There is no shortage of consumer products on the market, promising to cure our stinky feet. Traditional therapies for smelly feet include sprays, powders, and anti-fungal insoles. But do they really work?
Odor-Eater Powder & Insole Shoe Deodorizer
According to the manufacturer, Odor-Eaters powder uses “a unique combination of odor-destroying ingredients including baking soda” to absorb foot sweat and prevent athlete’s foot. Similarly, their insoles absorb sweat and stink using “super activated charcoal.”
The problem is that these products only really mask the problem by giving sweat another place to go, rather than just your socks. Odor-Eaters can only absorb so much moisture until they become totally saturated and can no longer absorb odor. At that point, you’ve got to add more powder or buy new insoles. There’s no telling how much you’ll end up spending over the course of your lifetime! Furthermore, while the fungus on your feet might be killed off, what about all the bacterial organisms that can also live in the shoes? They say nothing about the bacterial culprits responsible for foot odor.
Colloidal Silver Spray Shoe Deodorizer
The market contains products like the MesoSilver Antifungal Spray that are being peddled to podiatrists across America. However, a study conducted at the University of Botswana and published in the Journal of Wound Care (Vol. 13, No. 4, April 2004) concluded that “none of the three colloidal silver solutions tested had any effect on the growth of the test organisms.” Despite FDA warnings and no literature published in a peer-review journal, manufacturers continue to claim that colloidal silver has antimicrobial properties. Researchers say they were motivated to carry out the study to independently verify these assertions. Instead, they found “claims of its potency are misleading, and there is no place for it as an antiseptic.”
(And, you know, the idea of colloidal silver really doesn’t sit well with us, considering it turned this man blue!)
Similar products like the Tetra Corp’s Clean Sweep that claims to be a “safe, all natural way to kill bacteria and fungus on contact” have no seal of acceptance from the American Podiatric Medical Association.
UV Light Shoe Deodorizer
On the other hand, research does support the use of UV-C light in killing off harmful bacteria and fungus. In hospitals, a type of UV light is used to kill infection-causing pathogens, including C.diff, vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) and Acinetobacter spp.
The San Antonio Express cited a peer-reviewed study by the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston that found a UV light robot is 20 times more effective than using chemicals to clean surfaces in hospitals.
UV light technology is not just for hospitals, though. There has been talk of bringing UV light into the home in the form of water purification systems and dishwasher lamps. You can also buy a UV shoe sterilizer to combat foot odor and up to 99.9 percent of the harmful microorganisms in your shoes.
Of course, all UV shoe sanitization devices are not created equal. For instance, the Shuvee Shoe Deodorizer you may have seen in the Sky Mall catalog is fatally flawed by design.
First of all, their UV light is covered by impenetrable plastic, so only a small portion of the toe area gets sanitized. Secondly, there is no mechanism to trap the light inside the shoe, which allows UV light to escape. Not surprisingly, most reviewers note “no noticeable difference” after using the product for weeks.
We’ve spent years researching the most efficient type of design for the SteriShoe® UV shoe sanitizer. We have left as much wide open space on our light device as possible, so your entire shoe gets sanitized from the heel to the toe. We also include two shoe bags to put your shoes inside while the product is working to trap all UV light inside. This not only delivers a more concentrated sterilization (especially for open-toe shoes), but it also protects you from unnecessary UV light exposure. Learn more at www.SteriShoe.com!