Can Poor Shoe Hygiene Affect Your Health?

Can Poor Shoe Hygiene Affect Your Health?


Wearing the same pair of shoes over and over until they fall apart is never a good idea. For starters, shoes can be a breeding ground for bacteria. If you are putting the same shoes on every single day and are wearing them for lengthy periods of time, they will inevitably become warm and sweaty. It is these conditions in which bacteria grow and thrive. Putting your feet back in the same pair of shoes again the next day means that they are not getting a chance to dry out and air. This can be bad for your feet, and it can lead to offensive smells. But did you know that poor shoe hygiene does not only cause smelly feet, but it can also be bad for your health?

Health Conditions Connected to Your Shoes

Poor shoe hygiene and habits can have a negative impact on the health of your feet. We have already talked about how sweaty shoes can become a breeding ground for bacteria, but they can also be the catalyst for fungal infections such as athlete’s foot. This condition usually starts in between the toes when feet get hot and sweaty inside closed shoes. However, it can also be picked up when walking barefoot in communal areas such as gym locker rooms and swimming pool changing rooms. It is highly contagious.

Wearing shoes that are too tight or too loose can also have an impact on foot health. For example, if your shoes are too loose your feet may be moving around quite a bit when you walk. This can then cause rubbing under the balls of the feet. It might also cause your toes to become sore, particularly when walking downhill. This could also contribute to ingrown toenails, especially if you are running in poorly fitting shoes. Ingrown toenails are also commonly caused by shoes that are too narrow or too flat.

You might also end up with other foot problems caused by ill-fitting shoes. Corns, bunions and hammertoes have all been contributed to poorly fitting footwear.

Something to bear in mind though is that not all shoe-related health conditions affect the feet. If you are wearing shoes that are not comfortable or that do not fit you properly, you might end up with pain in your back or joints. You could even end up with a damage to your nerves, particularly if you wear the shoes for a long time. Narrow or tight shoes can cause permanent nerve damage.

How to Prevent Shoe Related Health Problems

To prevent problems such as smelly feet or athlete’s foot you should avoid wearing the same shoes every day. Give the shoes time to breathe; at the very most, wear them every other day. You should also take your shoes off as soon as you get home, and do not wear them around the house all day. The good folk at Shoe Fresh say that you can also keep odors at bay by spraying the shoes with a shoe deodorizer, which will eliminate bad smells for up to three months.

For other health problems, the best way to prevent them is to make sure you are wearing shoes that fit your feet properly. Don’t just buy shoes that are ‘your size’ without trying them on because different manufacturers will use slightly different sizes. For example, you might find that two pairs of shoes that are the same ‘size’ will feel completely different.

In conclusion, your shoes can have a direct impact on your health. But you can keep problems at bay by adopting good shoe hygiene and habits.