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Gym showers - rubber shoes or bare feet? Help!


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Okay so I've heard two sides to this, and I'm not sure which is right.

People have told me that there are lots of foot bacteria (athelete's foot etc) in gym showers and it's best to wear thongs (rubber shoes, not g-strings, I think you call them flip-flops in the States). Then other people have said it's ridiculous. And I've even heard that the gym changing area is the worst part, not the shower!

Anyway, I'm confused. My gym is all-female and because of this it is very clean, but of course you can't see bacteria.

I'd rather not carry around and have to wear wet thongs over and over again, so any advice would be appreciated!

Edited Nov 10 2014 04:30 by coach_k
Reason: locked to avoid unnecessary zombie bumps
26 Replies (last)

I'm curious to see the answer too. I think people are just afraid of feet for some reason. I would think if your feet are thoroughly dried after than you would be good. Especially if you're wearing socks and shoes after you leave and not just flip-flops or thongs. FWIW, I go barefoot in the locker rooms and showers and haven't had any problems. But that's just anecdotal.

I mean, no one wears gloves everywhere and they don't seem to get hand fungus.

Are you serious!  I don't even sit on the benches in the locker room without placing a towel under me and I'm fully clothed.  Everyone is not clean.  I see women use the restroom and never go near the sink to wash their hands.  They can transfer feces and urine on their hands and not even know it.  Just because they look nice and wear nice gym clothes doesn't mean that I trust their hygiene.  I might be germ phobic but there is no way that I would walk bare foot in the gym.  It's not just athelete's foot that I'm concerned about.  People transport all types of debris and bacteria on their shoes and leave them on the locker room floor.  For example, if I step in someone's spit while in the parking lot and then walk into the locker room and you step bare foot into that, then you may have exposed yourself to an unknown bacteria or virus.

I know that I can't avoid every bacteria that is in the gym but I'm not going to purposely expose myself to something that I can avoid.  It's bad enough that I have to touch weights and handles and I always sanitize my hands before I leave the gym and then thoroughly wash them as soon as I get home.

my vote: Wear them.

I spent years in a pool facility where the entire pool deck, & changeroom/ showering facilities were infested with contagious foot diseeases like planter's warts (deep black roots that can cause pain with pressure - sometimes need to be burned off by a doctor if the roots go deep) and athlete's foot (bumpy red and itchy between the toes).  (Yes I've had both)

I am not being a clean germ freak here - I will admit I always thought people were being overly cautious when they worried about things like that (until I caught them).  But these feet fungi thrive in a moist environment and so if even one of your gym attendees has this issue (you won't know by looking) you WILL end up with it too if you are using the showers on any regular basis.

Now - I have been in shower rooms without them and survived - but if you are using them frequently thongs/flip-flops are an easy no fuss way to avoid the contact.

WEAR SHOES! It took me years of often painful treatment to finally get rid of the plantar warts I got on the bottom of my foot from using gym showers.. Just drying your feet well is not enough. Please, get yourself a pair of shower shoes.

As a former American college dorm room resident: Wear them. Many people pee in the showers, too. Do you want to stand on pee pee?

But, I really don't know of anyone who actually got athletes foot from bare feet in the shower. Better safe than sorry I guess.

 

Edit: Well I know those people have had it^! lol That's enough for me!!!

My dermatologist says that he's seen mini-epidemics of plantar warts that he thinks all came from the same gym on the same day.

So, I wear the flip flops. My bag has a long mesh pocket on the outside that I keep them in. Here in AZ they dry out in about 5 minutes anyway.

Original Post by mjsophia:

As a former American college dorm room resident: Wear them. Many people pee in the showers, too. Do you want to stand on pee pee?

OMG this is so me. Seriously.

Even now when I go on work trips, I wear "shower shoes" in the shower and will not let my bare feet touch the carpet.. eww

Original Post by mjsophia:

As a former American college dorm room resident: Wear them. Many people pee in the showers, too. Do you want to stand on pee pee?

But, I really don't know of anyone who actually got athletes foot from bare feet in the shower. Better safe than sorry I guess.

