This article was published on: 01/23/21 9:51 AM

Smelly Shoes? Infection To Come! – BioPed Footcare

We’ve all heard of fungus and know that it grows in dark, warm, moist conditions. But did you realize that one of the perfect breeding grounds might be something you put on your body daily?

Shoes are one of the best breeding grounds for fungus! When you’re exercising or moving around a lot, especially in hot conditions, your feet can get hot, damp, and sweaty. So, how do you know if you have fungus and what can you about it? Read on to learn more.

Why Does Fungus Grow in Shoes?

The reason why shoes are a good breeding ground for fungus is because the feet have many sweat glands and as such, are often damp, especially when they’re suffocated in socks or shoes all day. Not only can this cause odour and discomfort but these conditions create a breeding ground for fungus and bacteria to grow, which can lead to infections such as Athlete’s Foot (aka- a skin fungal infection of the foot) or Onychomycosis (aka – toenail fungus).

These symptoms might mean that you have a fungal infection of your feet:

    • Cracked or thick toenails
    • Itching, burning or stinging sensations on your feet or between the toes
    • Dry, peeling skin on your feet or between the toes
    • Rash on your feet
    • Strong odour
    • Discolouration of your feet or toenails – yellowing toenails or reddened/white skin

Fungal infections are highly contagious and can easily spread from your feet to your hands or other areas of the body. Thus, it’s important to treat fungal infections as they can spread and lead to a more serious conditions/concerns.

How to Prevent Fungus from Growing

Sanitize your Shoes Regularly

It’s important that you use a high-quality UV sanitizer to kill pathogens that can be growing in your shoes. This will help to eliminate unwelcome odours and prevent your foot from becoming infected. We recommend Steri-Shoe+. It can be difficult to find in Canada but can purchased online from BioPed, by clicking here.

Regularly Washing your Feet

It’s important to practice good hygiene and wash your feet every day, especially if you’ve been exercising or physically active throughout the day. Wash your feet with soap and warm (not hot) water. Make sure you dry your feet afterward, especially between the toes, so moisture doesn’t build up once you put your socks and shoes on.

Wearing Clean Socks

While laundry can seem like a hassle sometimes and make you want to wear yesterday’s socks, it’s important to change them regularly and make sure you put on a fresh, clean pair every day. If you don’t, sweat and moisture can build up and create the perfect breeding ground for fungus to grow. If you are prone to sweaty feet, be sure to change your socks midday to keep your feet dry and your shoes smelling fresh.

Choosing Breathable Fabrics

Rather than picking out shoes solely based on price or aesthetics, choose those constructed with high-quality, breathable material. This is especially important if you’re physically active or in your shoes all-day, so your feet can stay drier and cooler for longer periods of time.

Avoid Walking Barefoot in Public Areas

Walking barefoot around public change rooms, gyms and swimming pools can increase your chances of infection. Fungus is contagious and by walking barefoot you can develop an infection, which can then spread to and contaminate your socks and shoes as you put them on. Make sure you wear sandals or slippers in these public spaces to help prevent infection.

Dealing with Fungal Infections

Treatment for fungal infections can be complex, depending on the severity of your infection. Treatment may include over-the-counter or prescription creams, medications, specific at-home remedies or alternative forms of treatment. We recommend that if you suspect that you have a fungal skin or toenail infection, that you see a Footcare Nurse or Chiropodist immediately. Find a clinic near you or request an appointment at