Here’s a Reason to Stop Going Sockless: It Can Cause Trench Foot

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HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 28: Musician Pharrell Williams, fashion detail, attends the 88th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on February 28, 2016 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

With winter seemingly staying further and further away, the impulse to keep rocking shoes with no socks is sticking around. However, London’s College of Podiatry doesn’t think that’s the brightest idea.

Speaking with the BBC, podiatrist Emma Stephenson said the College has noticed a jump in fungal infections, primarily in guys between the ages of 18 to 25, directly related to the “sockless trend. That problem, compounded by how many guys wear ill-fitting shoe that force their feet into cramped, humid environments for hours on end, is only starting to get more serious.

Stephenson said not wearing socks will make the foot produce more sweat than it normally does, which can easily lead to basic issues like athlete’s foot. And beyond the classic locker room foot scratcher, she’s seen some way more gnarly maladies lately. 

“One of the worst incidents I’ve seen is a 19 year-old man who worked in a car wash,” she said. “He had very sweaty feet and trench foot.”

You can achieve the look of socklessness with a decent pair of no-show socks. But if you have to feel your foot touching your insoles, try to keep your feet and shoes dry. There’s no shortage of antiperspirant sprays and powders (like Grooming Lounge’s Super Powder) designed to prevent your footwear from getting muggy — and to keep your feet from rotting like a soldier in World War I.

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