by Ethan Aronson

We’ve all been there… driving in a car with someone and there’s an uncomfortable silence, but it’s not a lull in conversation. I’m talking about the silence after you smell something awful, like a (dare we say it) “silent-but-deadly.”

Today, we will forego the flatulence and talk about a smell that is far more sinister, something that doesn’t fade with the brief opening of the window… Today’s topic is spine-chilling – one that causes grandmothers around the world clutch their pearls. Today we speak of uncontrollable FOOT ODOR.

Growing up in a house of all males, I thought my feet smelled the best of the worst, even when I got in the car after a full day of playing in the snow and kicking off my sweaty moon boots. Later in life, driving to one of our first awkward restaurant gatherings, my future mother-in-law commented that my feet smelled a bit like buttered popcorn... Charming. (I now can’t look at movie-theater concessions the same.)

We all know how the distinct smell of funky feet can be amplified in small spaces - like the limited space in a vehicle. Currently, I drive part-time for a ride-share company. Thankfully, weekends typically include transporting passengers from bars who don’t seem to care much about the smell coming from my feet.

Still, the thought of others smelling my foot stench makes me anxious. What if they leave a bad review? What if they won’t tip? No driver wants a review that says, “Great driving, clean car, but did something die in his car?” In the summer, I can crack the windows open to let in that sweet, sweet fresh air, but in the winter, my feet are left baking in my boots while the heater happily blows the horrifying smells around the car.

 

I TRIED THE USUAL FOOT STANK REMEDIES, BUT NOTHING WORKED!

I’ve tried everything from scented sneaker balls to a special scrubbing tool in the shower to scrape off the smell-inducing rough skin.

 

In high school, I attempted to deal with the issue by throwing a bunch of baby powder on my sweaty feet. (Nothing says, “I have a foot odor problem” like leaving a trail of white footprints behind!) I hoped it would mask the stink and keep my feet from excessively sweating while finding every possible reason to avoid giving my AP English presentation on Dante’s Inferno. The powder attack was only met with ruined socks and ruined self-esteem.

Even after getting set up with a whole new foot wardrobe – sweat-wicking socks and comfortable, non-plastic shoes – I found my sweaty feet always stomped out any efforts to combat the odor.

Regardless of how often I’d wash my feet, the foot funk would return. No matter what, I couldn’t outrun my stinky toes!!

 

TURNS OUT, I NEEDED TO ADDRESS THE REAL ISSUE BEHIND THE ODOR...

It wasn’t until recently that I discovered the real reason behind the stench of my feet. As with other sweat-inducing areas of our bodies, it isn’t the actual sweat that smells – that’s simply our body self-regulating to keep us cool.

 

The real problem is the micro-organisms munching on our sweat, skin-cells, and other fluids our body produces (yuck!). As soon as they digest their meal, they produce their own form of stinky release.

The previous efforts of myself, and so many others, revolved around covering up the smell. The problem with this tactic is it’s simply too late by that point; the bacteria knows what it wants and goes after that sweet sweat, leaving your feet smelling like cheesy cologne. (Sorry for the imagery…It’s gross, but we stand by it!) Some sweating is necessary, so completely stopping our bodies from that natural process is not ideal, let alone, nearly impossible.

 

THANKFULLY, THERE'S LUME TO ADDRESS THE ACTUAL CAUSE OF FOOT ODOR

With all of this in mind, Dr. Shannon Klingman, an OB-GYN, set out to create a product that could hone in on the actual culprit to all human body odor – bacteria. This product, Lume Deodorant, targets the actual bacteria on our bodies that consume bodily fluids and produce stench, which keeps the stink from ever being created!

Lume is a natural deodorant, made without aluminum, baking soda, parabens, or sodium lauryl sulfate. Klingman developed Lume with a purpose and a passion to help people feel confident about their bodies and their place in this world – even in small spaces such as a ride-share vehicles.

Lume is skin-safe and works from my pits to my stinky toes!

Using a thin layer of Lume Deodorant on my feet before I kick into overtime with my ride-share gig leaves me feeling confident on the road, in my home, and even in the car with my mother-in-law (sort of).

And, because Lume provides me with 72-hour protection, my weekend tips can keep rolling in well beyond closing time. Regardless if my passengers can’t remember my name on a two-mile drive to the next hot spot in town, at least I know I won’t get bad reviews for the smell!!

Thanks, Lume! My skunk toes don’t make babies cry anymore.

Ethan Aronson
Ethan Aronson