This is an interesting question. You are certainly not an isolated case.
The "origin" of foot odor has been examined in many studies.
- This study conducted by Marshall et al focused on the microflora
found on normal feet (no foot odor) and compared it to feet with foot
odor. They reported a higher population densities of staphylococci and
aerobic coryneform bacteria in the feet with foot odor. They also
reported that these feets had higher exo-enzymes (lipase, protease,
and callous degrading enzymes) than the other feet.
- During the same period, Kobayashi et al showed staphylococcus epidermidis was linked to the presence of foot odor or not
- Some years later, a japanese group led by Kanda analysed socks (!) and feet from two group of people (with/without odor) using a gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS). They reported that short-chain fatty acids were the primary components of foot odor
In 2006, a very interesting study was conducted by a group of canadian researchers: their aim was to identify microorganisms that are involved in producing unpleasant odors and examine plant extracts and fragrant agents which would inhibit the routes of production of these substances.
Here first an overview of the fatty acid they have found ( acetic acid is responsible for the odor of sweat, isovaleric acid, propionic acid,
isobutyric acid, and butyric acid are involved in foot odor)
Then they looked at a difference in organisms distribution and found that bacilli were significantly different between the groups:
They then examined the possible role of naturally occurring materials using leucine dehydrogenase activity as an index (which is involved in foot odor), and obtained citral, citronellal, and geraniol as good competitive inhibitors. So these fragments are likely to inhibit foot odor.
Why different bacteries are present in some individuals and not in another might be multifactorial and precipitated by diseases (fungus, endocrine disorders,...). I haven't found any study suggesting it might be genetic.
Now, there are indeed many websites suggesting many different possible ways of treating foot odor. The only peer-reviewed paper I could find is was on The Physician and Sportsmedicine . Here their advices:
Hope this brought some clarifications.
Sources: Ara et al. Foot odor due to microbial metabolism and its control.Can J Microbiol. 2006 Apr;52(4):357-64.