If you stop wearing socks with your shoes, you’d likely have an unpleasant odor and some bothersome blisters. But you’d also increase your risk for certain infections — particularly athlete’s foot. Spread easily, this fungal infection can prompt incessant burning and itching on the feet. According to research published in InformedHealth.org, as much as 15% of the population is thought to have athlete’s foot. Because this fungus thrives in warm, damp places, going barefoot in communal spaces like public pools and gym locker rooms can make one more susceptible to infection. Similarly, it’s important to wear moisture-absorbing socks with our shoes in order to keep our feet nice and dry.
To help reduce your chances of contracting athlete’s foot, remember to practice proper foot hygiene and regularly wash your feet with antibacterial soap and water. Additionally, opt for shoes that allow for air exposure. Wearing flip-flops in damp communal spaces is particularly important. Lastly, in addition to routinely disinfecting your shoes, be sure to be vigilant about washing your socks. The hotter the water, the better.