MD Podiatrist Warns of the Dangers of Going Barefoot

As the weather starts to heat up, many will begin replacing their winter boots with sandals, flip-flops, or no shoes at all. As tempting as it may be to feel the earth beneath your feet, doing so can expose them to harmful risks. “Although it may be a very common summertime habit, going barefoot can leave your feet exposed and vulnerable. Walking barefoot on hot surfaces such as blacktop or cement can burn the bottoms of your feet in addition to the possibility of stepping on rocks, glass, or other sharp objects that could penetrate the skin and cause an infection,” said Dan Michaels, DPM.
Apart from potential cuts and burns, walking barefoot also exposes feet to bacterial and fungal organisms that can infect the skin and nails, leading to a change in appearance, odor, and comfort. “Public showers can contain contagious bacteria and fungus that can lead to health issues including athlete’s foot and ringworm,” said Dr. Michaels. “Wearing shower shoes in high traffic areas is the best way to prevent the spread.”