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Truth Or Myth: Do Black Socks Make Your Feet Stink?

Truth Or Myth: Do Black Socks Make Your Feet Stink?

Have you ever wondered whether the color of your socks could be to blame for your foot odor? Whether you’ve experienced a sudden surge of sweat or a sensation that your feet are on fire, you might have blamed your black socks. Welp, do black socks make your feet stink?

Black socks are believed to attract and absorb heat, which might be why they’re universally hated around the summertime.

Nobody wants to deal with smelly feet, no matter how attractive black socks combined with black Oxfords appear. We’re trying to survive the summer, not swim in a pool of our own sweat.

Sweaty feet are normal during the summer, there’s no question about that. But dealing with smelly feet when you’re surrounded by your colleagues at work or your friends and family at a barbecue can be extremely embarrassing.

Before you start putting perfume on your feet, know that there’s a myriad of reasons your feet might suddenly smell more funky or foul than usual.

Whether you’re wearing the wrong socks or suffering from some sort of foot disease, we’ve got you covered. Read more down below!

The truth behind bad foot odor

Many people draw a connection between black socks and smelly feet, focusing on the fact that the color black attracts and absorbs heat – and, as a consequence, causes feet to sweat more.

We wouldn’t say there’s anything wrong with that, but we do need to understand why our feet sometimes emit an unpleasant odor to be able to answer the question.

Foot odor, also known as bromodosis, isn’t caused by the color of your socks. Instead, it’s primarily caused by sweat, bacteria, and fungi. Interestingly, when sweat combines with bacteria or fungi, it produces an unpleasant odor.

Feet have more sweat glands than any other part of the body, and that’s why you’re likely to notice your feet getting sweaty, swampy, and stinky. Now that we have a basic understanding of foot odor, we need to address the question at hand: Do black socks make your feet stink?

Do black socks make your feet stink?

Black socks don’t make your feet stink – sort of. Contrary to popular belief, the color of your socks does not directly cause foot odor. Foot odor is caused by sweat, bacteria, and fungi, but that doesn’t mean that your socks don’t play a part, too.

Certain materials and styles of socks can cause your feet to sweat more, trap moisture, and create a breeding ground for bacteria. Choosing the right socks can make a world of difference, there’s no question about that.

Natural fibers like cotton or bamboo allow airflow, which keeps your feet happy and healthy. Comfortable, breathable fabrics are a must when you’re concerned with the state of your feet. Socks with moisture-wicking properties can keep your feet dry and prevent the growth of bacteria, too.

With all that in mind, we can agree that black socks aren’t the culprit. Black socks made with natural, breathable, and comfortable materials are guaranteed to keep your feet as fun and fresh as white socks – there’s no difference. But what about other socks?

What about other socks?

Truth Or Myth Do Black Socks Make Your Feet Stink

Does this scenario sound familiar? It’s mid-August and almost too hot to function outdoors, so we gravitate toward white socks and white clothing. Why’s that?

White clothes are a summer must-have. Whether you’re going to work, grabbing brunch with friends, or going on a date, every fashion magazine is telling you to opt for a white outfit. White is a summer color and there’s nothing we can do about that.

Other than that, we’ve been conditioned to think that white clothing reflects the sun’s rays. And that white socks prevent your feet from overheating for the same reason. We could get into the nitty-gritty of why that’s the case, but we won’t.

What matters is that, no matter what the general public wants you to believe, white socks aren’t going to prevent you from getting stinky feet. While white or light-colored socks might keep you cooler for longer, you still need to take the fabrics and the fit of your socks into consideration. What do we mean by that?

What causes your feet to stink, then?

1. Black socks aren’t off the hook

Black socks don’t make your feet stink, but that’s not to say that black socks don’t affect your feet whatsoever. Black socks are almost always going to attract heat because the color black absorbs light – we already tackled that.

But when that light turns to heat, that’s when your feet become sweaty and smelly. When your feet generate enough sweat, especially for prolonged periods, you’re almost always going to develop some sort of bacteria or fungus on them.

What can we say? Black socks might not deserve the blame for your stinky feet, but they’re one of the reasons you might be dealing with that problem.

2. Fabrics are almost always the culprit

Do black socks make your feet stink? Yes, they do when they’re made of polyester!

Depending on your budget, you might want to opt for cotton socks. Cotton socks are superior for a host of reasons – they’re breathable, soft, and gentle on your feet. Woolen socks are great, too, because they’re breathable, moisture-wicking, and thermo-regulating.

Polyester might be cheaper, but its inability to dry out the excess moisture released through sweating might make your feet swampy and smelly.

3. Padded, woolen, and shearling socks can cause excessive sweating

Padded, woolen, and shearling socks are an excellent choice when you’re trying to keep your feet warm during a snowstorm.

Wearing your Christmas socks to a mid-summer family get-together, though, is a recipe for drenched feet. When choosing the socks you’re going to wear for the day, consider the season to prevent foul-smelling and itchy feet.

Low-cut and no-show socks are perfect for the summer because they keep your feet protected enough without overheating them. Merino wool socks, liner socks, and heated socks are better for the cold winter because they keep your feet warm and toasty.

4. Dirty socks are sometimes the root of the problem

So, you notice an odor spreading from your feet, and you think your black socks are to blame? There’s a chance you might not even know your socks are ready for a wash because they’re black – black doesn’t show dirt as well as other colors.

Because of that, you might end up garnering an army of bacteria on your feet resulting in athlete’s foot and foul odor. Rather than wasting your time wondering whether the color of your socks can affect the state of your feet, focus on throwing your socks in the washer the moment you take them off.

5. Outwearing your socks can cause stinky feet

Truth Or Myth Do Black Socks Make Your Feet Stink

Wearing your socks over and over again will make your feet smelly, there’s no question about that. While you might get away with wearing your T-shirts a few times before you put them in the washing machine, we can’t say the same thing about socks.

Outwearing your socks can cause you to walk around with dust, dirt, and bacteria under your feet, not to mention that it can create a load of health problems like skin rashes or eczema. The easiest way to curb that would be to ensure you have plenty of clean cotton socks you can rotate during the week.

6. Tight socks suffocate your feet

Nobody wants to wear wide, stretched-out socks that keep on falling off your feet no matter what you do – they’re guaranteed to ruin your day. Tight socks that cling onto your feet, though, are bound to cut off your circulation, prevent airflow, and suffocate your feet.

Wearing socks that are too tight can cause a myriad of problems, and stinky feet are only the beginning of your troubles. Get your hands on properly fitting socks and you’re good to go.

7. Bad hygiene beats black socks any day, any time

We hate to break it to you, but your black socks might not be the ones to blame for your stinky feet. When was the last time you scrubbed your feet? When was the last time you got a pedicure or treated your feet to a massage?

Caring for your feet doesn’t need to be something you stress over, but when you dedicate a little time and effort to ensure your feet are clean and taken care of, you’re guaranteed to notice a difference.

8. Hyperhidrosis, athlete’s foot, and pitted keratolysis can cause foot odor

We do need to mention that stinky feet can be a consequence of foot problems, too. Foot diseases such as hyperhidrosis, athlete’s foot, and pitted keratolysis can cause a foul odor. If you notice something’s wrong with the way your feet smell, you might want to consult with your doctor.

To wrap up, we wouldn’t suggest wearing black socks with white sneakers, but other than that, there’s no reason you shouldn’t wear your black socks on a hot summer day!

Truth Or Myth: Do Black Socks Make Your Feet Stink?