08 Sep NO SHOES, NO SERVICE
We’ve all been there, minding your own business at the terminal, waiting with much anticipation to dive into our 5 dollar scone, when out of the corner of your eye you catch a glimpse of something grotesque: wretched feet in flip-flops. It doesn’t matter if it’s the dead of winter, some people will still wear flip-flops. Ladies and gentlemen, an airport—loosely transcribed from Wikipedia—is a location where transportation devices such as fixed-wing aircrafts, helicopters, and blimps take off and land. It’s not your fucking living room or the neighborhood swimming pool.
Maybe it’s to show off your toe ring. Remember those? I try to forget too. As far as I care, those can be left in a 1990s time capsule and never retrieved. They aren’t sexy. You know what is sexy? Feet that are well taken care of. Clean feet treated to regular pedicures. Moisturizer goes a long way too.
Besides being gross and unsanitary, exposing your feet in public areas is just not cool. I used to work with a guy, “Mike.” Mike’s favorite thing to do on the train was to take his shoes off. He would go to the bathroom, snack bar and walk up and down the aisles with his shoes off. He contracted Hepatitis and died. Just making sure you’re still tuned in. This was not Mike’s fate of course, but walking around barefoot invites a multitude of diseases to your body.
The stoic TSA guards will make you take off your shoes as you put your bag on the conveyor belt and walk into the x-ray chamber. Most people don’t even think twice about this practice because “it’s the law” to remove one’s shoes before boarding a plane. However, you can still be prepared and avoid walking barefoot by wearing socks instead. And no, I don’t mean you should wear socks with your flip-flops or Birkenstocks.
Below are some shock and awe tactics as to why you should not walk around barefoot in public places. Cover your hooves.
Toe Nail Infections
All it takes is a small cut or break in the skin for harmful microbes to enter. The entry point is not always so obvious. Even a tiny blister, callus, slightly ingrown toenail, or improperly cut cuticle can invite disaster. Toe nail fungus is characterized by cracking, crumbling, thickened and yellow nails. It’s very persistent and difficult to treat, so prevent it from ever happening.
A bad case of athlete’s foot is comparable to walking across hot coals. Athlete’s foot is a red, itching, burning rash between the toes and on the soles of the feet. It hurts like hell.
You read it right! Herpes can get passed from foot to foot. The National Athletic Trainers Association reports that “walking barefoot can spread the virus” and that it’s best to “wear flip-flops in public showers, swimming pools and other communal areas.” You definitely don’t want these crusty, red, oozing blisters to rear their ugly heads!
Warts are spread by a virus. According to the Colorado Foot Institute, this virus can live in carpeting or on a hard surface for many months. The incubation period for warts is anywhere from one to 20 months, which makes it difficult to ascertain when you came into contact with the virus. Sufferers report the feeling of a plantar wart to be “like walking with a pebble stuck in your shoe.” It can take many months to remove a wart. No thanks.
Some last minute reminders:
Your feet take a lot of abuse throughout the day. Take care of your feet, keep them clean, maintained and be good to them. Remember to never wear wet socks or put wet feet into socks, always dry them off first. The best way to handle the airport and unsanitary areas is to wear proper shoes and socks. While on the plane or train on a long trip, if you choose to take your shoes off, make sure to put your feet on a towel or some safe and clean area. If you get up to walk around, put your shoes back on, it takes all of 60 seconds. Wearing shoes is cleaner, healthier and more attractive. If you do go the flip-flop route, let the information above sink in deeply and care for your piglets.