Work boots are designed to be supportive and protective. Many of them feature steel or composite toes along with stiff, durable uppers.
However, this can often come at the expense of breathability, which may cause excessive sweating, especially if you work in a warm environment.
Sweating can cause chafing, leading to blisters and an unhealthy shoe environment where bacteria can grow.
We’ve found the best ways to keep feet from sweating in work boots so you can work more comfortably.
1. Clean Your Feet
While most of us are in the habit of washing our feet at least once a day, you may need to wash your feet more often if they sweat a lot.
Use warm water and antibacterial soap and give them a thorough clean a few times a day if you can.
This will help eliminate any bacteria that may be lurking and keep your feet fresher for longer.
If you work long hours or you can’t manage to wash your feet during the day, you can carry antibacterial wipes and use them a few times a day.
2. Invest in Breathable Boots
The more breathable your work boots are, the less your feet should sweat.
If you can, you should consider buying a more breathable pair of work boots that will allow air to flow through the shoe and keep your feet cool.
Most breathable footwear also has a lining that wicks away moisture, which will move sweat away from the skin.
You should also wear lighter, more breathable boots in summer and more robust, insulated boots in winter. Wearing winter boots in summer weather will increase the chances of your feet sweating.
3. Length of Boots
In some cases, you may need to wear a work boot with ankle support. However, a higher ankle collar can trap in heat and cause your feet to sweat even more.
If possible, switch from a higher boot to a pair with a lower profile around the ankle. This will allow for better ventilation around the ankles and can significantly reduce the amount of sweating on your feet.
If you have no choice but to wear a high-ankle boot for work, you will need to try some of the other ideas on this list.
4. Absorbent Insoles
You can insert an absorbent insole made for sweaty feet into your work boots. They will help absorb excess sweat and keep your feet dry.
Some absorbent insoles also have fragrances, which can help to mask any odor associated with sweaty feet.
However, because these usually mask the odor, you can also consider an activated charcoal insole that neutralizes odor rather than hides it.
If you choose to use an insole, make sure that you use an insole with the appropriate arch support for your foot. And be sure to keep your insoles clean!
5. Absorbent Socks
If you don’t want to use an insole, you can invest in a few pairs of absorbent socks. Moisture-wicking material will help draw the sweat away from your feet and keep you feeling more dry and cool.
Socks made of polyester, Merino wool, or Coolmax material are best for wicking away sweat. You can also look for socks with antimicrobial linings, like Rockay socks.
Avoid wearing cotton socks since cotton can actually cause your feet to sweat more as it’s not very breathable.
6. Boot Dryer
The sweat and bacteria can accumulate within your work boots day by day. If you put your clean feet into a dirty boot, it can make your feet sweat more and increase the growth of odor-causing bacteria.
You can put your boots into the dryer every night, which will cause any remaining sweat to evaporate. However, you should double-check the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure this is safe for the boots.
If you can’t put them in the dryer, you can scrunch up some newspaper and stuff it inside your boots. This will also help evaporate the moisture inside your shoes overnight to have a dry shoe in the morning.
7. Foot Powder
Foot powder could be an effective way of reducing sweating on the feet. You can buy a foot powder like Dr. Scholl’s Odor-X Sweat Absorbing Foot Powder.
Most foot powders will also have an odor-neutralizing component.
You can sprinkle the powder into your shoes or directly onto your feet. Alternatively, you can sprinkle some inside your socks before putting them on.
If you don’t have a powder specifically for foot sweating and odors, you can try using baking soda, cornstarch, or talcum powder.
8. Antiperspirant Spray
If you don’t like the idea of using foot powder, you could use an antiperspirant spray like deodorant. Simply spray it onto your feet, and it could help prevent excessive sweating in your work boots.
With that being said, you should not use foot powders and antiperspirant sprays together, as the moisture of the spray could cause the powder to clump and lose its effectiveness.
9. Weight Management
If you are overweight or obese, you will tend to sweat more since you will exert more energy during any given activity.
If you are overweight or obese, one of the steps to reducing sweating is to reduce your weight. By exercising and implementing a healthy diet, you can lower your weight and get excess sweating under control.
10. Drink Hot Water
Drinking hot water or hot beverages in warm weather can help regulate your body temperature, which can reduce sweating.
If you can’t take your shoes off or wash your feet during the day, you can increase the number of hot beverages you drink during the day.
You can try drinking hot water with lemon and honey, green tea, mint tea, or even coffee, although you should be careful about how much caffeine you ingest.
If you can, take your shoes off for 5 to 10 minutes to allow your feet to breathe and cool down. This can help reduce sweating before you put your feet back into your shoes.
Removing your shoes 2 to 3 times a day can help immensely. However, this may not always be possible, for example, if you work in a hazardous environment or in the office.
12. Use a Cedar Shoe Trees
A cedar shoe tree like this one is placed inside your shoe when you’re not wearing it. It helps to keep the shoe’s shape, but it also helps to absorb any moisture inside the shoe.
Cedar wood is antibacterial and not only removes the moisture from inside your shoe, but also helps to keep a pleasant odor in the boots.
They are not expensive and can be used in multiple pairs of shoes. They also last a very long time. This could also be safer and more effective than putting your shoes in the dryer.
13. Natural Remedies
You can also try using natural remedies for sweating. Apple cider vinegar can help clean your feet and neutralize odor.
Black tea can also help to reduce sweating, and most people have it around the house. You can use both of these by soaking your feet in the evenings.
Lemon juice is also thought to reduce sweating and neutralize odor, as well as leaving a fresh scent.
Alternatively, rubbing alcohol on the parts of your feet that sweat a lot can help stop the sweating in your work boots.