Pickle Toes

Mike Garner

I’d like to take a minute to address something that plagues all footwear manufacturers. It’s something rarely discussed outside of the industry’s inner circles. And it’s the one thing that makes most R&D guys cringe slightly. I’m talking about stinky feet.

The truth is all feet perspire and ultimately all feet smell. Yours. Mine. Old feet. Young feet. Big feet. Little feet. Even your cute girlfriend or beautiful bride’s feet – even though she assures you they smell like rose petals or some other floral scented masking agent from Bath & Body Works.

In my house we affectionately refer to smelly feet as “pickle toes.” Frankly pickles would smell infinitely more appealing to me, but my seven and almost five year-old boys seem to thoroughly enjoy the fermented cucumber description. And its important to note that the only thing better then two little boys talking about “pickle toes” is fending off the actual feet strategically placed under your nose!

The good news is the good people at Chippewa Boots are doing their very best to combat your pungent foot odor. I’m told there are big things on the horizon. Which isn’t surprising. It seems like every time you turn around there is a revolutionary new fabric or insulating layer on the market wicking perspiration or keeping us warm and dry in the field.

But for now utilizing things like the Dri-Lex lining that delivers all day comfort with a totally breathable, fast-drying, moisture management system is a great place to start. And until true “odor-eliminating” footwear arrives on the market there are a few tried-and-true tips for keeping your boots and feet fresh.

First, always air your boots out at the end of the day – regardless of your activity! It doesn’t matter if you’ve been hunting or working all day simply loosen your laces, open the boot wide, and pull the insoles out. This is by far the easiest way to let your boots breathe a little bit overnight.

Second, if you have access to a boot dryer or fan it wouldn’t hurt to circulate some air inside your boots. Not only will this help reduce the moisture inside quicker, but it will also help eliminate the odor created by perspiration and bacteria.

And third, rotate your insoles every morning to ensure a fresh foot bed. Purchasing a matching set of insoles is great for your feet and the life of your boot. Not only will a fresh pair of insoles save your nose it will promote good foot health.

Personally I do all three! In fact, during archery elk season last year Tips No. 2 and No. 3 got me through two weeks on my feet in the rugged backcountry of Wyoming’s Wagonhound Ranch. But, the best part of hunting all day – airing my feet (and boots) out on the mountaintop!

Mike Garner Outdoors
mike garner outdoors

Chippewa has teamed up with Mike Garner, a lifelong sportsman and television personality with a love for everything outdoors, to bring you Mike's journey across the United States in his Chippewa boots.

View Mike Garner's Blog Articles