How to Avoid Sweaty Feet in Work Boots

Sweaty work boots might seem like a trivial thing, but say that to the person working long hours in a hot environment and you might hear a counter-opinion. Let’s look at why sweaty boots are a genuine issue, before suggesting ways to tackle the problem.


What’s wrong with sweaty feet?

There are several reason why excessive sweat in your boots can be a problem:

  • It’s uncomfortable

  • It’s smelly

  • It can make them slippery and compromise sure-footedness

  • It can promote fungal growth

  • It can cause rotting which damages the fabric of the boot


How to prevent sweaty feet in work boots

When you’re looking at how to prevent foot sweat and odour in your boots, you’ll quickly realise that ventilation is your friend. But then a potential problem will surface – how do you get air to flow around your boots while retaining their waterproof and insulating properties?

The simplest way to do this is to avoid wearing the boots for sustained periods, especially in hot conditions and/or when you’re doing strenuous work. If you can take them off and give them a good airing every hour or so, you’ll find the build-up of water vapour and moisture doesn’t have time to become a breeding ground for bacteria, so the smells and dampness will dissipate.

For most workers, of course, that isn’t an option – you’ll be wearing them for a whole shift and it probably isn’t possible, or maybe even safe, to take them off for a breather. 

Similarly, having two pairs of boots that you wear on alternating days, or changing once during a shift, will help keep the long term damage at bay, but it can be an expensive option. And again, if you’re out in the field, it’s probably impracticable.

How to avoid sweating in boots: the shoe-rack option 

It’s possible that you can reduce foot sweat by having a winter pair and a summer pair. One is lighter and less insulated, while the other is designed for colder climes. Clearly, wearing insulated work boots in the summer heat, or around hot machinery, won’t help your sweat problem, so that might be a step in the right direction. Also consider the socks you’re wearing. They come in a range of thicknesses, and the lighter they are, the less sweat your feet will generate in a given environment.


How to prevent sweaty feet in work boots: the Timberland way

While the above options might be fine for some workers, they do take away from the versatility and wearability of boots. Most people just want to put their boots on at the start of the shift and forget about them, whether it’s sunny, rainy or snowy. And that’s where breathability comes into the equation.

Breathability is simply the ability for moisture to leave the boots, and for fresh air to enter them, but you could say that about a pair of sandals, which are a no-go on the building site or factory floor. For work boots to be breathable, they need to be tough, chemical resistant and weatherproof while also letting moisture out and air in, and that’s a bit trickier.

We achieve it, however, through the careful selection of materials and advanced manufacturing processes. Many of our boots have Gore-Tex layers, which allows the tiny particles of water vapour to escape while stopping droplets of rain from getting in. It’s an elegant solution to the problem, which allows insulation to be added without causing overheating. We also coat many of our boots in special materials that stop water getting in, and some also have antimicrobial treatment that will nip any outbreaks of bacteria in the bud.


Choose your boots well

So if you’re wondering how to stop sweaty feet in boots, there are a few options. You can try airing them and changing them, sure. But perhaps it’s best to choose boots made with built-in technology so you can wear them for longer, in more conditions, while keeping foot sweat to a minimum. 

When you’re searching for men’s or women’s boots, always make sure you expand the “Product detail” and “Features” sections at the bottom of the page. There, we go beyond the styling to give all the information you could possibly need on safety, waterproofing, breathability and insulation. So whatever you’re looking for in your work boot it’s all there to study – no sweat.

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