Dec 29, 2013 at 10:23 am #1311521
I find that plain old CVS 'soothing' foot powder with talc and salicylic acid is essential for keeping my feet smelling good. I use it every day when on the road but I'd rather not have to carry an entire bottle (~8oz when full).
Does anyone know any tricks to keeping feet smelling good without the need for powder? I think the powder works by absorbing moisture (talc) and killing bacteria (salicyclic acid).
I recently read about VBL and how it does trap moisture but that it's sweat, which means salt, which means it doesn't create bacteria 'as easily' as fresh water. Though I'm usually in warm weather which means my feet would probably be constantly sweating. That doesn't sound fun.Dec 29, 2013 at 10:38 am #2058514
Dale WambaughBPL Member
@dwambaughLocale: Pacific Northwest
Clean dry socks, soap and water, airing out your shoes and not all easy on a multi-day trip. Use a VBL and you'll have a mushroom farm between your toes :)
Wash one pair of socks to hang on your pack to dry while wearing another pair. Take a sponge bath with a little water, a few drops of Dr Bronners, and a microfiber washcloth or bandana. Dry your shoes as you can.
The first thing that came to mind is why you don't decant your foot powder into a smaller container. Gold Bond powder comes in a 1oz. travel size if you can find something suitable.Dec 29, 2013 at 10:51 am #2058518
@jdw01776Locale: Southeast Texas
+1 on what Dale says
I put Gold Bond Maximum in a snap-top poly shaker container. With powder, it's about an ounce in weight, and will last through a 5 day trip.
An empty plastic shaker-top spice bottle would also work…Dec 29, 2013 at 10:55 am #2058521Dec 29, 2013 at 11:08 am #2058524
A smaller container would mean dumping 6oz of powder from the original container, and then running out too soon. I use a lot and the CVS stuff only comes in 7oz so maybe I should try the Gold Bond to see how it works. Then I could just buy/carry <1oz at a time and re-stock when needed.
As far as just washing my feet and socks on the daily, I wish I could realistically say I'll do that haha. ..and once the smell comes, freshies don't help– I need steady application of powder to kill the bacteria or whatever and then I'm ok with just wearing freshies again.. but that's the problem, I'm not always on top of washing socks and feet. I suppose that's the only viable solution to my laziness.Dec 29, 2013 at 11:27 am #2058532
"A smaller container would mean dumping 6oz of powder from the original container, and then running out too soon."
There are MANY sizes of containers. Some you can just buy new, some can be re-purposed. The really small ones usually you have to buy special. If you are going to use the whole commercial container then you are all set. If not just get the size container you need for what you use between refill opportunities. I used to carry it in a ziplock bag (well for that stuff usually 2 of them to prevent leaks). Clearly THAT is the lightest and cheapest option. You just have to be very careful in dispensing – don't sneeze. Also the power will eventually cause the seal on the inner bag to degrade, but fine for a single trip. just replace the inner bag when it gets iffy.
If you want a "shaker" then get the plastic container. Unless you are going to be out for more than a week, or use a ton, this would seem to be plenty.
Also clearly "dumping out" does not equal "throwing away".
Repackaging: food, toiletries, foot stuff, duct tape, etc. is pretty much pro forma in lightweight backpacking.
Edit: Maybe a bigger, closeable salt shaker would be more your speed. Be sure you actually know how much you use per day. Once you are clear on that, you are all set.Dec 29, 2013 at 11:55 am #2058536
Thanks for the tips Mark. FYI I'm not a hiker, just a tramp, so it's either dumping or carrying for me. I have no home to store it at/come back for.Dec 29, 2013 at 12:04 pm #2058541
You've received plenty of good advice so far, but i'm curious as to what kind of socks and shoes you most often wear?
I wear mostly either wool or linen based socks (depending on temps), both are great in keeping down odor. I also usually wear very breathable footwear–also helps. Untreated, primary polyester socks will stink up bad real fast, so won't polypropylene when worn next to the skin. Goretex shoes and the like, can help stink up things faster.
Also i've found diet has a big influence on odor. The more i changed my diet to the healthier and life promoting, the less i started to stink in general. Except if you do some more intense detoxing stuff, then odor can get real bad before it gets better.
