Michael Ramsey, M.D., a dermatologist at the Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, Pennsylvania, offers the following advice to patients who dread slipping off their shoes in the locker room.
Wash your feet with an antibacterial soap. Perspiration alone does not cause foul-smelling feet; perspiration and bacteria do. Dry the skin well. Consider using a hair dryer on a cool setting.
After drying your feet, and even before a workout, spray an underarm antiperspirant containing aluminum chlorhydrate or aluminum chloride on your feet.
Soak your feet in tea bags to reduce sweating. Brew two black tea bags in 1 pint of boiled water for 15 minutes. Add 2 quarts of cool water and soak your feet for 20 to 30 minutes. After 7 to 10 days, Dr. Ramsey says the tannic acid in the tea may work to decrease odor.
Wear absorbent cotton socks and change them often.
Wear shoes that "breathe," and alternate exercise shoes to allow each pair at least 24 hours to air out between workouts.
Check with your doctor about stronger measures. He or she may recommend using an over-the-counter or even prescription drug to cure the foot odor.