Many people enjoy going without the encumbrance of shoes and walking barefoot. Your feet may be made for walking, but walking barefoot isn’t always a good idea – especially in public places.

Walking outside under controlled conditions, in your own, well-maintained yard, may be fine. However, walking around outside in public while barefoot can be hazardous to your health.

Hot Surfaces Can Hurt the Feet

The pads of your feet are sensitive. Walking on hot sidewalks, hot asphalt, or hot concrete parking lots can burn your feet. Even strolling on a hot sandy beach can cause injury to the soles of your feet, causing them to burn and blister.

Even if you try to skip along quickly, trying to avoid letting your feet touch the hot surfaces too much, you may not realize until later how badly the heat is affecting your unprotected feet and toes. Plus, heat makes the skin softer and therefore more prone to injury – so if you step on a hard or sharp object while walking barefoot in public, it is more likely to pierce the skin of your foot.

Walking on Hazardous Surfaces

Whereas walking in your own yard is one thing – because you are privy to the layout of the yard and you know where the hazards are located – walking barefoot in public territory heightens the risk of injury to the foot.

Outdoor public areas can be littered with broken glass, metal, or hazardous liquids. Don’t run the risk of harming your feet on glass, a rusty nail, or worse.

Dangerous Bacteria Can Cause Foot Infections

Going barefoot in public places introduces your feet to bacteria and fungi. These organisms can enter the foot through tiny cracks or cuts in your skin, and can negatively impact your podiatric health.

Fungus of the foot, also known as athlete’s foot, is an uncomfortable condition and can lead to infection. To avoid fungal infections, avoid walking barefoot in public restrooms, public showers, poolside dressing rooms, and bathhouses – all of which present the perfect environment for growing fungi that can infect the skin.

Diabetics Should Never Go Barefoot

If you have diabetes, always take notice of your feet. Are there changes to how they look and feel? Are you experiencing discomfort or numbness in one or both feet or in your toes?

Persons with diabetes should completely avoid going barefoot anywhere, and especially in public places. Because diabetics are prone to developing peripheral neuropathy due to high blood sugar, this can make them unable to sense heat and realize that their foot may be injured or hurt.

A diabetic isn’t more prone to infection than everyone else, but it can be difficult to get rid of an infection once they have it. Infections are severely dangerous for diabetics, who could even face amputation as a result.

Foot Doctors in Cincinnati

If your foot is injured – due to walking barefoot in public or from anything else – this type of injury requires immediate medical attention. If you leave it alone, the foot injury could develop into a painful infection that would require advanced treatment, possibly including a tetanus shot.

Infections in the foot are treatable. If you have a fungal or bacterial infection in your foot, or another type of foot injury, contact our trusted team of podiatrists at Cincinnati Foot & Ankle Care. We will examine the affected area and diagnose your condition.

We have many locations across the Cincinnati area for your convenience. For more information on how to avoid foot infections, or if you’re a diabetic and need advice on foot care, please contact us at your nearest location, or fill out our online appointment request form now. We look forward to seeing you!