Teacher’s Diary

Through the personal tragedy of losing my mother who doubled as my absolute resource at 12, I learnt early in life to eat only from the kobo or naira you have turned over. Now, I cannot expand on this here as it’d take me a book of hundreds and over pages to do so. One of the salient lessons I have learnt on my life’s journey is that shoes can be that kobo or naira. Your shoes which take you to your advantage can also bring you disadvantage. A visual assessment of you travels from your face to your feet, rests there for a fraction of a moment, makes an opinion, and then travels back up again. It is imperative to have a pair that gives you that needed referral!

Shoes are an item of clothing. Specifically they are foot wears intended to protect your feet. The human foot contains more bones than any other single part of the body. Shoes comfort your feet as you go about your daily activities. Your feet are vulnerable to environmental hazards such as hot and cold ground, pebbles or sharp rocks; glass fragments, nails, flints etc. Shoes vary in style, complexity, cost and purpose. Shoes are made from leather, wood, canvas, rubber, plastics and other petro-chemically derived materials.

We engage in a variety of activities hence the wide variety of different types of shoes available all over the world. Virtually every shoe is designed for a specific activity. We’ve got: boots, athletic shoes, dress shoes, unisex shoes, dance shoes, orthopedic shoe, non-human shoes. Just as the smells from your clothes add to your total body odour, so does the smell from your shoes add up to your overall body odour. Do you have a body odour? Everyone has a peculiar body odour. Is yours offensive and restricting? Or is yours inviting and enabling? When you ease off your feet from your shoes, do people quickly pinch their nose and turn away or do they look down and even check out your feet?

Smelly feet are caused by a build-up of sweat. Sweat glands give off sweat regularly throughout the day to keep your feet moist and supple. When your feet remain inside your shoes for a substantial amount of time, the sweat glands in your feet start to give out even more sweat. Some materials your shoes and socks have been made from actually increase the amount of sweat you produce. Your shoes absorb this sweat directly or indirectly via your socks and become damp. Furthermore, certain hormonal changes in the body cause an increase in sweating. For instance, pregnant women and teenagers sweat more due to such hormonal changes. Hyperhidrosis, which is a medical condition that makes some people sweat more than usual, could be the reason for sweaty feet. Poor hygiene, where insufficient washing of your feet and changing of your socks, allow bacteria to thrive, is another reason.

Bacteria can also be formed when you forget to dry out your shoes after they’ve been wet in the rain or the like. Bacteria and fungi favour such damp and dark conditions. They then begin to thrive on the dead skin cells and sweat in the damp shoe environment. The waste they excrete during their metabolic processes give off the mal-odorous smell emanating from damp shoes. You can now see that foot care is just as important as facials, make-overs, body massages and hair-grooming. With simple self-help techniques, you can keep on top of the smells coming from your shoes and feet.

Omoru writes from the UK