I eat A LOT of non starchy vegetables, both cooked and raw, a little brown rice here and there (always with veggies), probiotic foods (yogurt, kimchi, etc), a moderate amounts of "super foods" like kelp, very little highly processed foods, very little sugar, very little gluten ever, very little flesh foods (just some wild caught salmon occasionally), etc. The more i've refined and disciplined my diet, the less odor issues i have, unless it's synthetic clothes/fiber stink which will happen no matter what you eat or don't because it's not an internal issue (though, if you have a clean, balanced and more vital body inside and out, it won't be as extreme as someone who doesn't).Dec 29, 2013 at 12:59 pm #2058549
"FYI I'm not a hiker, just a tramp, so it's either dumping or carrying for me. "
Ah, ok. That clear that issue up. Possibly check in the travel sized section in the drug store, before settling. But the small gold bonds I have found are usually there.
The smell primarily comes from bacteria, which thrive in moisture, as well as consuming, um… the "products" produced by your feet. Keeping you feet dry is very important, hence the talc. In your brand the other listed main ingredients are Salicylic Acid (i.e. aspirin), and Methyl Salicylate. Both of these have antiseptic properties as well as (I suspect) some pain deadening qualities. I think it is the antiseptic qualities that may help with the stink. So I'm guessing other powders with antiseptic qualities may work for you as well or better. I believe other foot powers have the same strategy – antiseptic + "soothing" so maybe try them out.
I haven't had the smell problem much since I switched to very thin light hiker socks – virtually liner thickness. I used to have that issue much more with thicker socks. Not sure if it was that my feet stayed damper more when I sweated, or there were more places in the material for the bacteria to lodge. Probably it was both. So where possible, like people have said, lighter socks rather than heavier, wool rather than synthetic, wash as much as possible to prevent the bacteria from getting established, and shoes that breath better if possible.Dec 29, 2013 at 1:05 pm #2058550
No matter what diet you have, if you walk about ,don't wash your feet and your socks everyday, your feet will smell.
Lets not make things more complex than they really are.
BTW, on the trail I use baking soda (bicarbonate of soda) to sprinkle inside my shoes after I air them at the end of the day.
Cheap and multi-use.Dec 29, 2013 at 1:17 pm #2058556
@adrienbakerLocale: Kern County
We bought this stuff for my son. It seemed to help quite a bit.
AdrienDec 29, 2013 at 1:21 pm #2058557
"No matter what diet you have, if you walk about ,don't wash your feet and your socks everyday, your feet will smell.
Lets not make things more complex than they really are."
No crap, hence why it was prefaced with, "You've received plenty of good advice so far,"
Just adding possible contributing factors, which have been in my experience.
I'm pretty sure you are quoted somewhere here talking about odor relating to various different factors, genetics, DIET, etc
Should i delve the old thread up? I have nothing better to do currently.Dec 29, 2013 at 1:49 pm #2058567
Dan YeruskiBPL Member
Get a small tube of zinc oxide for babies to prevent smelly feet and rash etc.
Read the last paragraph.
PreventionThere are several lifestyle modifications that can be practiced to prevent Athlete's foot. Effective preventive measures include keeping the feet dry, using socks made of synthetic materials designed to remove moisture, wearing well ventilated footwear, changing socks frequently, and wearing sandals while walking through communal areas such as gym showers and locker rooms. Recurrence of Athlete's foot can be prevented with the use of antifungal powder on the feet.
TreatmentsWithout medication, Athlete's foot resolves in 30–40% of cases and topical antifungal medication consistently produce much higher percentages of cure. Allylamines such as terbinafine are considered more efficacious than azoles for the treatment of Athlete's foot.
MedicationConventional treatment typically involves daily or twice daily application of a topical medication in conjunction with hygiene measures outlined in the above section on prevention. Keeping feet dry and practicing good hygiene is crucial to preventing reinfection. Severe or prolonged fungal skin infections may require treatment with oral antifungal medication. Zinc oxide-based diaper rash ointment may be used; talcum powder can be used to absorb moisture to kill off the infection.
