Friday, April 13, 2007

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.


richyrich said...

However, stinking feet will leave with the guests.

You're absolutely right. And there are always air freshenerers you can use, much less work and trouble than cleaning your floors! Also by going around shoeless a lot of the time, feet will get to smell less. Since I have become a shoe-free house, I actually find that after being just in my socks for a few hours, my feet and socks smell far LESS by the end of the day that they often did before, when they had been confined in shoes for much longer.

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Nice to see you again, Richyrich.

Anonymous said...

Since I moved to Florida, where I wear sandals or go barefoot most of the time, my "smelly feet" problem has also resolved itself.

There's a whole other line of thought that we (especially kids) should not wear shoes at all. In the house or out.
select the link to "medical research"

South Africans follow this philosophy, and my son had an attitude about always having to wear shoes in public when we moved from there.

Of course, that is counterindicative to your goals of keeping dirt and pollen from being transported throughout the house. But still something to conside for other benefits.

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Anon, thanks for visiting.

I am aware that there are some good arguments for people (especially children) going barefoot most of the time.

I am afraid I am uncomfortable about breaking down the distinction between indoor and outdoor space in that way. It must be too firmly rooted in my consciouness.

Hopefully, if more people adopt shoes off at the door and sandals become increasingly the norm for footwear, some of the benefits of the barefoot lifestyle might be acheived without such a drastic shift.

God Bless


Dawn said...

LOL Smelly feet. But it is certainly a concern. I'm also a bit concerned about people's feet leaving their DNA on MY floors and then my own bare feet going over the same path. I guess I just need to block it from my mind.

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

DNA won't hurt you.

Does the DNA not bother you when you shake hands with people?

richyrich said...

I've posted a comment under the "Neat Freaks?" heading which also touches upon the issue of "smelly feet" and "Shoes Off Policies"

Dawn said...

DNA was "sort of" a joke. But still, I do have to put it out of my mind that these people's bare, possibly sweaty, feet will be leaving their fluids on my floor.

Yes, shaking hands bothers me, but I do it out of courtesy. I just keep in mind that I must wash my hands or use my antibacterial wipes before I can touch my face or eat. It's second nature for me now. If I have an itch on my face I rub it with my wrist or back of my hand (back of my hand if I haven't shaken anyone's hand).

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

In Japan, you would bow instead of shaking hands. I seem to have got into the habit. You would like bowing instead of shaking hands. But you would not like sharing slippers, as you do in Japan.