How Long Does Fungus Live In Shoes

Onychomycosis, a toenail fungus, grows in damp environments such as shoes. Spores can be found on dead skin cells in clothing, shoes, beds, carpets, and furniture.

Dermatophyte is a pathogen that may form in the skin of fingernails and toenails, including the hairs and the skin membrane. Don’t worry: Spores can live for six to twelve months.

Fungus in my shoes? What do I do?

How long can toenail fungus survive in shoes? The answer is situational and will change depending on the case of your fungus infection. Toenail fungus lives anywhere from six months to years.

Onychomycosis, or toenail fungus, thrives in damp environments like shoes and boots. This is where fungal spores can dwell and thrive for months.

This will be determined by how soon you cure the actual nail(s) as well as how your shoe is treated (s).

fungus on shoes

How long does a nail fungus live on a surface?

Toenail fungus may survive for a long time in old shoes. You never know who has worn it before or how long it has been on the shelf. A fungus could appear inside them even if it were not only a few days or weeks ago.

On evaporated sand, fungus spores can survive for up to six months in water. If you haven’t cleaned out your old shoes, it’s preferable not to wear them again. The only approach to avoid fungal infections is not wearing boots.

Also, you should remove the fungus from within. This usually means cleaning off footwear that hasn’t been used in a while. (Learn How To Break In Hiking Boots)

Toenail fungus can be acquired in a variety of ways.

  1. Athlete’s foot can spread to your toenails if you have them. Walking barefoot in the gym locker room, swimming pool, campsite shower, or hostel shower can also cause foot fungus. Use shower shoes.
  2. You should not share personal items. Sharing towels, toenail clippers, shoes, or socks is another way to get a fungal infection. Before trying on new shoes, make sure you put on those ridiculous little sockies from the shoe store.
  3. Some salons fail to sterilize their equipment between appointments. Furthermore, when pedicurists cut the cuticle, they expose your skin to fungal infection.
  4. Your toes are in danger, thanks to those terrible stilettos. Wearing shoes or heels that squeeze and hurt your toes puts them open to infection.


Treatment for nail fungus is brutal. Foot soaks with Listerine, tea tree oil, and Vicks Vaporub are some of the home cures available. It is a good choice that you use tea tree oil. There is no evidence that this helps. But, these are suitable treatments so your fungus will not worsen. An infection, if not treated, may spread and create significant consequences. The sooner you get solutions, and the higher your chances are of clean feet!

If you suspect a fungal infection, see your podiatrist right away. Check if your toenails are discolored, thickened, or malformed. Treatments range from topical or oral drugs to laser therapy. It depends on the severity of the fungal infection.

Healthy Toenail Fungus Prevention Habits

Having healthy feet is dependent on excellent hygiene, so keep your toes clean and dry. To avoid a toenail fungus infection, follow these guidelines:

clipping toenails

1. Clip your toenails right

Cut your toenails with clean and sterilized nail clippers or a pair of nail scissors.

2. Choose footwear that is ventilated

The more air that can flow around your feet, the drier they will be. It also makes it less vulnerable to toenail fungus. Shoes made of durable materials, such as leather or canvas, should be worn.

3. Switch up your footwear

If you wear the same pair of shoes, it increases your chances of acquiring fungus. Moisture is usually caused by sweat on your foot, and fungus lives in damp environments. Buy a few more pairs of shoes and use them with the others to allow them to dry. Wear comfortable shoes! Don’t wear the same shoes! (Learn How to Soften Stiff Leather Shoes For Hiking)


4. In public places, avoid going barefoot

Locker rooms, public pools, and showers are examples of these facilities. Bacteria and fungus are found in these environments. These can infect your foot. In a warm, damp atmosphere, always wear flip-flops. You can also use sandals or any other type of foot protection.

