am an elementary school teacher.
And I am here to tell you that my sons feet never smell much at all. The boys in my class feet have no issues, but the girls? OMG Can you say EXTRA CHEESY? And not fresh cheese. I a talking about that kind that is rotting in a dumpster in 120 degrees weather. Yes. It's that bad. And to top it all off, through some old spoiled milk, old corn chips, stale movie popcorn, vinegar, rotten eggs and ammonia in there.

And I aint even gonna talk about my daughters ballet shoes OMG. My girls foot odor lingers on long after they leave the area. For some reason little girls have the worse smelling feet, and make boys feet smell like a fresh garden of roses. And I am not the only mom saying this. There are so many mom blogs saying the girls feet are WAY worse than the boys.

But with or without the funky cheesy stench of their cute widdle feet and toes, I love my girls. I just can't stand to smell them =P