Try proven home remedies
"Home remedies such as salt baths, tea soaks, and vinegar are unlikely to eliminate foot odor if a person continues to wear dirty or damp socks/shoes," says Dr. Schwartz, "but they may reduce the foot odor at the time when they are used." With that in mind, you can attempt the following for temporary relief:
Vinegar baths: "Try soaking feet daily in 1 part vinegar and 2 parts water," suggests Dr. Kosinski. "Here, the aim is to reduce the level of bacteria that cause odor."
Tea soaks: Dr. Kosinski calls tea soaks, "one of the most effective home remedies," and recommends the following: "Use 4 or 5 tea bags to a quart of water. Allow to cool, and soak feet for about 20 minutes each day."
Salt washes: Pour 1/2 cup kosher salt into 4 cups water, soak for 10-15 minutes, and dry thoroughly. You can also use Epsom salts; consult a doctor for proportions.
Powders: Baking soda, baby powder, corn starch, and talcum powder are said to absorb extra moisture (and make feet smell quite lovely in the process).
Buy good socks and shoes
Once you’ve tackled your foot odor, it’s time to move on to your gear.
To prevent stinky feet from starting in the first place, purchase socks and shoes made of breathable materials. "Synthetic materials provide less ventilation than natural materials, and so polyester or nylon socks may increase the amount of perspiration compared to cotton," says Dr. Schwartz. "Natural materials (cotton and wool) generally provide more ventilation and therefore may limit the growth of bacteria."
The same general principle goes for shoes. "Wear shoes that are made of a breathable material like leather or canvas. This will allow perspiration to evaporate," advises Dr. Kosinski, who also suggests looking into inserts. "Over the counter insoles made with activated charcoal may help to absorb foot odor."
Oh, and never, ever go sock-less. "Wearing shoes without socks can lead to sweat accumulation, enabling bacteria to grow over time," says Dr. Schwartz. "There can also be dead skin cells, dirt, oils, mold and fungus thriving there." Yum.