5. Disinfect your shoes

Scrub your shoes. Disinfect them using a cleanser designed to destroy the fungus that may flourish in your footwear. Spray antibacterial or antifungal sprays on your shoes if you’ve worn them without socks. Soak your socks in a mix of hot water and bleach to destroy any fungus that may be present

6. Sprinkle some salt on your shoes

To keep fungus at bay, use an antifungal powder. To stop the formation of fungal spores, sprinkle antifungal foot powder inside your socks and shoes. This is needed in warmer weather when your feet are more likely to sweat.

Killing Shoe Fungi in Your Old Shoes

It’s simple to get rid of shoe fungi. If you’ve recently had a fungal infection, sanitize your shoes before wearing them. If you have to wear another person’s shoes, make sure they are clean and disinfected as well.

1. UV Shoe Sanitizers

You could decide that foot powders and sprays aren’t for you. Great news! Technological advancements made sanitizing your shoes easier than ever before. Some products use UV rays to get rid of the fungus in your shoes. The SteriShoe Ultraviolet Shoe Sanitizer is one of the solutions that can help with this.

2. Deodorizing Sprays for your Shoes

There are many shoe deodorizing sprays. You can ease the foul odor created by toenail fungus with a spray that deodorizes your shoe. But, if you want to safeguard your feet and your shoes, seek a deodorizing spray that also kills germs and fungus.

3. Shoe Powder with Antifungal Properties

Antifungal shoe powder is one approach to get rid of residual toenail fungus in your shoes. Athletes’ foot powders are recommended to those who have them. It also aids in keeping your foot dry and sweat-free.

4. The Finest Socks

Because of the socks, you’re wearing, toenail fungus might start to form in your shoes. Sweaty socks can develop a toenail fungal infection (such as athlete’s foot). You must wear Socks designed for sweaty feet.

5. Natural Techniques

There are many choices if you want to get rid of the symptoms of toenail fungus from your shoes in a natural way. It’s critical to discover a product that disinfects while also deodorizing. Keep your shoes clean and your feet healthy with these do-it-yourself remedies.

Baking Soda

Baking soda is a common remedy to aid foot infection. Make a paste by combining it with apple cider vinegar or even hydrogen peroxide if you wish to use it.


Vinegar is used for its acidic characteristics, which can help with toenail fungus treatment.

Vinegar can neutralize any fungus that has grown in your shoes. It will assist in preventing it from spreading. This helps you in getting rid of the foul smells left behind from the infection. Apple cider vinegar is also effective.

6. Sunlight

Drying your shoes in the sun removes the shoe fungus since sunshine contains UV rays. The sunlight destroys existing fungal spores in the shoes.

If you combine this strategy with an anti-fungus spray or powder, you may use the sun to keep the fungus from spreading.

7. Maintaining Proper Foot Hygiene

Having good foot care is one of the greatest ways to keep fungus away from your toenails and out of your shoes. It’s easy to forget about your feet unless something goes wrong.

Please don’t wait until you can’t take the stench o to get rid of them. Every day, take care of your feet. You’ll discover a fungal infection sooner if you do. You will be able to cure it, too.

Wearing or putting on someone else’s socks or shoes is not a good idea. Keep in mind that if they have a fungal infection in their toenails, it will most likely spread to you.

  • Wash and dry your feet every day. It is essential to scrub between your toes. This is where moisture gathers and fungal spores can live.
  • And what about those shoe shop throwaway sock boxes? Use those before you try any pair of shoes in the department store.
  • To help prevent toenail fungus infections or fungal nail infections, apply shoe sanitizer and antifungal spray.
  • Apply antifungal powder to your feet, socks, and shoes, especially if you have sweaty feet.
  • After you’ve gotten rid of the toenail fungus, apply an antifungal lotion or foot powder to keep your feet healthy. After therapy, continue for at least one or two weeks.


A hot and humid environment for your feet is a natural way for foot fungus. Your best defense against an athlete’s foot infection is to use antifungal soaps and essential oils. While shared affection is vital, it is not the same for foot fungus or any other condition. Although sharing is required to continue living as a human, you do not need to share foot fungus with someone. I hope this article helped you with your troubles with foot fungi infections.

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