This Is Why Wearing Shoes Without Socks Could Make You Sick

It may be trendy, but you might be putting your health at serious risk.

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Blame the “bare ankle” trend, stylish footwear, or just plain laziness, but we’re suddenly seeing lots of people wearing shoes without socks. However, this nasty habit has to go—stat.

Not only does wearing shoes without socks make your feet pretty smelly, but regularly doing so also increases your risk of developing gross foot conditions like athlete’s foot. (Try these home remedies for foot and toenail fungus.) According to the College of Podiatry, the combination of sweat, stuffy shoe fabrics, and a lack of socks create the perfect conditions for fungal infections.

Allow us to explain: Your feet sweat about a half pint per day, on average. Plus, “many shoes that are available today may have leather uppers but are lined in synthetic material, which is not breathable,” podiatrist Emma Stevenson from the College of Podiatry told The Telegraph. “If the lining is not breathable then moisture, heat, and bacteria will all be trapped inside the shoe.”

Pointed toe and slip-on shoes could also be the culprits of your foot woes, Stevenson says. Certain types of shoes rub against areas like your toes and heels, which can cause ingrown toenails and bunions down the road. (Pun intended!) Here, podiatrists reveal simple solutions to 9 common foot problems.

Of course, more research needs to be done in order to understand the true consequences of this little habit. But most experts say it’s better to be safe than sorry. And did we mention the smell?

If you still insist on walking around sans-socks, experts recommend spraying your shoes with antiperspirant in the morning and leaving dry tea bags in them overnight; doing so absorbs excess moisture in your shoe and minimizes the stink. After a day of going sockless, wash and dry your feet thoroughly and allow your shoes 48 hours to dry off. And while we’re on the subject, this is the gross reason you should never wear the same pair of shoes two days in a row.

[Source: Good Housekeeping]

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