Never Go Barefoot In A Public Shower. Here's Why

Picture this — you just came out from doing 40 minutes of laps at your local pool and are feeling great! Your muscles may be tired, but the rest of you is revitalized from the cold water and exercise. Before you tiredly, yet happily, make your way to the locker room to shower off all the chlorine, take a moment to think about your bare feet.

We've seen it plenty of times before. Sweaty gym-goers and swimmers showering after a grueling workout with no protective footwear. And we get why. It feels almost unnatural to wear your sandals while bathing. Though you should keep reading to find out why going barefoot in a public shower could do some real damage to your overall health.

Cincinnati Foot and Ankle Care (CFAC) warns that you should not only avoid walking barefoot in a public shower, but also in public restrooms, and poolside dressing rooms. These wet and humid environments are the perfect place for fungi to grow. And if you're unlucky, the tiny cracks on your skin on the bottom of your feet could also become infected with fungi.

Not all hazards are visible

A fungal infection of the foot is often referred to as Athlete's foot and is something you should try and avoid contracting if possible. According to Mayo Clinic, Athlete's foot can sometimes burn and itch, is contagious, and if left untreated, it can also spread to the nails and result in an infection of the nails.

In addition to the increased risk of a fungal infection, we need to point out that the floor of a public shower is often wet and slippery. CFAC states these conditions increase the risk for slipping. Not to mention, there is also the possibility other hazards like hard-to-see broken glass and unknown liquids are also present in public showers. 

The best reason to wear protective footwear such as sandals in a public shower may be staring us in the face. It is a 'public' shower, meaning who knows what lies unseen on the surfaces. Marilyn Roberts, Ph.D., a professor of environmental and occupational health sciences at the University of Washington School of Public Health sums it up to Vice perfectly, saying, "If you're in a public shower anywhere, you don't have a clue who's been there, who's used it, how often it's cleaned."

We hope that knowing what potential hazards lie in a public shower doesn't keep you away from rinsing off the chlorine. Your revitalizing swims and post-swim showers should continue! Just throw some sandals into the mix.