TopicalDec 29, 2013 at 1:53 pm #2058569
You missed this bit :
"As far as just washing my feet and socks on the daily, I wish I could realistically say I'll do that haha"Dec 29, 2013 at 1:56 pm #2058571
I think this might be in some of the gold bond formulations as well, or maybe some other compound Zn bearing compound.
I wish I could say I've had experience with some method for suppressing the effect when NOT washing my feet, but I'm pretty much a religious on that count when backpacking every evening, even if it is only alcohol to preserve water. So absolutely no data there.Dec 29, 2013 at 1:56 pm #2058572
No i didn't, and one doesn't have to wash their socks and feet everyday to not have smelly feet.
I've done plenty of 3 day backpacking trips, didn't wash my feet or socks nor changed my socks, and subjected them to intense sweating, and they smelled fine after.Dec 29, 2013 at 2:07 pm #2058577
"I've done plenty of 3 day backpacking trips, didn't wash my feet or socks nor changed my socks, and subjected them to intense sweating, and they smelled fine after.
Sure you have…Dec 29, 2013 at 2:23 pm #2058581
All those vegetables he eats have killed his somatosensory neurons – at least that is my theory. Maybe more than just those neurons.Dec 29, 2013 at 3:42 pm #2058595
Isn't it interesting that when some people can't logically debate a person, they result to personal insults or negative insinuations?
I may be (unusually) grumpy from lack of sleep and being sick and not feeling well (which i'm not used to at all), but you guys are kind of more permanently set in that mode apparently.
What's going on, you guys need hugs, a shoulder to cry on? Franco, is fear of being found out wearing on you? Wife nagging you too much? Come on, just let it out and open up your hearts.Dec 29, 2013 at 3:45 pm #2058597
I should add, i just watched Animal Odd Couples so i'm feeling much less grouchy.Dec 29, 2013 at 4:02 pm #2058604
this is the gear section not the fantasy land bit.
There is no way that one could have sweat soaked dirty socks and unwashed feet for three days and not smell.
Anyway "found out by the wife" what are you talking about, do you have a fever too?Dec 29, 2013 at 4:13 pm #2058607
Again, it's been my experience. I wouldn't say they didn't smell at all (i said smelled fine), but it wasn't a funky, gawd awful smell that i use to have the experience of back when i wore different socks, shoes, had a different diet, was more stressed, etc.
The lack of noticeable, foul smell has been particularly true when i hiked in sandals, but with the thin 88% linen and 12% poly socks that i have.
Why do you think you the right to tell another person what THEIR experiences are, or aren't after they already stated what they were?
Do you have a diet anything close to mine? Do you hike in thin linen socks with sandals on? Do we have the same genetics?
Your degree of arrogance and assumption never ceases to astound me Franco. Perhaps you need a jump to conclusion mat?Dec 29, 2013 at 7:34 pm #2058666
@adrienbakerLocale: Kern County
Being as pragmatic as you claim yourself to be, relentlessly arguing with somebody over the Internet regarding something so trivial as foot odor seems contradictory.Dec 29, 2013 at 8:58 pm #2058688
Adrien, you are right.
See earlier posts referencing to me being over tired, sick, and unusually grumpy today. I'm allowed to have my off days—usually i'm very polite, impersonal, positive, here. But dang, i've been in an unusually irritated mood today and Franco likes to prod me (there is a bit of history of that here).
When i feel better, i'm sure i will go back to my normal self (and going back to usually ignoring him etc), but i'm really not used to being sick and i think i'm allowed to have an off day or two once every 9 months or so.
One thing i've learned is that talking about ones feelings etc in the open without social fear, helps one to get over those non constructive, limiting phases faster and more completely. Most women know and practice this intuitively, but most guys don't and i didn't for a long time myself.
:)Dec 30, 2013 at 1:02 pm #2058873
Mark- I'll try the thinner socks. That CVS foot powder works really well even when not washing your feet for a long time. …but that's a good habit you've got going there.
Adrien- I'm definitely going to try a bottle of that. It even has a 6 month money-back guarantee. I'm gonna put that to the test hahaha.
Dan, thanks for the zinc tip– it looks like zinc is in the 'On Your Toes' stuff that Adrien mentioned.
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