Affiliate links are in this article, click here for more info
Sure, those clunky brightly-colored rubber water shoes may not be the most stylish thing in the world but there is no denying that they do a pretty darn good job of protecting your tootsies from the harsh world beneath, and while I don't normally post too many hard-news-related topics, as someone who is an advocate for the beach lifestyle (good or bad) I thought this information was worth sharing --perhaps even life-saving. So, without further ado if you ever find yourself wondering should you wear water shoes at the beach you may rest assured that it's not just me, but also science -- and the Florida Department of Health -- who says yes, and here's why.
There are a lot of things in Florida that want to kill us, from brain-eating amoebas in freshwater to venomous coral snakes, man-eating gators and everything in between, we aren't lovingly regarded as the "Australia of America," for nothing. So, honestly how do any Floridians stay alive? Safety precautions, of course!
Keeping up with the trend, a current hot topic on the Florida Department of Health website regarding Vibrio vulnificus, a rare but potentially life-threatening bacterial disease found in seawater, mentions the benefits of wearing water shoes.
"Individuals who are immunocompromised, e.g chronic liver disease, kidney disease, or weakened immune system, should wear proper foot protection to prevent cuts and injury caused by rocks and shells on the beach," the article states in part.
There have been 20 cases of Vibrio vulnificus in Florida this year, eight of which resulted in fatalities according to information provided by the health department's website. That said, immunocompromised individuals are not the only people who benefit from footwear protection on our beaches.
Water shoes can help to shield you from a host of not only painful, but nasty ailments besides Vibrio vulnificus including stingray stings, puncture wounds from things like rusty fishing hooks and venomous sea urchins, bacterial infections like the antibiotic resistant staph, fungal infections such as athlete's foot, and perhaps most disgustingly of all, parasites that burrow into your skin (hookworms). My skin is crawling at the thought.
And before you totally write off ever visiting another Florida beach again, it may go without saying that Florida's coastlines are not the only ones affected by these and many other illness-causing organisms. A recent study suggested that over 50% of California's southern beaches were rich with staph, and hookworms are found in all types of soil throughout the nation.
While obviously it is best to avoid these afflictions at all costs in the first place, accidents can and do happen! Besides water shoes, you should consider carrying at least a first aid kit with antiseptic cream in your beach bag and shower thoroughly with soap and warm water when you return home from your beach trips.
Do you wear water shoes? Why or why not, tell me in the comments below!