Nanotechnology aims to cure smelly feet

Researchers believe nanotechnology could someday help build tiny supercomputers or solve many of the world’s energy problems. More immediately, a company in Pennsylvania hopes to use nanoparticles to create less-stinky socks, according to

NanoHorizons, based in State College, Pa., has begun to sell a line of metallic nanoparticles that are compatible with standard polymer manufacturing process. This means that silver, gold and other metals that kill bacteria and odor-causing microbes can be incorporated into shoes, athletic equipment and other plastic or nylon products.


“We’re working with a company that does socks right now,” said Dan Hayes, director of operations for NanoHorizons. The socks should be out in about a year.

Currently, manufacturers can incorporate these metals into products by mixing a bulk form of the material into a polymer or evaporating a layer of metal onto a surface. This method, however, requires that manufacturers mix quite a bit of metal into the product, which adds weight and cost and which can change its durability or other characteristics, said Hayes.”