I have an issue with excessive sweat in my feet, and separately I have noticed my shoes no matter the quality, function or use-profile do not last more than a year, often less.

It's been suggested to me that it could be that my sweat is accelerating the breakdown of the stitching. I've read this is possible with salt water, but can this happen with sweat as well.

I'm trying to figure out whether I need (even) better shoes or if I need to find some (other) way of preventing foot sweat.

  • In my experience, the stitching/seams break down from mechanical causes (lots of brambles over here make every boot look nubuk after a while and transforms jeans -> velvet -> rags). Sweat can weaken the leather, though: wet leather is very soft and mechanically weak and that may cause the leather to tear at the seam holes. That would be the inner lining leather. What helps here is a) synthetic inner lining, b) rotating boots so they can always properly dry (impossible with longer backpacking tours, though) and lots of leather grease/wax also for inner leather lining. – cbeleites unhappy with SX Jul 10 '19 at 11:44
  • @cbeleites While it could be mechanical, I thought walking boots, if only used day to day not on say hiking or the like would last longer than a year. The other caveat is that these may not be leather shoes. – Pureferret Jul 10 '19 at 13:33
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    According to this very old article (ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1258937/?page=4) the thing that really damages textiles is bacteria, which happen to love wet salty environments. Sweat is usually pretty salty, and your feet have lots of bacteria, so this could be a cause. – jhch Jul 10 '19 at 20:01
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    (side not, not directly answering your question) I know climbers who use large silica gel packets to absorb sweat in shoes after use to prevent the stank--this might help with longevity too. – jhch Jul 10 '19 at 20:06

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