Help! Sons Feet Stink!

Updated on April 27, 2012
S. asks from Commerce City, CO
10 answers

My 14 year olds feet stink really bad. His socks were just sitting on the floor and were making me gag. There are times when he is sitting by me that I make him move cause his feet stink so bad.

what should we do?

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answers from Washington DC on

A lot of good advice from the posters here. I would add: He may not like this, but make sure he changes his socks at least once each day. Yep, two pairs (or more) of clean socks per day, at least until whatever is causing the stink is gone. One pair likely won't do it. Sounds like he might produce very heavy sweat and would need ot change out socks more than once daily.

You'll need to buy a ton of socks. Also make sure that they are 100 percent cotton or as close as you can get -- no spandex, no other materials IF possible. Again, he may complain that they "don't fit right" or sag at the top but 100 percent cotton breathes and the addition of other materials, especially anything latex based, makes them breathe a lot less.

Others have talked about cleaning his shoes but if it's as bad as you say, I would try to throw them out entirely and yes, as someone noted, he needs to have enough pairs of shoes that he is not wearing the same pair two days in a row, ever.

He probably does not even notice the stench so he may be resistant to these various cures, foot baths, throwing out beloved shoes, changing socks, etc., but find a way either to reward him for doing it or to give him an ultimatum if he doesn't. Sounds to me like a possible fungal infection and maybe he'll be willing to do something if he realizes other kids, especially girls, will smell him!

If there's a husband or significant other male at home, please, get that guy involved to take the lead on this. Your son is at an age where he may be very balky about mom getting involved in anything to do with his body; hearing all this from dad and having dad be the one to push the foot baths and clean socks etc. may make things easier.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

My 8-year-old daughter and I both have this problem, and there is absolutely nothing we have done that actually works. I wear sandals most of the time, year-round, but we live in Texas, so that's possible for us. She can't wear sandals to school all the time (especially on PE days) so we make sure she has tennis shoes that can breathe, and that she wears thick absorbent socks. Even then, her feet do stink at the end of the day.

Also, your son is 14- could he have been re-using socks? 14-year-olds aren't the most sanitary things on the planet. lol!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

Several things:
First make sure he actually washing his feet (with SOAP) when he bathes and not just getting them wet--- there is a difference.

Second, tell him to wear his socks only ONCE.

Third, tell him to always wear socks with his shoes.

Go ahead and toss those shoes in the machine for a good wash and tell him to handle his business, he's certainly old enough.

If the bathing and all don't work, see a podiatrist to find out if he has a fungus, I'll bet he doesn't though.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Austin on

A few things.. He needs to own more than one pair of shoes to wear. He needs to swap them out every day. He needs to make sure he wears clean socks..

You need to remind him to wash between his toes and scrub his feet with deodorant soap like Dial soap.

He can also soak his feet in Black tea.. It helps to take the stench away.



answers from Houston on

Do all the things that Cupcake mentioned. Add one of these, or try both and see which works for you.

Make a very, very strong tea brew and have him soak his feet in it. Cool the tea to a comfortable temp first, of course. Soak for about 20 minutes. After soaking, rinse and dry them. Be careful with the rinse so you don't get tea stains on the floor. And dry them thoroughly, esp between the toes.

Second thing to try is listerine. I used the generic kind. Again, soak the feet in the mouthwash. Since that's pretty costly, we poured capfuls of the mouthwash over his feet (feet over a dish tub on the floor), making sure that all the toenails, between toes, etc, was covered. Let it sit for awhile, then wash. If he has any cracks on his feet this might sting a little.

Do which ever of these you choose for 5 days in a row. They have both helped us immensely. Good luck! People who have never smelled that horrible smell have no idea what you are dealing with. I'll never forget the smell!


answers from Dallas on

Both of my boys (8 and 14) have horribly smelly feet. My 14 year old's feet stink even worse now because he has those "toe shoes" that you don't wear socks with. It's awful! Both kids are good about washing their feet well, so they don't stink after a shower, but at the end of the day . . . well, you don't want to be near them.

We have a generic shoe spray that we bought at Target that they spray in their shoes every single day whenever they take their shoes off. That helps some.

They also keep their shoes out on the back porch to air them out. At least the house doesn't stink that way. The porch is huge and covered, so they don't get wet in the rain.

The suggestions about alternating shoes every other day, and putting on clean socks each day are good, too.

In the summer, my boys wear flip-flops everywhere except church, and that solves the problem for the summer.

Good luck!



answers from Washington DC on

Have him wash feet, dry completely, then put on a medicated foot powder on his feet and in his shoes. The shoes should be aired outside, then put powder in them and crinkle up newspaper and put in the shoes overnight. This helps absorb any moisture. Probably his shoes have a ton of bacteria that needs to be dealt with or it will constantly tranfer to his socks and feet.



answers from Houston on

I would tell him to make sure he scrubs his feet everyday with an antibacterial soap like dial. He also needs clean socks everyday and to always wear socks with his shoes. I also toss shoes in the wash but I let them air dry. Maybe some foot powder would help too but a good washing everyday should do the trick.



answers from Boise on

There are many different foot sprays that you can try, I use a kind that is anti-bacterial and has tea tree oil and mint in it and it is really refreshing on my feet and eliminates odor! You can also try bleaching his socks to make sure that all the bacteria left over on his socks are killed. And you can put some anti-fungal or just deodorant powder in his shoes overnight, that may help. I have also heard of putting dryer sheets in the shoes.



answers from Pittsburgh on

Make sure he is not wearing shoes made from synthetic materials!

ONLY leather, cotton, etc.

Next question: 7 Years Old & Super Stinky Feet!!