3 Times to Take Off Shoes, According to a Podiatrist
There’s a lot of risk when you take off shoes at the wrong time. Walk around shoeless for hours, and you leave your arches without support. That can leave you with stressed tendons and plantar fasciitis, something we saw lots of during the peak of work-from-home days.
Another risk? If you take off your socks and go barefoot, you leave your feet exposed to dirt, germs and fungus. In turn, you’re upping the risk of getting a fungal toenail, plantar warts, or even an athlete’s foot infection.
Finally, shoes are a good protective barrier between you and the world. They shield your delicate foot bones from bumps, bruises and falling objects. As such, taking them off leaves you vulnerable to broken feet and toes.
Having said all that, you might be ready to glue your shoes to your feet. Forever. But that’s not our point today. Instead, we’re sharing three situations when we want you to take off shoes. (Wisely, of course. And only under our specific directions.) Let’s dive in.
Ready to learn when you should slip off those kicks? Here are some suggested scenarios.
1. Take off shoes when wet.
Whether you’re caught in a summer rain shower or a winter downpour, we need you to take off wet shoes. As soon as you can. Keeping your feet in wet footwear is risky on many levels. First, your wet feet will slide around in those shoes. And that will likely leave you with blisters due to rubbing. Even worse, staying in wet shoes leaves your feet in a moist environment that’s ideal for fungal growth. So take off wet shoes (and socks). Dry your feet completely, even between the toes. Then put on clean dry socks and sneaks and get back to your day.
2. When You’re Visting Little Kids’ Homes
Heading into a house with an infant or toddler? It’s a good idea to take off shoes that have walked on outdoor surfaces. After all, babies are supposed to walk around barefoot. It helps them develop foot muscles and better explore their world. But bringing the outdoors in increases their risk for all the nasty infections we’ve already highlighted. Instead, slip off outdoor sneakers by the door to their homes. Then, slip into a supportive pair of indoor slippers. So that your feet and theirs remain protected.
3. Take off Shoes in Sand (Sometimes)
Walking barefoot on the sand can be good for your feet. It can help with your balance. Plus, it can keep rough sand particles from rubbing your feet in your shoes. So it may stop blisters from forming. Still, you have to be careful about sand temperature when making this choice. Here in the Texas summers, sand can quickly heat up to levels hot enough to burn the skin of your feet. Plus, there may be hidden dangers, like shards of glass, hiding in the sand. As such, it may be wise to take off shoes with closed toes, and slip into sandals that grip well but still let you feel the environment a little more.
Need more guidance about when to take off shoes? Or just need to give those feet a little TLC? That’s what we’re here for! So schedule an appointment with our highly trained podiatrists in Spring, TX and Tomball, TX.