COVID-19 Safety: What About Shoes?
We wash our hands and wear masks when we must leave our homes, but — eek — what about our feet? Could we all be bringing COVID-19 into our homes on the soles of our shoes after a trip to the grocery store?
According to a new study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the strain of the virus that causes COVID-19 has been detected on the shoes of medical staff in Wuhan, China.
As shoemakers, we are in the business of feet and foot health. And while it’s not yet known if tracking these particles on shoes would cause an infection — and how much we would pick up while grabbing groceries — we want to do everything we can to keep our community safe. Here are a few steps you can take to keep germs away from home:
1. Keep shoes outside. This is already the norm for many cultures around the world, particularly in Scandinavia and Asia. COVID or not, the soles of our shoes can carry fecal bacteria and other germs. For families with crawling babies, this can be particularly grimace-inducing. Consider leaving shoes outside the door, or take them off outside and place them inside a designated shoe cabinet.
2. Have an indoor pair and an outdoor pair. If you’re not the barefoot-in-the-house type or even a socked-feet-in-the-house type, consider keeping a pair of indoor shoes inside. (KEEN tip: Howser shoe-slippers are perfect for this.)
3. Go hands-free with slides and slip-ons. You’ve got your hands full of groceries and push the front door open with your hip or knee while you make a bee-line for the sink or hand sanitizer dispenser. Simply slipping your shoes off makes this juggling act go a lot smoother! Flip-flops on sunny days and slip-ons are the ultimate COVID-19 comfort shoes. (Our current faves: Kaci slide, Coronado slip-ons, and the Harvest Flip.)
4. Periodically wash them. All KEEN Kids sandals and many adult sandals with webbing are machine washable (check care instructions for your KEEN sandals). Although washing in cold water won’t kill germs, air drying them in the sun can help.
We hope you and your family are staying safe and finding ways to connect with nature safely, even if it means taking in the smells and sights of spring from an open window. Step by step we can get through this together.