What are Odor-Eaters&Reg;?

R. Anacan

Odor-Eaters® are specialty products designed to reduce foot odor and the wetness that causes foot odor. Odor-Eaters® are best known for insoles placed inside of shoes, but the company’s product line also includes foot sprays and powders. Due to its popularity and ubiquitousness in the foot hygiene market, the name Odor-Eaters is also popularly used as a generic term for similar products by other manufacturers.

Shoe insoles.
Shoe insoles.

While body odor is natural and everyone generates some form of body odor, it is still a cause of concern and embarrassment when it occurs. The Odor-Eaters® company states that 18% of people ages 18-64 suffer from foot odor or wetness. Of these individuals, 72% believed that the odor was noticeable by someone else and 54% of sufferers were embarrassed by their foot odor.

Odor-Eaters are designed to reduce foot odor and wetness.
Odor-Eaters are designed to reduce foot odor and wetness.

In understanding how Odor-Eaters® products work, it is important to know what causes feet to smell in the first place. There are estimated to be over 250,000 sweat glands in human feet. Bacteria thrive and feed on sweat, making sweaty feet enclosed in socks and shoes for much of the day a perfect environment for bacteria to grow in. As bacteria multiply and grow, they secrete waste products that create the distinctive odor associated with feet.

Odor-Eaters® insoles were invented and introduced in the early 1970s by Herbert Lapidus of Combe Incorporated. Odor-Eaters® insoles are made of latex and contain activated charcoal that absorbs the sweat and wicks it away from the foot and neutralizes the odor. Another added benefit of the shoe insoles is that they cushion and support the feet when in use.

Foot powders and sprays are applied directly on the feet and can also be applied in the shoe itself. Powders and sprays reduce the accumulation of sweat and moisture, keeping the feet dry which helps to reduce the occurrence of odor. In addition to using foot hygiene products such as Odor-Eaters®, those who would like to reduce foot odor should take these preventive measures:

• Clean the feet with soap and water at least once a day. Dry thoroughly after cleaning.
• Do not wear the same pair of shoes two days in a row. Shoes and insoles should be allowed to thoroughly dry out. Insoles can be removed to facilitate the drying out process.
• Wear shoes made of a natural material such as leather and canvas. Natural materials breathe easier and allow for more ventilation than shoes made of synthetic materials such as nylon, plastic, and polyester.
• Wear thicker socks made of natural materials. These types of socks wick fabric away from the foot better than socks made of synthetic fabrics. Be sure to wash socks frequently.

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