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You might not think about it much, or ever, but the shoes you’re bringing into your home could actually be posing quite a threat to your health. Every day when you leave the home, you’re going to and from work, getting into cars or vehicles or public transport, and walking where hundreds or even thousands of other people have walked.

This might not seem concerning considering you have material between you and the ground, but that material is actually the cause for concern itself. Your shoes may be endangering your health in ways you can’t even see. This is especially true when you think about how many people wear their shoes inside their own homes after being out and about. And not everybody lives in a community with a no-shoes-at-home-policy. Here are some things to keep in mind when you think about how your shoes might be a health problem.

Track in Fecal Matter 

It’s gross to think about, and you do often notice it, but you likely track in poop particles on a daily basis. There is poop everywhere you go, from the city streets to lawns, to park grass and dog parks especially. It’s domestic pets and wild animal droppings and you probably don’t notice it. Even when you wipe it off on a carpet or try to scrape it off on some concrete, it’s still there. This is especially gross if you’re a person who likes to wear their shoes indoors, so you want to remember to thoroughly clean your shoes if you do walk around inside, take them off inside, or naturally, try to avoid stepping in poop if you can.

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    Track in Other Infectious Diseases or Bacteria

    When it’s not poop, you’re touching plenty of other harmful and infectious organisms, ones that you will definitely not see. Many shoes actually have trace amounts of E.coli on them which people bring into their homes, which is obviously very bad for your health and can make you incredibly sick. The best way to treat it is with a UV shoe sanitizer, which kills the bacteria on a level that will eradicate them from the material much more effectively than wiping them down. This bacteria can be easily brought in on a shoe, which is certainly surprising.

    UV-C for smartphones and dressing rooms

    We already know this kind of UV-C cleaning from the initiatives that were taken because of the spread of the coronavirus. We showed you how to clean your smartphones and laptops, but also how to keep clean a complete dressing room. UV-C, when used in a proper way, can be an answer to many potential contaminations. In fact, UV-C can be a very powerful tool in our fight against the coronavirus.

    Develop a Fungal Infection

    Back to your shoes. If you’re someone that’s been wearing the same dingy pair of shoes for a long time or happens to get their shoes muddy and moist often, you could be looking at a developing fungal infection without realizing it. On the soles of your feet, between the toes, or under the toenails, fungal infections can grow from old and dirty shoes that haven’t been properly cleaned in ages. Most of the time, you should just throw them out after a while, but you can always attempt to wash them if they aren’t too far gone. Still, avoid getting the inside of shoes too moist and keep them dry to prevent fungal infections from starting.

    Touch Plenty of Unclean Surfaces Throughout the Day

    Besides fecal matter, your shoes are touching a lot of surfaces throughout the day that is just unsanitary and unclean. Medical professionals will wear booties to protect their shoes because those infectious diseases like E.coli can be incredibly present on floors in hospitals or clinics. For the rest of the population, public transport is a myriad of bacteria that you might not even notice. People also drop cigarette butts on the sidewalk, spit on the ground, and you’re walking where garbage was. These are all ways that your shoes can track nasty bacteria, no matter who you are or where you work.

    Create an Odorous Smell

    Of course, it’s not only about dangerous contaminations. In less of a sense of endangerment, your shoes can end up being really uncomfortable to wear or be around. When you let them get old or worn down, your shoes start to absorb all of the odors that your feet have accumulated over the years. Damp socks and sweaty feet are primarily the nasty factors that lead to an odorous pair of shoes that will be disgusting to be around. It might not endanger you, but it certainly won’t be pleasant to have to smell. 

    Every day we battle germs and infections inside and outside our body. Plenty of them are avoidable and easy to spot, like washing hands after using the bathroom and avoiding touching your face and surfaces, but there are also a lot of hidden dangers. Your shoes happen to be one, and as you can see, there’s a surprising amount of ways you can get sick from your footwear alone.

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