We’ve all been guilty of the fashion faux pas of wearing shoes without socks, but doing so isn’t just bad for your fashion health, but your actual health.
People who regularly wear shoes without socks are at more risk of developing fungal problems and infections like athlete’s foot, according to the College of Podiatry.
Experts point to the ‘bare ankle’ trend, which has been popularized by celebrities (especially men) like Bradley Cooper, Ryan Gosling, and Orlando Bloom. The fashion phenomena, combined with more poorly-made footwear, has led to an increase in the number of unwanted foot conditions, says podiatrist Emma Stevenson from the College of Podiatry.
“Depending on the level of sweatiness of the foot, there may be issues with too much moisture in the feet, which can leave you vulnerable to fungal infections such as athlete’s foot. On average your feet will sweat half a pint a day; that’s a lot to be pouring out straight into your shoe without it being absorbed by a sock,” Stevenson explained.
The aforementioned poorly made shoes, along with excessive sweat and a lack of socks, creates an ideal environment for fungal bacteria to thrive.
Related: Why Do My Feet Smell so Bad?
“Many shoes that are available today may have leather uppers but are lined in synthetic material, which is not breathable. If the lining is not breathable then moisture, heat and bacteria will all be trapped inside the shoe,” Stevenson adds.
But if you must go sockless, try these simple steps to keep stench and pain problems at bay:
- Spray the feet with antiperspirant prior to putting shoes on.
- Don’t wear the same shoes every day.
- Give shoes 48 hours to dry off.
- Use dry tea bags to absorb excess moisture in shoes.
- Wash and dry feet correctly after going sockless.
- Stop wearing shoes that give you pain.
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