funk chronicles

How to Keep Your Feet From Smelling Like Death

Photo: Courtesy of The Body Shop, Lush, and Avon

Boots stink. The more you wear them, the more they smell — especially this time of year. In pursuit of a holiday that is merry and not smelly, three Cut editors tested eight different solutions to eliminate smelly boot feet. The things we tried ran the gamut: from basic baking soda to a powder from Lush (which made our boots smell like freshly-squeezed lemonade) to a fancier Avon foot powder. Click through the slideshow for our take on the most effective sprays, powders, and bars to try on your quest for nice-smelling feet.

Photo: Courtesy of Arm & Hammer

Baking Soda

At first, the Cut’s Ashley Weatherford was skeptical of sprinkling baking soda in her favorite (but dangerously stinky) boots. The baking soda didn’t smell like much itself, but it did relieve the boots of their funky odor. The boots sat in baking soda for three days before the odor was completely eliminated. Effective, but not terribly fast.

Photo: Courtesy of Johnson’s

Johnson’s Baby Powder

A sprinkling of Johnson’s Baby Powder (which is technically fragranced talcum powder) completely rid Ashley’s boots of odor in a few days, but it also made her feet smell like a baby’s bottom.

Photo: Courtesy of T’EO

Lush T’eo Deodorant

T’eo is a solid deodorant that smells like fresh lemonade. Associate editor Maggie Lange rubbed the deodorant bar over her feet before slipping on a pair of socks. Although her feet stayed dry and funky-free, the hint of a lingering odor remained in her boots for the first few days after use. By day five, the odor was completely eliminated.

Photo: Courtesy of Gold Bond

Gold Bond Triple Action Medicated Body Powder

Gold Bond’s Body Powder is known for its anti-itching properties, but it also fights strong smells as well. After dusting the medicinal-smelling powder in her boots, senior editor Diana Tsui noticed results within a day: Her feet no longer smelled like death. The only downside is that the powder’s scent is reminiscent of a stale piece of minty gum.

Photo: Courtesy of Lush

T for Toes

Diana liberally dusted this inside her boots — and it got rid of her boots’ foul smell almost immediately. The lime-meets-tea-tree-oil scent first masked the malodorous aroma, while moisture and odor-absorbing baking soda prevented future odors from appearing. Our tester declared this product the winner among the powder solutions.

Photo: Courtesy of Avon

Avon Foot Deodorant

The only cream in the batch, Avon’s Foot Deodorant is a minty emulsion rich in moisture-wicking cornstarch. Like T’eo, it proved effective in eliminating new smells, but didn’t help with boots that were already marred in well-worn funk. The foot cream would likely be most helpful in the warm months in preventing summer-heat stinky feet.

Photo: Courtesy of Lush

Lush Dirty Body Spray

Diana misted Lush’s Dirty Body Spray all over her feet and boots. Although the sandalwood scent is marketed towardmen, she couldn’t stop sniffing her fragrant boots. They had a nice, earthy-wood smell. Once sprayed, the scent lingered for at least two days, banning funky odors for an entire weekend.

Photo: Courtesy of The Body Shop

The Body Shop Peppermint Cooling Foot Spray

The ultimate winner in our roundup of fragrant feet options is the Body Shop’s Peppermint Cooling Foot Spray. Maggie misted the minty spray in her boots and on her feet for a long-lasting fresh scent that endured multiple treks to the train, work, and beyond. It’s also only $10, making it both effective and cost-effective. 

How to Keep Your Feet From Smelling Like Death