Can FlipFlops Really Help Prevent Athlete’s Foot in Communal Showers?

As a freshman, one of the first pieces of advice given to us by older students or older siblings, is to “make sure you wear flip-flops in the bathroom!” I am sure that by now the majority of us know the feeling of our lives flashing before our eyes if we found ourselves absentmindely slipping our feet out of our shoes whilst in the shower. Are we right to fear the unknown that lurks in the place we all know and probably don’t love that is the dorm communal showers?

According to the Mayo Clinic, “Athlete’s foot is a fungal infection that usually begins between the toes.” I can’t really think of very many people who want an infection in between their toes.  The fungus in this infection, like many other funguses, tends to lurk in “warm and damp places” (Brichford). These conditions make communal showers in dorms, gyms, or pools the perfect places for this bacteria to inhabit.

We might think we’re being cautious by wearing flip-flops or sandals into the shower, but are they really as clean as we think? According to a study done by the University of Arizona, bacteria on shoes often lives longer on shoes than on other places (Leamy & Weber). Those germs will lurk on the bottom of your shoes and off of your feet for some time, but they still have the ability to make their way up to the top of the shoe where your foot lies.

So yes, the verdict itself is that wearing flip-flops, or some form of shower shoes will help to prevent you from getting any king of fungal infections such as Athlete’s Foot, but it is not foolproof. These kinds of ailments are not typically going to kill you, but to save yourself any amount of pain, definitely use flip-flops when in any form of communal shower. Remember to change your flip-flops or shower shoes every so often, and you should be on your way to preventing any damage to your precious feet!


And here we have some oh so fashionable Crocs that you can purchase for use in the shower if you would like..

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“Athlete’s Foot.” Causes. Mayo Clinic, n.d. Web. 13 Sept. 2014.

Brichford, Connie. “Protect Your Foot Health at College.” Ed. Lindsey Marcellin. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Sept. 2014.

Leamy, Elisabeth, and Vanessa Weber. “How Dirty Are Your Shoes?” ABC News. ABC News Network, 16 June 2008. Web. 13 Sept. 2014.



3 thoughts on “Can FlipFlops Really Help Prevent Athlete’s Foot in Communal Showers?

  1. Anne Curry Heffernan

    This is such a relevant topic! I agree that wearing flip flops in the shower is definitely the way to go, I didn’t know that the fungus can live on the bottom of shoes however. I will now start changing my shower shoes every couple weeks or so! I read more about athletes foot, and the best way to avoid it is to change shoes and socks everyday, and to avoid wearing wet shoes, and to keep your feet dry.

  2. Olivia Yvette Noble

    I have a complete fear of communal showers, and I absolutely hate them! I am so cautious of wearing my shower shoes when I go into the bathroom. I actually saw a girl use the bathroom without any shoes on! I don’t know how she did it!! I actually had to write a short essay about this one time in one of my older science classes. Your post is really good! Here is actually a site that tells you some of the symptoms of athletes foot! athletes foot

  3. Adam Greene

    I agree with this entire article. I personally wear flip flops every single time that I shower and you could not even catch me dead in the shower without anything on my feet. Two years ago, I got athlete’s foot and that freaked the living crap out of me, so now I am even extra precautions. I not only wear flip-flops in the shower, I always make sure I have something on my feet no matter where I go. Whether it is the shower, the hallway, another person’s dorm, outside, etc. I recommend that you should always keep something on your feet for protection because I will be the first to tell you that fungus on your feet is disgusting and a pain in the butt. It is a long process of lotioning your feet with cream and spraying your feet with chemicals that burn your feet… it sucks. I will always protect my feet no matter where I go and so should you!!!!

    For more information on how to protect your feet from fungus, check out this link:

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