The 5 Best UV Shoe Sanitizers
5. SteriShoe Essential
- comes with a storage bag
- takes a long time to work
- doesn't treat the entire shoe
|Rating||4.4 / 5.0|
4. Pedic Sport
- led blinks to show it's in use
- available in red or silver
- includes a one-year warranty
|Rating||4.9 / 5.0|
3. BW UV Pro Elite
- convenient delayed start mode
- also works well in bags and gloves
- recharges quickly from any usb port
|Rating||4.7 / 5.0|
2. Comyan F02
- automatic shutoff when finished
- bulb can be replaced if needed
- suitable for most footwear
|Rating||4.6 / 5.0|
1. SteriShoe+ Eliminator
- strong steel frame
- adds a clean scent
- sanitizes a shoe in just 15 minutes
|Rating||4.6 / 5.0|
Quit Stinking Up The Place
Do your notice a musty scent wafting up every time you take off your shoes? Are you becoming self conscious about taking off your shoes at a friends house because you are worried about releasing a somewhat pungent odor? Well then, you are probably suffering from stinky feet.
Don't worry, though. You aren't alone. In fact, stinky feet is a common problem. So common that there are actually people whose sole job it is to smell feet at the Hill Top Research Laboratories in Cincinatti, Ohio, a testing facility for Dr. Scholl's foot products. And you thought your job stunk. Madeline Albrecht, a former employee there, holds the Guiness World Record for most feet sniffed. In case you are wondering, the number is 5,600.
The point is, stinky feet is a common problem many people face. This is because each foot contains roughly 250,000 sweat glands capable of producing as much as half a pint of sweat each day. Now, consider that most people wear shoes for periods in excess of 10 hours a day, without ever taking their feet out for a breather, and it is a wonder even more people aren't dealing with odorous feet.
According to researchers, it isn't actually sweat that causes the smell, but rather bacteria that lives on the skin, or in the shoes if not maintained properly. As the bacteria eats the sweat, it produces odor-causing isovaleric acid. Luckily, there are a few simple things you can do to cut back or completely eliminate offensive foot odor.
First, always wear breathable shoes. The more a shoe breathes, the harder it will be for bacteria to thrive inside of it. Certain materials, such as leather and suede, are notorious for trapping sweat and moisture. Look for shoes with a lot of mesh to allow for proper ventilation. Materials like cotton and canvas are a good choice, too, as they are extremely breathable. Second, make sure you completely dry your feet before donning your socks and shoes. Putting on a dash of powder is also helpful. This next bit may seem obvious, but always wear clean socks. And no, turning them inside out doesn't make them clean. Last, always make sure to properly sanitize your shoes. The best method of doing this is by using a UV sanitizer.
It Goes Far Beyond The Smell
Sure, having stinky feet is problem, but the odor is just a nuisance. Not properly maintaining maintaining shoes can actually cause health conditions, which is much more serious than an offensive smell. The inside of regularly worn shoes is essentially a Petri dish for harmful bacteria to thrive. Warm, moist, and dark environments are notorious for harboring bacteria and mold, and shoes are just that.
Here are just a few of the bacteria species researchers have found inside of dirty shoes: E. Coli, which is known for causing gastrointestinal problems like vomiting, diarrhea, and cramps; Klebsiella Pneumonia, which is known to cause pneumonia and destroy lung tissue; and Serratia Ficaria, which causes respiratory tract, blood, and bladder infections. Sure, it may be somewhat uncommon to experience any of these issues as a result of being exposed to bacteria living in your shoes, but is it really worth the chance?
There are some very common issues caused by unclean shoes, however, which many people encounter on a regular basis, specifically Athelete's foot and toenail fungus. Both of these are caused by moisture getting trapped inside of shoes for an extended period of time and creating the perfect environment for the fungus to thrive. In addition to being unsightly, these conditions can be painful and irritating. They can also contribute to offensive foot odor, thereby exacerbating the problem. As when combating foot odor, combating the growth of bacteria and fungus inside of shoes relies on proper maintenance.
How UV Shoe Sanitizers Works And Why They Are Better Than Washing Shoes
Anybody who has ever thrown their shoes in the washing machine knows that they just don't feel the same afterwards. They are stiffer and need to be broken in all over again. If tossed in the dryer as well, this is even more noticeable. Unfortunately, washing shoes without putting them in the dryer afterwards has its own drawbacks. Air drying shoes can easily take as much as 48 hours, during which time fungus and bacteria starts to grow inside of them all over again because they stay moist for so long. It is also rather inconvenient, especially if you need to wear the shoes again the next day.
While one can always purchase a shoe dryer to speed up the process, oftentimes, people wind up wearing them again before they are completely dry, which can lead to foot odor and fungus, everything you were trying to avoid by washing them in the first place. Many shoes are damaged by the washing machine, as well. Most footwear is not designed for machine washing, so regularly doing so can cause them to wear out unnaturally quickly, resulting in a diminished service life and you having to buy new shoes more often than you should.
In stark contrast to washing shoes, using a UV sanitizer doesn't cause them any damage. UV sanitation is safe for all shoe types, even those that can't be thrown in the wash, like leather dress shoes or boots. UV shoe sanitizers make use of a method known as ultraviolet germicidal irradiation. Short wavelength ultraviolet light is capable of killing or inactivating bacteria and fungi. It does this by disrupting their DNA so they cannot perform vital cellular functions or replicate. UV sanitation causes cellular damage in one of three different ways: photodimerization, photohydration, and photosplitting. It can also cause cell lysis, which is an irreversible cause of cell death. Because the bacteria and fungi inside of the shoes are completely destroyed, and the shoes are not exposed to water, they stay clean for much longer, meaning significantly less or completely eliminated odor for extended periods of time.