A pair of woollen slippers, or what some people call ‘woollies’, has traditionally been the choice by both young and old, particularly senior citizens who love its reassuring warmth even though they are already wearing warming, perhaps woollen socks, too, in their homes throughout all seasons of the year.
A disadvantage of woollen slippers vis-a-vis its rubber counterparts is that it can attract dust mites inside as well as be an ideal place for fungus to thrive and infect the wearer’s feet, in particular, the toenails. It is not only a warm environment, but also a damp, sweaty area especially if it is not cleaned, disinfected and dried regularly and thoroughly, as well as with one’s feet. And its filthy state can also be worsened by wearing dirty socks which are not replaced or washed regularly, thus transforming such slippers into a itchy, mucky, smelly footwear fit for the ‘kings' (pathogens) of infection to colonise!
In comparison, quality rubber slippers or flip-flops and sandals such as the ones popularly used by theatre or operating room staff in hospitals (known as ‘crocs’) are much more comfortable, provide good arch support; and more importantly helps ventilate or air the feet, especially the skin round these, thus reducing the risk of fungal or pathogen infections. It can also be argued that the rubber footwear are much easier to wash and disinfect , vis-a-vis its woollen counterpart; and it dries relatively quickly especially during cold, damp weather.
Ergonomic rubber footwear are also ideal if one is active or standing for long periods of time because of its comfort enhancing, cushioning and arch-support properties. Likewise, for people with continence issues, dealing with the ’spillover effects’ or mess caused by the medical condition on this type of footwear will be much easier and quicker to deal with.
One may argue that rubber flip-flops or sandals may not be as warm as woollen slippers. But a good pair of socks that provide warmth, especially in winter, will be enough provided they are changed, washed and dried daily; and feet, from time to time, are allowed to ‘breathe’, too.
Another advantage of quality flip-flops or footwear, like the ‘crocs’, is that it has rubber uppers (with small holes round it) which provides, not only ventilation, but cushioning protection to the digits or toes (including the halluces) from accidental harm or trauma especially if one hits these, say on the leg of the bed, thus preventing cracked nails or accompanying pain from impact.
Ergo, now is the time to consider investing in good quality rubber flip-flops or sandals if one values convenience, comfort, protection (from bed or furniture leg ‘hits’) and reduced risk from fungal infections; and saying bye-bye to woolly ones. Perhaps, buying these as a present, not only for oneself, but for loved ones for use at home may help promote better foot health and will thus be money well spent. Likewise, it is also strongly advised that teaching loved ones proper foot hygiene will further reduce the risk of foot infections and anti-social consequences of infected, dirty and smelly feet. — jareyes