Monday, October 16, 2006

Smelly Feet

Apologies for raising less pleasent aspects of this issue.

The issue of 'smelly feet' is often raised as an argument against the Shoes-Off rule.

In Western society there seems to be a lot of paranoia about the phenomena of 'smelly feet'. I think this is simply a result of people not removing their shoes very often. Your feet will actually smell a lot less if you remove your shoes regularly. It is unfortunate that we in Britain have not yet reached the civilised heights of Finland, where it is acceptable to remove shoes in business meetings and on trains (not that people do not do so in Britain, but it is frowned upon somewhat).

Nevertheless, I think most people worry too much about this issue. People imagine their feet smell far more than they actually do. I have met very few people who let off much of an aroma after removing their shoes, and most of them were people who did not wash and change their socks regularly.

If people know in advance that they need to remove their shoes, they can make sure they wear clean socks, or even better, bring slippers with them. If they are especially worried about it, they can use some of those fancy foot deoderents.

Feet wil smell a lot less if people wear sandals. Sneakers are best avoided in favour of leather shoes.

Some people will say 'I would rather put up with a dirty floor than people's smelly feet.' Well, I guess people must set up their onw priorities. However, stinking feet will leave with the guests. A dirty floor will not. Nor will the dust they brought in on their shoes, and that is very bad for your health.

6 comments:

Redeemed said...

Matthew...lol, great post, though.

"feet will actually smell a lot less if you remove them regularly". That is actually very true! Yet another excellent reason to adopt removing shoes at the door.

Especially now, with winter coming, I don't understand how ppl cannot remove their boots at the door. It's the first thing I do when I step into the house.

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Thanks and thanks for pointing out my typing error. I can always rely on you.

Anonymous said...

I totally agree that shoe removal actually reduces foot odour. Even if I have been in shoes all day, I only need to have padded around the house in stockinged feet for a while for the smell to effectively disappear. The reason for that of course is that you allow your feet to breathe freely rather than confine them into a limited space (i.e. your shoes)and thus causing them to sweat. So by getting people to take of their shoes if they come and visit you, you could be doing them a favour by ensuring that their feet smell less when they leave than they did when they first came.

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Quite so. Thanks for dropping in.

missmellifluous said...

I totally agree that shoe removal actually reduces foot odour. Even if I have been in shoes all day, I only need to have padded around the house in stockinged feet for a while for the smell to effectively disappear. .

Of course there is the possibility that the smelly foot odour is simply being transferred into the carpet! In this case, inviting people to take their shoes off when they enter your house may damage your carpet more than it preserves it.

Perhaps someone could invent little plastic bags that go over peoples' shoes - you know, like the little bags one puts one's umbrella in to stop it dripping everywhere - if they insist on wearing them inside. These little bags would prevent the shoes from dirtying the carpet while allowing the wearer the freedom to keep his/her shoes on inside the house. The little bags would thus trap dirt and smell, and would result in cleaner carpet and happier visitors.

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Sweat and oils from peoples' barefeet can cause some wear to the carpet, but not as much as dirt from shoes. Stocking feet will not do any harm.

You can buy overshoes for people to put on shoes, but I do not think hosts should be expected to provide them.

Most people will be more comfortable for having taken off their shoes.

I also think people will feel even sillier wearing overshoes than in socks or barefeet.

I think it would also be rude for a guest to insist on the right to keep their shoes on.

There is also a social and aesthetic aspect to this.

There is something very pleasent about a home where everybody is shoeless. There is a more relaxed atmosphere. The guests have made themselves at home in somebodyelse's house. I think that is something woth attaining.

God Bless

Matthew