Bad news, sneakerheads: your beloved kicks can carry the coronavirus. That's according to the Centers for Disease Control, which found COVID-19 on half the shoes it tested from healthcare workers. Samples were taken from the soles, and a 100 percent positive rate was found on the floor of a pharmacy where only medical staff were allowed.
Previously, experts have warned that the coronavirus can live on rubber, leather, and PVC-based soles for up to five days. Depending on the upper's construction, it can also survive there for several days.
So please, for the love of god, don't do this:
More on the study — Researchers collected samples from a hospital in Wuhan, China, where the outbreak was first identified. Because of its findings, the CDC says, "We highly recommend that persons disinfect shoe soles before walking out of wards containing COVID-19 patients."
The study also found that the coronavirus can travel through the air as far as 13 feet. That's more than twice the 6 feet of distance the CDC has recommended people keep between each other. Overall, the virus was detected on floors, computer mice, trash cans, sickbed handrails, and in the air approximately 4 meters from patients.
It's important to note that this study involves those most exposed to the virus, and if you're not on the front lines your shoes are likely not as susceptible. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't take precautions. It's still possible for you to walk across an infected surface.
A sneaker lockdown — Wearing outdoor shoes in your home should already be a no-no, but now's the time to crack down on the habit if you haven't already. To be extra safe, you can leave your sneakers in the entryway or garage.
A nurse went viral on TikTok for her disinfection routine, which includes using bleach on her shoes. If the prospect of getting bleach anywhere near your sneakers is a source of anxiety, there's always the trusty Jason Markk kit. And if you're only dealing with mesh or canvas uppers, you can always toss them in the washing machine.
Really, just be smart and don't let your love of kicks be your downfall in the midst of this pandemic.