Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Men Dedicated Post: Summer is in. Socks are out. Sort of.

The appropriateness of going sockless is such a long-running debate that, well, there's not much more to say about it. The Wall Street Journal does their best, however, in a long piece about the dos (watch out for foot odor) and don'ts (bare ankles and job interviews do not go together) of the look. The main takeaway is that wearing "invisible" socks, cut beneath the ankles to give the impression of socklessness, is stupid: "It's not about the affectation of the look, it's about being sockless," says one interviewee. "If that's a real stretch for a guy, he probably shouldn't do it." [WSJ]

Some tips to going Sockless in the summer!

How to Prevent Foot Odor When Going Sockless

To prevent smelly feet you need to prevent two things: 1) sweat and 2) bacteria. Here’s your battle plan.

1. Wash your feet more frequently and vigorously with anti-bacterial soap. I bet most men devote zero time to washing their feet while in the shower. Like me, they probably think that the suds that wash down their body are enough to clean their feet. When you decide to go sockless, that just won’t cut it. Every day you need to destroy the dead-skin-eating bacteria that causes foot odor. Scrubbing vigorously with your favorite anti-bacterial soap will do just that.
2. Don’t wear the same pair of shoes every day. You need to give your shoes time to dry out in-between wearings. Remember, a wet shoe is a smelly shoe. Give your shoes at least a day of rest before you put them back on. More time is better.
3. Use a cedar tree. When you’re giving your shoes a break between wearings, stick anunvarnished cedar shoe tree in them. Cedar shoe trees have several benefits. They maintain the shape of your shoe, help prevent creases and cracking, and most importantly in our case, absorb moisture from the lining of your shoes. Cedar shoe trees will also deodorize your shoes by adding a nice cedar scent to them. Beats smelling like raw cabbage.
If you don’t have a shoe tree on hand, you can use the poor man’s alternative: stick wads of newspaper in your shoes. They’ll absorb moisture as well.
4. Sprinkle foot powder in shoes before you wear them. Foot powders, like Odor Eaters, contain talcum (which absorbs sweat) and baking soda (which neutralizes odor). Before your slip your shoes on, give them a light dusting of powder. It will keep your feet dry throughout the day and will kill any bacteria that might be creeping in your shoes.
I’ve been testing out Odor Eaters Foot and Sneaker Spray and have liked the results. Instead of sprinkling a powder, you spray the stuff on your feet and in your shoes. Your feet stay dry, and you avoid the clumps you sometimes get when using powders. The sneaker spray is pretty good at removing foul smells from shoes, too.
5. Use no-show loafer socks. If you want the sockless look, but want to avoid the hassle that comes with going sockless, try wearing a no-show loafer sock. The gents at Valet Magazinesuggest using Gold Toe no-show socks. They’re cut low enough that the socks won’t appear over your loafers, and they’re made of antimicrobial fibers to prevent smells. Another no-show loafer sock that’s been getting a lot of publicity lately is the Mocc Sock. Demand has been so high on these badboys that they’re on backorder right now.

How to Get Rid of Shoe Odor

Alright. We can do alot to prevent smelly shoes, but what can we do if our shoes already reek to high heaven? I’ve had success with the following tips.
Wash ‘em. Just stick your stinky gym shoes in the washing machine. Don’t put them in the dryer; stuff them with newspapers to let them dry. Obviously, this is only for durable shoes made with canvas and synthetic fibers that can take being submerged in water and knocked around your washing machine.
Spray ‘em. Use a spray like Odor Eaters to neutralize the stench in your shoes. You might try a odor-eating insole as well.
Freeze ‘em. Here’s a trick from Grandma. Place you shoes in a ziploc plastic bag and stick them in the freezer overnight. The cold temperature will kill the odor-causing bacteria. When you pull your shoes out, they’ll smell nice and fresh. And it feels really nice to stick your feet in a pair of cold shoes on a hot Oklahoma day.
Demote ‘em. Sometimes no amount of washing, spraying, and freezing will remove the stench from your shoes. In that case, take the shoes out of your daily rotation, and put them out to pasture as your yard work shoes.

1 comment:

  1. I've taken on not wearing socks with some leather shoes. Others are also doing it. The first week I just wore the shoes without any type of powders. Feeling the increased wetness in my shoes at the end of the day was getting annoying ; so I stopped off at my corner drug store for some foot powder. Others were also looking at the powder also.