When you need a roomful of people to leave, there’s no need of hypnotism to force them to do so – just take off your shoes and socks, and they will oblige . The foul odor being generated by your feet would be enough for them to want to be somewhere else (You might even get some nice comments from a few – “What stinks?”).
Did you ever wonder why your feet smell? Feet sweat just like other body parts (but they sweat much more). Each foot has more than 250,000 sweat glands each, which makes feet into the list of most perspiring areas of the body (in one day, each foot can produce more than a pint of sweat!). Run a couple miles, and then take off your shoes – you’ll see what i mean.
So who’s the culprit? Can it be… Bacteria? Yes – these microscopic organisms eat sweat, dead skin cells and oils to keep them alive, and inhabit dark, damp places (such as the insides of sweaty shoes). They multiply as they feed on sweat – so if you don’t wear socks with your shoes, you’ll have double the amount of sweat eating bacteria on your feet. As it eats sweat, it excretes waste in the form of organic acids- which is of course horrible smelling.
But for some, this smell is worse than others. Congratulations to the 15% of population who walk around with a bacteria called Micrococcus sedentarius, which produce not just the stinky organic acids, but also produce volatile sulfur compounds. Volatile sulfur compounds? Sounds awfully scientific… you can try smelling a rotten egg to get the idea!
Why just feet? Except for the armpits (which work a little differently) our body doesn’t smell. The answer lies in the socks and shoes – the sweat in our feet does not evaporate into the air as easily as it does from the hands or other body parts.