Sweaty feet can be an embarrassing, stinky problem. Worried that your swamp foot is a genetic disorder passed down from generation to generation? Do you feel like maybe you’ve been cursed by an angry god?

In reality, the most likely culprit of your stank foot comes down to one thing: poor choice in socks.  

Take a moment to let the relief wash over you. You aren’t on some sort of cosmic blacklist! You CAN make your feet smell better! But how? The Soxperts at SocksAddict.com are here to help! Let’s take some time to answer your burning question: What are the best socks for sweaty feet? Which socks are best at fighting foot odor?

Sweaty Foot Mistakes: Materials That Cause Sweaty Feet

Cotton: The Reason Everyone Has Wet Stinky Feet.

If you’re like most people, the majority of the socks in your drawer are made from cotton. While cotton socks are very popular, they’re certainly not the best choice for sweaty or stinky feet.

In fact, cotton is one of the main reasons people complain of sweaty, stinky feet! Even though cotton feels like a light and comfortable material, moisture absorbed by cotton fibers doesn’t evaporate back into the air outside the sock! Cotton fibers retain heat, instead of insulating (like wool) and heat equals bacteria and odor. Sweat, bacteria, and odor is absorbed by cotton and doesn’t really go away until you put them in the wash!

Plastic, Nylon, Polyester: Old School Synthetic Fabrics

As you’ll read later in this article, synthetic fibers can be amazing for preventing hot, humid feet. Fabric technology has come along way since these materials were first developed, so steer clear of the non-technical versions of plastic, nylon or polyester when purchasing socks. Breathability is key for preventing sweat and odor and plastic, nylon and polyester are NOT breathable.

The Answer to Your Problems: Top 5 Best Sock Materials For Sweaty Feet

We have three words for you: Moisture Wicking Socks. Problem solved. If you struggle with sweaty, smelly feet, you must wear socks that absorb moisture and wick it away. Fibers that “wick” draw moisture from the surface of your skin and release it into the air, keeping the fibers and your feet dry and comfortable. There are many natural and synthetic fibers with wicking properties. Let’s talk the Top 5!

Merino Wool: The Natural Choice for Dry Feet.

Merino wool is a natural wonder. It’s light, soft, insulating and has natural anti-microbial properties.  It is a great choice for socks and unlike cotton, it won’t make your feet hot or trap moisture. Wool can absorb up to 30% of its own weight in moisture and STILL NOT FEEL WET. There’s a reason wool was the #1 choice of sailors for centuries.

Here are just a few of the benefits of wool socks:

  • Wicks sweat away from your feet to be reabsorbed into the air rather remaining trapped in fibers

  • Absorbs up to 30% of its own weight in water without feeling wet

  • Breathes well, insulates instead of trapping heat. Cotton traps heat, creating a tiny swamp in your shoe.

  • Thicker than cotton.

  • Insulates which means your feet stay warm when it’s cold and cool when it’s hot.  

  • Merino wool stays warm, even when wet, making a great sock for running.

  • It also dries quickly, so if your socks do happen to get wet, it won’t be for long.

  • Naturally anti-bacterial. This anti-bacterial action is another way wool socks reduce foot odor. 

Shop Wool

Polyester: Not Just For Leisure Suits

Polyester is a synthetic fabric that is durable, quick drying, strong whether wet or dry, wrinkle resistant and easy to clean. It is more breathable and absorbent than nylon.Shop Polyester

Coolmax: Scientifically Engineered to Combat Sweaty Feet.

Coolmax is a polyester based moisture-wicking technical fabric developed by DuPont in 1986. It is fade and shrink resistant and is often combined with cotton, wool, or Spandex. Best used during extreme physical exertion and in combination with other materials to provide warmth.

Coolmax was engineered to improve breathability compared to natural fibers. Sweaty feet (and the problems that come with them) are such an issue for so many people that someone out there specifically created a fiber to combat it.Shop CoolMax

Olefin: Nobel Prize Winner

Italian scientists won the 1963 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for developing the process of making Olefin fibers. This space age synthetic is very light weight, extremely strong, durable, quick drying, easy to clean, stain and soil resistant, and comfortable to wear. Olefin is one of the best fibers for both repelling water and wicking water away. Not only is this material moisture wicking, it’s also hydrophobic and moves sweat away from your feet up to 25 times faster than other synthetic fibers.Shop Olefin

DryMax: The Ultimate Sweaty Feet Sock Defense

DryMax is a brand of specially engineered Olefin fabric socks. DryMax fibers are infused with an anti-microbial treatment at the molecular level, so DryMax socks stay odor free. This treatment is both non-toxic and long lasting. DryMax fibers have a comfortable springiness and don’t get stiff, shrink or lose shape and all DryMax socks have top and/or bottom air vents to release moisture and keep feet dry and cool.Shop DryMax


There's nothing quite as nerve-wracking as taking off your shoes around people and wondering if you're going to clear the room with the stench from your shoe. There's also no reason to live in fear! Change your socks every day, switch back and forth between at least two pairs of shoes and wear high-quality socks made from wool or synthetic materials designed to wick moisture and say goodbye to smelly feet! Do you have a story about how switching to quality socks impacted your life for the better? Tweet @socksaddict and use #sockstories! 

Check out the Best Moisture Wicking Socks to help you control your sweaty feet, or if you want to find the perfect sock for you? Check out our SockFinder


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