Your feet are teeming with sweat glands, 250,000 of them to be precise. This is where a majority of your entire body’s sweat glands reside. But this huge number is not the reason why your feet are always so sweaty, sometimes to the point of developing a noxious odour.
There is a chance that you are suffering from a condition called plantar hyperhidrosis or excessive sweating of the feet. But more often than not, the issue is what you are wearing on your feet.
Shoes with poor breathability prevent sweat from evaporating away from the inside of the shoe. But even worse are socks that either trap the sweat against your skin or absorb the sweat and hold on to it. Because the sweat stays in contact with your skin, it creates a perfect breeding ground for bacteria.
And the problem goes beyond just unpleasant odours – although that’s an understandably big deal for many people – it can also lead to host of health problems such as Athlete’s foot, toenail fungus, yeast infection, rashes, itchy skin, blisters and warts.
Things can get worse if you have hyperhidrosis. Some people’s feet get so sweaty to the point of affecting mobility.
As you try ointments, antiperspirants and foot powder, I suggest you also try wearing the right socks. It can make a huge difference, allowing you to walk more comfortably and eliminate or reduce foot odour.
Buying socks for sweaty feet
It is easy to find the right socks for your sweaty feet. Manufacturers use a combination of materials, thickness and other advanced features to design socks that are good at absorbing sweat away from your skin and allowing it to evaporate away.
With the right pair of socks, your feet will stay dry and cool, thus discouraging the growth of odour and infection-causing bacteria.
The first thing to check is the material as it is the one that determines how breathable and absorbent the socks are. Here are some few tips regarding the best socks materials.
- Completely avoid socks made from 100% synthetic materials or containing a synthetic lining such as nylon, acrylic or plastic. Synthetic socks tend to trap sweat against your skin. They do not absorb it nor do they allow it to evaporate. With these socks, you’ll be giving bacteria a fertile breeding ground on your skin.
- 100% cotton socks are a bit better than synthetic but they are also not ideal. This is because they absorb too much sweat without dispelling it. Cotton socks get quickly soaked especially if you are engaged in an exerting activity or if the weather is warm. Since the sweat is still in contact with your skin, odours and infections follow.
- Wools socks are the best socks for sweaty feet. They absorb moisture as well as cotton but they do not get soaked. So the socks and your feet remain dry. Even thick wool socks are better at keeping your feet cool and dry than thin cotton socks.
A type of wool socks that are highly recommended for sweaty feet are merino wool socks. They are good at wicking sweat away and have excellent insulating capabilities. They keep your feet warm when it’s cold and cool when it’s warm.
Other types of socks that are good for sweaty feet include liner socks (worn inside normal socks), silk socks, Coolmax socks (made with Coolmax moisture-wicking fabric) and Drymax socks.
Best socks for sweaty feet [UK market]
1. 4 Pairs Men and Women Large Merino Wool Blend Walking & Hiking Socks
- Shoe Size: Men's 7-12 or Women's: 7+
- Cushioned throughout and reinforced from heel to toe for maximum comfort and durability
- Moisture management fibre in foot bottom wicks moisture and maintains cushion
- Soft Merino Wool provides natural comfort in all seasons
- LYCRA arch back for fit and support and smooth toe seam, for added comfort
Made from premium merino wool, these socks continuously wick moisture away from the bottom of your feet. The wool also acts as an insulator, keeping your feet cool in hot weather and preventing them from freezing in cold weather.
Why we love them:
- Contains padding for added comfort.
- Reinforced material at the bottom for durability.
- Great breathability and temperature control.
2. Under Armour Women’s Solid No Show Socks
- Soft construction delivers all-day comfort
- Moisture Transport System wicks sweat to keep you dry and light
- Armour Block neutralises odour-causing microbes to keep your gear smelling fresher for longer
- Embedded arch support helps reduce foot fatigue
- UA logo on top of foot with wordmark on back ankle
If you are looking for a stylish pair of no-show socks, Under Armour has you covered. A blend of polyester, nylon and spandex ensures no moisture sticks around on your feet regardless of the weather. They also feature Armour Block, an anti-bacterial technology that inhibits the growth of odour-causing bacteria.
Why we love them:
- Excellent wicking and temperature control capability.
- They do not slip down into the shoe.
- They have embedded arch support.
The cotton in the socks (80% of the fabric) wicks way moisture from your feet. But unlike normal cotton that holds on to the moisture, these socks are meshed to allow sweat to escape. The socks do not get soaked and your feet stay dry.
Why we love them:
- Effective in reducing or eliminating foot odours.
- A Y-shaped design at the heel keeps the socks in place when you are walking or running.
- Great temperature control. Your feet will not overheat in these socks.
4. 2 Pairs Wool Coolmax Walking Socks
- 2 Pairs of Wool Coolmax Walking socks
- Designed for all outdoor activities including Walking, Hiking, Trekking or just for wearing with Shoes & Boots
- Terry Fabric for Warmth, Cushioning & a high level of Comfort.
- Soft Grip top, Ankle Support & arch support sections
- Size: Socks fit UK shoe sizes 4--7 (US 6--8; Euro 37--41)
If you walk a lot or love to go hiking, add these socks to your shopping list. They consist of 52% Coolmax fabric, 17% acrylic, 17% wool for insulation, 13% nylon and 1% elastane to provide a snug fit.
In addition to wicking away moisture and providing insulation, these socks also feature ankle and arch support as well as a padded bottom for warmth and cushioning.
Why we love them:
- Great for walking over rough terrain because of the padded bottom.
- Non-slip thanks to the soft grip top.
- Added support for your arch and ankle.
5. 3 Pairs More Mile Cushioned Coolmax Sports and Running Socks
Running requires high-performance socks that keep your feet fry and prevent overheating. These socks contain polyester and polyamide blend that achieves both those goals. There is also some lycra and Elasodiene included to provide a snug fit that does not slip.
Why we love them:
- Extra cushioning around the heel and toe.
- Designed to contour around your feet for a perfect, non-slip fit.
- Great temperature control. Even in the areas with additional cushioning, the fabric is still able to keep your feet cool no matter what the weather is.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Which are the best socks for sweaty feet?
Wool socks are the best for sweaty feet. They are excellent at absorbing sweat and wicking it away from your feet. They are especially helpful for people with hyperhydrosis, or excessive sweating.
Other good socks for sweaty feet are Coolmax, bamboo and silk socks.
Q: How can I stop my feet from sweating?
In addition to wearing moisture-wicking socks, try a sweat-reducing foot powder. The powder will keep your feet dry and reduce sweaty odours.
Also, make sure you wear breathable shoes that fit your well. This allows sweat from your feet to evaporate away.
If you suspect you have hyperhidrosis, ask your doctor if there’s any medication you can take to reduce sweating in your feet. For all you know, you probably have an underlying medical problem causing the sweatiness.
Q: Are copper infused socks good for sweaty feet?
Yes, they are. Copper is naturally antibacterial, so copper-infused socks reduce the amount of odour-causing bacteria.
The socks fabric absorbs sweat while the copper prevents bad smells.