It's important to keep your shoes clean all the time because they can accumulate up to 440 000 bacteria on their soles in two weeks. Picture: Supplied.
It's important to keep your shoes clean all the time because they can accumulate up to 440 000 bacteria on their soles in two weeks. Picture: Supplied.

5 tips to keep Covid-19 from hitching a ride on your sneakers

By Lifestyle reporter Time of article published Apr 23, 2020

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According to a recent study reported by the  US Centres for Disease Control (CDC), there was a 100 percent positivity rate of Covid-19 on the pharmacy floor of a Wuhan hospital (where only medical staff were permitted) as well as a 50 percent positivity on the soles of ICU staff’s shoes. 

These revelations about the spread of the virus led researchers to conclude that shoes are proving to be reliable carriers for Covid-19.

Several studies dating from 2008 also prove that shoes have been underestimated as hosts for dirt and disease. One such study found that brand new shoes can accumulate up to 440 000 bacteria on their soles in two weeks, illustrating just how effective supposedly “clean” shoes are at transferring uninvited guests into your home.

With the pandemic now officially infecting over 2.5 million people globally, these studies show how shoe hygiene is another way we may need to adjust how we go about our daily lives.

To help you leave Covid-19 at the door, below are five tips to keep Covid-19 from hitching a ride on your sneakers. 

Keep your shoes clean

While Covid-19 may be flying in presidential style on your Airforce 1’s, the virus is no match for a good clean. Some more good news is that probiotic cleaners are 90 percent better at actively decreasing the presence of unwanted pathogens compared to conventional, chemical based cleaners. Try Sneaker LAB’s Sneaker Cleaner, it’s one of the best probiotic shoe cleaner. 

Leave your shoes in a single space (near your door, preferably)

It’s time we start leaving our shoes at the door. Doing this keeps the virus from going past a certain point in your home, especially for people who routinely need to shop for groceries, visit pharmacies, or commute through communal spaces.

Children who play on the floor, dogs that climb on couches, dropping laundry or a cloth while cleaning, these all present opportunities for Covid-19 to spread from floor to hand.

Instead, incorporate a shoe rack into your home.

Make sure the shoes are dry

Moist environments are a hotbed for virus and bacteria growth, so keeping them dry is a good way to keep them from being vectors for transferral. A sunny, dry place is a great short-term solution if the weather plays along, while you could also keep a hairdryer handy near your front door if it doesn’t. 

A home workout in your backyard or living room can lead to some pretty nasty and damp shoes that carry odours and create happy hunting grounds for unwanted microbial guests.

Stay away from worn out shoes

Shoes that are worn out, worn through, or cracked present a novel challenge. Research suggests that unwanted pathogens are 140 times more likely to live on the outside of your shoes than on the inside. What a structurally compromised shoe will do is invite all those nasties inside and into your socks through cracks and holes in your shoes.

Avoiding it altogether by wearing crack and hole-free shoes is first prize, while shoe glue can provide temporary relief for those with soles coming undone and unstuck.

Dirty socks belong in the wash, not on your shoes

Dirty shoes are risky business and leaving your socks in them simply adds to the problem. Socks are typically the buffer between foot sweat and your shoes but leaving those soggy guys in there defeats the purpose of keeping your shoes clean and disease free.

Allowing that moist environment to go unchecked creates a preferable environment for viruses and bacteria to grow, and by the time you’ve remembered to pick your socks up out of your shoes the next day, you could be picking up something completely avoidable.

Shoe care is no longer about having the freshest pair of sneakers or ensuring your dress shoes are also functional mirrors. It’s now a matter of public and personal safety and something you can have complete control over.

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