Whether or not you consider yourself an athlete, if you are like millions of people all over the world, you have at some time or another experienced the very common foot itch nicknamed “athlete’s foot.” Often between the toes or on the underside of your arch, athlete’s foot feels like a raw, persistent itch that doesn’t improve when you scratch it.

Believe it or not, the condition is actually caused by a fungus that has found a way to hitch a ride on your feet – you either walked through it barefoot somewhere, or perhaps used a towel where the fungus was already living.

When it’s more serious, athlete’s foot can lead to pain, inflammation, and cracked, sensitive skin. It can even spread to other parts of the body. Yikes. But there is no need for this common problem to get that far. Heat and dampness are the enemy. Without moisture and warmth, any unpleasant fungus that might have taken up residence on your feet will not be able to survive.

It’s important to practice great foot hygiene, like changing frequently into clean socks. But the most important thing you can do is protect your feet with shoes designed to create dry, cool conditions. The shoe is the battleground in the war against athlete’s foot, and good choices in footwear will make all the difference in creating an environment where athlete’s foot doesn’t stand a chance.

If you exercise regularly, it’s a great idea to have a separate pair of shoes that you only put on when you’re really active. Pick a well-ventilated athletic shoe made with mesh and moisture-wicking materials.

Ascent incorporates mesh into our running shoes and cross- trainers for this very reason. Aside from giving trainers a sleek, sporty look, it’s an amazing weapon against athlete’s foot. And our range of rugged and comfortable walking shoes like the Creed and the Avara are made with water-resistant uppers, keeping you nice and dry no matter where your daily strolls take you.

If the bulk of your exercise comes from just getting through your workday, you still need shoes that breathe and keep moisture out. Our incredible water resistant workboots are especially valuable if you work in wet or muddy areas, or in locations that are very hot, like a kitchen. Ultra-tough boots like the Alpha are hostile territory for athlete’s foot – their high tech breathable linings keep your toes cool and dry during even the toughest, longest jobs.

If you have a persistent problem with athlete’s foot, it might be time to retire that favorite pair of shoes you wear day in, day out. The fungus may have taken up residence in there, and your feet will appreciate some new real estate.

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