What Causes Athlete’s Foot & How Do You Prevent It?

Written By: Scott Published In: Task Force News Created Date: 2021-07-12 Hits: 82 Comment: 0

Athlete’s foot is a common fungal infection that affects the skin on the feet. The main symptoms are itchiness, particularly between the toes, and red skin that is sore, cracked or dry. If you do a lot of exercise or training without wearing the correct footwear then you may have experienced these symptoms before. The infection is called ‘athlete’s foot’ because it’s commonly found in athletes, but why is this and what causes athlete’s foot?

 

What Causes Athlete's Foot?

Athlete’s foot is a fungal infection that you can catch through direct contact with an infected person or by touching surfaces that are contaminated with the fungus. The fungus thrives in warm, moist environments which is why people commonly pick it up in showers, changing rooms, and swimming pools.

That’s ultimately what causes athlete’s foot, however, it’s important to note that certain factors can increase your chance of getting the infection. The main risk factors include:

  • - Walking barefoot in public places like showers and swimming pools 
  • - Sharing socks, shoes, or towels with an infected person
  • - Having a minor skin or nail injury on your foot
  • - Wearing the same pair of socks more than once
  • - Keeping your feet wet for long periods of time (i.e while wearing wet boots)
  • - Wearing tight footwear that make your feet hot and sweaty 

 

As you can see, caring for your feet correctly and wearing proper footwear plays a central role in answering the question of ‘what causes athlete’s foot?’. Therefore it’s probably not surprising that the key to preventing athlete’s foot is to care for your feet correctly and to wear the right footwear, particularly when on a training exercise or simply exercising for leisure. 

How To Prevent Athlete’s Foot

As we mentioned when discussing what causes athlete’s foot, it’s ultimately a contagious infection that you could pick up from a public place or from another person. That being said,  you can dramatically reduce the risk of developing athlete’s foot by doing the following:

  • - Drying your feet after washing them, particularly between the toes (using a separate towel for your feet and washing it regularly)
  • - Wearing clean socks every day that are made out of breathable or moisture-wicking fabric
  • - Wearing sandals or flip flops in public showers, changing rooms, and swimming pools
  • - Wearing footwear made using breathable materials 
  • - Allowing your shoes to dry out between uses and taking your shoes off at home to enable your feet to air
  • - Avoiding sharing socks, shoes, or towels with others

The Importance Of Breathable Footwear

Evidently, a person’s choice of footwear plays a key role in the potential development of athlete’s foot. Whether you're on exercise or exercising in your free time, you should wear shoes or boots that allow your feet to breathe to help prevent excessive sweating. 

LOWA Zephyr Military Boots In Black, Coyote OP, and Brown

Designed to keep your feet comfortable and healthy, LOWA has developed a range of Gore-Tex military boots that support feet during long periods of exercise. What’s special about LOWA military boots fitted with a Gore-Tex lining is their breathable properties. The Gore-Tex extended comfort footwear membrane used in many of our military boots prevents water from getting inside the boot whilst allowing sweat and moisture to escape out of the boot. The LOWA Zephyr Coyote Op Combat Boot, LOWA Z8S GTX Military Boots and LOWA Innox Combat Boots, are just a few of the models from the LOWA range that benefit from this performance Gore-Tex lining. 

Don’t Forget Socks! 

LOWA Socks in Black, Brown and Cream

Support the beneficial properties of a breathable shoe by wearing breathable and most importantly clean socks. LOWA socks benefit from the qualities that help to keep athlete’s foot at bay. Ventilation zones run along the length of the footbed to prevent the feet from overheating whilst the antibacterial properties of Merino wool work to keep feet hygienic and also odour free (so no cheesy feet!). 

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