 

Edit: Well I know those people have had it^! lol That's enough for me!!!

Actually peeing on your feet in the shower is a good way to keep from getting foot fungus.  Another good way is to wear flip flops.

CC fart

It depends on the people using the showers, how often they clean the showers and what they use to clean showers.  Often I find YMCA's are safe, and popular gyms are suspect. A lot of people in my current gym look like they only bathe when they get hosed down at the county jail.  I wear shower shoes there after getting a mild case of Athlete's feet. Wear the rubber shoes in the actual shower!  I see people taking them off then standing in a pool of wet water in the shower.  It is a skill to slide your feet out and stand on them as you bathe but it will keep your feet in good shape.

again

Original Post by trhawley:

Original Post by mjsophia:

As a former American college dorm room resident: Wear them. Many people pee in the showers, too. Do you want to stand on pee pee?

But, I really don't know of anyone who actually got athletes foot from bare feet in the shower. Better safe than sorry I guess.

 

Edit: Well I know those people have had it^! lol That's enough for me!!!

Actually peeing on your feet in the shower is a good way to keep from getting foot fungus.  Another good way is to wear flip flops.

I thought that was just to cure a jelly fish sting ;)

Side-note: that's probably why I've never had a foot fungus :)

And Roxy, I can't stand barefoot on hotel carpets either! YUCK. I have to spread a towel down (which probably just makes the carpet worse because the towel is damp...DOH!).

Wear the flip flops and learn how to wear them while you bathe.  It is easy to slip them off and stand on them.  I also keep a washcloth for standing on and drying the flip flops which I keep wrapped up in a plastic shopping bag.  If the gym is really nice and full of really clean people and the shower drains well...you might be safe...but the flip flops are cheaper than the treatments afterward....

Original Post by mjsophia:

And Roxy, I can't stand barefoot on hotel carpets either! YUCK. I have to spread a towel down (which probably just makes the carpet worse because the towel is damp...DOH!).

Oh yeah... I will NOT step on the carpet. I wear my "shower shoes" constantly. One of my coworkers got athlete's foot from the hotel room she was staying in. Eww. If I forget to pack my shower shoes, I run to the nearest cheap store lol

^okay, I've never taken shower shoes with me while traveling, but I will now! In fact,  I think I'll bring my own Lysol. It's easier than trying to soap my feet with those dang flippy floppies on.

Umm, I mean Lysol the shower floor...not my feet (in case that wasn't clear...)

Original Post by mjsophia:

Umm, I mean Lysol the shower floor...not my feet (in case that wasn't clear...)

Haha, you could do both? lmao!

She isn't sure if she got it from the shower OR the carpet. I don't know enough about athlete's foot to know if it can be contracted from carpets. Probably so. But, in any case, she doesn't wear shower shoes AND she goes bare-foot while walking on the hotel room carpet. Yowza!

I think I've been scarred by the college dorms... between seeing vomit and pee, I'll wear my shoes thank you very much!

Original Post by sally1986:My gym is all-female and because of this it is very clean


LMAO!

Germs travel faster in moisture(a shower). So do you guys think that the water splashing off the floor onto your feet is any different from simply stepping on it?

My point or question, is there any proof that shower shoes really prevent anything?? Looks like there isn't.

Good question...ugh, this reminds me of having to use the public bathrooms when camping. It takes me like an hour just because I'm sooo careful to not touch any of the nastiness. LOL, totally off topic...but I remember when I had to run across the bathroom nakey just hoping...HOPING no one would walk in because I left my towel on the bench way over on the other side of the darn room.

But anyway...like I said, good question. If the floors look clean like no dirt...then I wouldn't bother. And if you do start to get peely gross looking skin then try the shoes. 

Original Post by bmx419:

Germs travel faster in moisture(a shower). So do you guys think that the water splashing off the floor onto your feet is any different from simply stepping on it?

My point or question, is there any proof that shower shoes really prevent anything?? Looks like there isn't.

Well, this article talks about how to prevent athlete's foot, and they recommend wearing shower shoes in public showers... sooo...

26 Replies (last)
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