The coronavirus has quickly introduced many Americans to the world of science, as conversations about the disease from medical experts continue to stream across broadcast, print and social media.
While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates the virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes, it can also linger on frequently touched surfaces such as light switches, phones and keyboards.
While medical experts have not yet warned about the virus living on shoes, there’s existing evidence footwear is a breeding ground for bacteria. So now is the time to consider giving shoes a good cleaning whether it’s washing them by hand with detergents and disinfectants or throwing them in the washing machine.
Need more convincing? Just last year, Ravel, a British women’s footwear retailer commissioned a study examining the cleanliness of footwear, putting 10 pairs to the test to see just how clean they were.
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According to the results, the soles of shoes carry more bacteria and fungi than the uppers. Next, leather is better to keep clean than suede and carries less bacteria. Shoes worn at night, the survey noted, attract more bacteria and fungi on the sole than those worn to the office, which showed more bacteria on the upper.
While many shoes, particularly one-piece molded footwear from brands such as Crocs and Floafers can be sanitized using simple household cleaners such as Lysol, vinegar or mixes of bleach and water, others such as Rothy’s and Allbirds can be safely machine washed according to manufacturers’ instructions with store-bought detergents meant for garments.
Here, FN has rounded up some casual styles for men and women that are easily hand cleaned with detergent or machine washed.
Crocs Classic Clog
This hand-washable unisex style features ports on the upper for enhanced breathability and a pivoting heel strap for a customized fit.
To buy: Crocs Classic Clog, $45.
Floafers Country Club Driver
A men’s driving moc is made of EVA foam that is antimicrobial and odor-resistant, and features rubber outsoles for traction and comfort.
This easy-to-wear style made of repurposed water bottles can be machine washed using cold water, then air-dried.
To buy: Rothy’s Flat, $125.
Allbirds Wool Runners
These wool shoes can be machine washed on the wool or gentle cycle by placing in a delicates bag, but remember to remove insoles and laces before washing.
To buy: Women’s Wool Runner, $95.
Charleston Shoe Co. Cannon Sandal
A wedge style features an elasticized upper style for a customized fit and padded insole for comfort, all easily washable.
To buy: Charleston Shoe Co. Cannon, $135.
This machine-washable casual style is designed with a stretchy upper, an antimicrobial fabric lining and OdoBan odor-control technology.
To buy: Bzees Niche, $59.
All products featured have been independently selected and curated by our editorial team. If you buy something through our retail links, we may earn a commission and the retailer may receive certain auditable data for accounting purposes.
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