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Biographie Every year around this time, an "ugly" shoe trend seems to burst onto the scene and become the "it" look of the season. It happened with tourist sandals in 2019 and Birkenstocks in 2018, and now it's happening again with water shoes.

If your parents ever made you wear these waterproof shoes at the beach when you were a kid, the term probably conjures up images of mesh, flexible footwear in bright neon colors. But water shoes have gotten a major makeover in recent years and now they're vying for the hearts of fashionistas everywhere, according to a new column in the New York Times.

Traditionally, consumers have relied on water shoes to protect their feet from rocks, provide traction and drain water during all sorts of outdoor activities. But similarly to Crocs, they've usually been a purely functional piece of footwear. "Since they were mainly used for water activities like kayaking, hiking and swimming, water shoes have not been regarded for their style," Sara Skirboll, RetailMeNot shopping and trends expert, told TODAY Style.

But in recent years, the shoe style has transformed in look and feel; nowadays, anything from sock-like shoes to sneakers and sandals can double as water shoes.

The style has even caught the attention of some well-known — and luxurious — brands. Balenciaga models walked down a wet runway wearing a type of hybrid water sock/shoe in March.

Popular footwear brand Teva also recently partnered with Opening Ceremony for a mesh "Hurricane Sock" shoe.

So why are people suddenly embracing this typically "ugly" shoe style? It might have something to do with our overall shift in fashion preferences during the coronavirus pandemic.

"Water shoes may be increasing in popularity as more people are finding new ways to stay healthy, fit and venture out while gyms are closed, which makes hiking, swimming and climbing perfect activities," Skirboll said.

With so many of us finding new ways to explore our own states and putting off scheduled summer vacations, shoes that are fit for outdoor activities have exploded in popularity, and designers have stepped in to dress up the typically utilitarian shoes.

"The desire for comfort and utility is more apparent than ever, but that doesn’t mean those who are fashion-forward want to disown their sense of style. Therefore, we’re seeing luxury brands fill this gap in the market by creating products like water shoes that are functional but still carry the clout of a high-fashion brand," Stitch Fix style expert Layne Cross told TODAY.

Society's sudden penchant for water shoes might also have something to do with the fact that "ugly" shoes, like Crocs, have been creeping into the mainstream for quite some time.

When Do Babies Need Shoes?

Tiny, name brand running sneakers. Sparkly dress-up flats. Wee jelly sandals and loafers…baby shoes are really, really cute. It’s almost impossible not to buy them all up! But just because they’re super-adorable, doesn’t necessarily mean your tot needs them. Worse, putting the wrong shoes on a budding walker may hinder their newfound skills. Here, we break down what your baby’s growing feet really need.

The short answer is no. Your baby does not need shoes until they start walking, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. The only thing younger babies need on their feet are socks to keep them warm.

Think about it like this: The purpose of shoes (other than to look cute, of course), is to protect the feet. But if your precious nugget is dangling from a baby carrier, relaxing in the stroller, or scooting on their hands and knees, there’s nothing to protect their feet from. If warmth is what you crave for your baby’s tootsies, cozy socks, footed snowsuits, and stroller sacks do the trick.
Beyond not needing shoes, putting shoes on babies who are just learning to balance on their growing feet can be a downright hindrance. Shoes with inflexible soles can prevent a baby from learning how to flex and move their feet to walk. That's why pediatricians recommend that babies learn to walk barefoot in a safe space, like on their living room floor. This’ll help strengthen the muscles and tendons in your baby’s feet.

There is no particular age at which your baby will need shoes, but a good rule of thumb is to wait until they’ve learned to walk and show signs of wanting to be up and about. The general milestone guideline for when a baby begins to walk is:

Between 6 and 13 months: crawling

Between 9 and 12 months: pulling themselves up

Between 8 and 18 months: walking

It is important to remember that not all babies are on the same trajectory. If your child’s progress doesn’t fit neatly in the above timeline, it doesn't necessarily mean something is wrong. Don’t hesitate to talk to your pediatrician about any concerns.

Why should people wear indoor shoes in the house?

Barefoot we pronate for a longer period of time which then alters the biomechanics and distribution of pressure and weight across the foot. This imbalance may increase the progression of underlying foot deformities such as bunions and hammertoes and lead to painful conditions associated with excessive pronation such as arch/ heel pain, shin splints/ posterior tibial tendonitis, and Achilles tendonitis. This imbalance can then translate upward affecting other parts of the body such as our knees and back.

I strongly advise against wearing outdoor shoes indoors to avoid the unnecessary and non hygienic transfer of soil, bacteria, viruses, and pollen from the environment into our homes. A study by Charles Gerba, a microbiologist and professor at the University of Arizona, and The Rockport Company found large numbers of bacteria both on the bottom and inside of shoes. Although some scientists suggest this concern is overblown, some of the bacteria found on the shoes such as E. Coli can cause intestinal and urinary tract infections, meningitis and diarrhea while other bacteria such as Klebsiella Pneumonia, can cause pneumonia as well as wound and bloodstream infections. A convenient new shoe that recently entered the market are Muvez shoes. Muvez shoes are indoor slippers with a detachable outdoor sneaker sole. These shoes would be a nice compromise for those that do not currently remove their outdoor shoes when at home. The outdoor sneaker sole easily comes off when you arrive at home turning into an indoor slipper and then quickly attaches when you leave to become an appropriate outdoor shoe.

