Brian Fullem, DPM, a sports podiatrist in Clearwater, FL says bacterial infection via feet is unlikely unless you have an opening in the skin, such as a blister. In addition, a 2015 study on bacterial variability in gyms found that “shoe” surfaces (floors, mats) are much less likely than “hand” surfaces (machine rails, free weights) to host rapidly evolving bacteria, which are more likely to cause infections.
|Dr. Brian Fullem
Fungal infections, however, are another matter. "Fungus needs three things to grow - darkness, warmth, and moisture," he says, making both your workout shoes and a typical gym locker room perfect environments. Appropriately enough, tinea pedis, or athlete's foot, is the most common fungal infection picked up in gyms, according to Fullem. "It's a good idea to wear some sort of footgear at a public pool or locker room," Fullem says. As an extra precaution, apply an over-the-counter antifungal spray to your shoes and feet after gym workouts.
Source: Scott Douglas, Washington Post [7/29/19]
Courtesy of Barry Block, editor of PM News.
Brought to you by Doctor John A. Hardy, owner of Toronto's foot clinic, Academy Foot and Orthotic Clinics.