This might be the biggest issue in my life right now, which now that I think about it probably means that there’s much larger issues deep within my psyche but this isn’t the blog for that. Honestly though, it’s driving me fucking crazy.
I purchased a pair of Dockers boat shoes earlier this summer (seen here being modeled by an Asian-American who I’m assuming is blind based off the rest of his outfit). Now typically I’m an L.L. Bean guy. I grew up 10 minutes away from their superstore in Maine, a place that’s open 24/7 365 days a week, just in case you wanted to purchase a canoe at 3am on a Tuesday. But all of L.L. Bean’s boat shoes this year were either backordered ‘til October or something only a blind Asian would be caught wearing.
So instead, I took a leap of faith and purchased a pair of Dockers boat shoes, as they were stylish and affordable. Unfortunately it turns out they are neither sweat-resistant nor breathable, as my nose and the noses of others around me soon found out. I’d never experienced this problem before, so like a true scientist (barely) I decided to do some research.
It turns out that foot odor is caused by bacteria that live on your feet and thrive on the sweat produced by the glands in your feet. They are called brevibacteria and they eat your dead foot skin and expel methanethiol as they digest it. So basically my foot odor is being caused by bacteria that live on my feet, eat my dead skin, and then fart out the byproducts. Awesome. At least that gives me an acceptable excuse next time someone complains about the odor emanating from my shoes: “Don’t worry guys, it’s just bacteria farts!”
Now in my many hours of research on the subject, I’ve come across the same half-dozen or so “remedies” to help get rid of the bacteria and eradicate the odor. Let’s go over them one by one:
Wash your feet with antibacterial soap.
Tried that. Didn’t help. My feet start sweating pretty much immediately once I leave my apartment and head out into the humid hell that is the T in the summertime. I don’t need antibacterial soap as much as I need an air-conditioned car and a private chauffeur.
Don’t wear the same pair of shoes every day.
I came across this brilliant piece of advice no less than 100 times. Motherfucker if I could just buy shoes willy-nilly I wouldn’t be Googling “my feet smell like a sweatshop that manufactures diarrhea, how do I fix this?” Instead, I’d be buying a new pair of boat shoes from a company that didn’t make them out of airtight, heat-activated walrus skin. Next suggestion.
Use a cedar tree to soak up moisture when you’re not wearing them.
Why do so many of these tips involve spending an inordinate amount of money? Cedar trees are like $25 each, if I wanted to spend $50 on a solution I’d just buy new boat shoes and send my current pair to a facility for government testing. I’m assuming they’ll find a cure for AIDs or something in there, it’s like Operation Paperclip, something good has to come out of this war crime.
Sprinkle foot powder in your shoes before you put them on.
Apparently this is supposed to absorb sweat and neutralize the odor. But I’m pretty sure this wasn’t tested on the feet of a pale ginger travelling the length of the green line in mid-August. Sweating was postponed for a solid 30 seconds before my feet felt and smelled like I was standing in a shallow, scummy pond. I was in Allston at the time, so in reality I pretty much was.
Wear no-show loafer socks.
If I wanted to wear socks I wouldn’t be trying to wear boat shoes. Plus I hate the feeling of a low-cut sock sliding down your foot as it inevitably falls off when you’re walking more than 50 feet at a time. It’s like the feeling of a drop of sweat going from your neck to your ass crack, the journey downwards is the worst part, the whole time you’re just begging for it to reach its destination. I guarantee if I tried wearing no-show loafer socks they’d be in a trashcan on Comm. Ave before lunchtime.
Freeze your shoes in order to kill the bacteria.
I tried this and really the only thing it was effective at was nearly giving me frostbite after wearing my shoes for 5 minutes. I’m assuming you’re probably supposed to wait for the shoes to unthaw before putting them on, but I’m a busy man (child) and waiting is for suckers and also the title of a criminally underrated movie.
That’s pretty much it. I found a smorgasbord of other suggestions but they were all either too stupid to be taken seriously or written by BroBible (“16 Ways to Keep Your Sperrys From Smelling Gross” pretty safe assumption that if you’re reading BroBible your also wearing Sperrys and an unironic “Make America Great Again” hat, but to each his own).
So I think I’m stuck with flip-flops or socks and shoes for the rest of the summer. But it could be worse; I could be a blind man in a jean vest. Count your blessings.