Plantar Warts are easy to contract. A wart is a thickened and elevated small growth of skin that develops when the skin becomes infected by the human papillomavirus (HPV). Warts can develop anywhere on the foot, but typically occur in areas of direct pressure under the foot, such as the ball and the heel. Hard and thick callus can grow over the wart lesions as they grow inward and make them more painful. Clotted blood vessels or as they are commonly called "wart seeds" present as black dots at the base of the lesions. I know what you're thinking – I can catch this at home? Absolutely! If you're wearing outdoor shoes inside, you can bring a number of bacterial and fungal infections to yourself. You can catch the virus from a spouse or roommate if they have plantar warts. That's why I suggest having an indoor shoe specifically inside. Do not walk barefoot inside and do not wear outside shoes in doors.

Compelling reasons you should wear slippers at home

There are two reasons why many people do not wear slippers at home, one due to religious beliefs and the second due to hygienic reasons. While it's completely your choice to wear or not wear slippers at home, have you ever thought, why did we start wearing flip flops at home in the first place? There are various health benefits of wearing slippers, which you might not be aware of. Supportive, flat slippers can make a lot of difference when it comes to your well-being. Here are some of the reasons.

Do you often suffer from cold and flu through the year? While you surely need to focus on boosting your immune system, there are common mistakes that might be responsible for this and should be paid attention to. Not wearing slippers at home allows the heat of the body to get out through the feet. As the body keeps losing its heat, the blood circulation decreases, which can lead to many common health issues like cold and flu. Wearing slippers gives protection to your feet, which helps keep the blood flow normal and allows your immune system to fight off diseases.

We all think that the floor of our house is absolutely clean. Though yes, the floor might look clean and spotless but there are so many germs and bacteria that you cannot see from naked eyes. Despite mopping and vacuum cleaning, you cannot stop the harmful microorganisms from entering the house with water, air and other carriers.

Wearing slippers helps protect your feet from communicable foot disease. Some of these are toenail fungus and athlete's foot.

Wearing Shoes Inside Is A Good Idea After All. Here’s Why

Thanks to COVID-19, many of us have spent the better part of a year either barefoot or in slippers. When you work from home, can't leave the house for happy hour and stop participating in sports, why wear shoes? The trouble is, socks and slippers come with drawbacks.

"Socks and slippers keep your feet warm, but they don't provide support," says Nicole Brouyette, DPM, a podiatrist at Henry Ford Health. "Plus, if you're sweating inside a sock or a slipper, you're creating a perfect environment for nail fungus to grow and thrive."

Wearing shoes or slippers inside is about more than just comfort. Doctors recommend them over walking barefoot at home to prevent injuries and accidents and keep your feet in top shape. In fact, for people with plantar fasciitis, back problems and chronic conditions like diabetes, wearing the right shoes can provide serious relief.

When you're looking for slippers or other indoor shoes, it's tempting to select the comfiest pair you can find. But according to Dr. Brouyette, support trumps comfort when it comes to caring for weary feet.

Choosing the best shoe to support your feet isn't always clear-cut. You might wonder, "What type of slipper is best? Should I go with a sandal or something closed-toe? What type of supports are necessary?"

Dr. Brouyette weighs in with her must-have features for supportive shoes:

Support. To do the job, shoes should have to provide structure and support. If you can bend your slipper in half, you're not getting the arch support you need. "If you have heel pain, you might even consider wearing an athletic shoe as your house slipper," Dr. Brouyette says. "Just make sure you earmark that particular shoe for indoor use only."

Breathability. Bacteria and fungus grow and thrive in moist environments, so if your feet tend to sweat, you may want to choose a more breathable style.

A firm sole. In addition to arch support and breathable fabrics, slippers should have a firm sole. The sole not only provides additional support for your feet, it also helps absorb shock and provides traction to prevent slipping.

Not sure if you need inside shoes? "You do," Dr. Brouyette says, "especially if you have a foot condition that causes toe pain, heel pain or arch pain." But there are some ground rules for wearing them safely:

Keep them indoors. Don't wear slippers outdoors, even if you're using a traditional athletic shoe as a slipper. Wearing slippers outside increases the risk that you'll pick up things that could make you sick. Plus, switching from slippers to shoes offers your slippers sufficient time to air out.

Monitor the smell. Skin cells on your feet constantly shed just like they do on the rest of your body. Over time, those dead skin cells can accumulate inside your shoe. Fungus causes an unpleasant and persistent odor. If you get a whiff of that, it may be time for a new pair.

Change them out. Make sure you swap out slippers at regular intervals, particularly if you wear them without socks. If your slippers become worn, smelly or develop holes in the sole, it's time for a new pair. 
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