We all need to go out and buy shoes, from time to time. And whether you are a shoe fanatic like me, or you force yourself to go out and buy new kicks once a year, you most likely need to put them on your foot to see how they feel before you commit.
It’s imperative to try a few different styles on and walk around a bit to make sure they feel good and can be worn for more than two steps. And when you have kids, it’s almost impossible to guess if a shoe will fit your little person. It’s best to take them to the store with you instead of wasting your time guessing what size they are — we all know they grow so fast it’s impossible to know from one month to the next what size they are.
Let’s face it, shoe shopping with kids is a giant pain in the ass. My son once literally rolled around on the floor of the shoe department in the most epic tantrum because he hates shopping so much, let alone trying things on. But I’ve learned the hard way that his wide feet won’t fit into just any shoe, and I have zero time to waste trying to figure out what size is going to fit on my own. So, in-store shoe shopping it is.
Along with the typical grumbling, another thing I prepare for when shoe shopping is bringing a pair of socks. In fact, I always have a pair of socks in my purse — just in case. I mean, I’m a shoe lover, and you never know when you are going to try on that emergency pair. But also, when I’m shopping with my kiddos, they are sometimes wearing flip-flops or shoes without socks. Sure, they might be mortified when I pull out my “purse socks,” but I’m not taking any chances.
I’ve always done this because my mom did it while I was growing up. She told me it would protect my feet from germs, but also you can’t tell how well a pair of shoes will fit unless you are wearing the appropriate socks too. All this time, I knew I was protecting my kids’ feet from things like plantar warts and athlete’s foot (and let’s face it, pure nastiness), but I had no idea simply putting on a pair of socks could literally save their life.
Did you know you could get sepsis from trying on shoes in your bare feet if you have a cut or any other type of wound? Because I sure didn’t. But after hearing this story, I’m so glad I’ve insisted on socks when trying on shoes.
The Sun reports that Jodie Thomas of Aberfan, South Wales took her daughter, Sienna Rasul, to try on shoes last August. Not long after their shopping trip, her daughter got really sick and was “fighting for her life” within 24 hours of trying on a few pairs of shoes without socks. Doctors think it was from trying on shoes since bacteria “can enter the body through an open wound so medics suspect she may have had a cut, graze or bite on her foot at the time.”
After spending five days in the hospital with her daughter, Thomas is warning other parents of the dangers of not protecting your feet while trying on shoes. “I knew you could risk getting things like athlete’s foot from trying on shoes, but blood poisoning is far more serious,” she said.
I honestly think that’s what most parents thought.
The infection started in Sienna’s foot and spread up her leg by the next day. She also had a high fever, and while being driven to the hospital, she was shaking and twitching. “It was horrible to see my little girl like that,” Thomas said.
After thinking they would have to operate on Sienna, they were fortunately able to kill the infection with an antibiotic drip.
Sepsis, while relatively uncommon, is a very serious and potentially deadly infection. Early symptoms of sepsis are fever, elevated heartbeat, and shivering. Other things to look out for are dizziness, nausea, slurred speech, muscle pain, being short of breath, having cold, clammy skin, and loss of consciousness.
Sepsis kills 4,000 children under the age of five every year, so why not take extra precautions? Wearing socks while trying on shoes could not only save your child from a serious infection, but at a minimum you’ll be stopping the spread of germs and problems like athlete’s foot.
Let this be your reminder to never try on shoes unless you have a clean pair of socks — it could save your life. Just throw a pair of socks in your purse or keep a pair in your glove compartment. You — and everyone else trying on those shoes — will be glad you did.
This article was originally published on