KEY POINTS

  • Shoes can be home to coronavirus for more than five days
  • Experts suggest having a dedicated pair of shoes for outdoor activities
  • Coronavirus can live on non-human surfaces like doorknob, shoes, plastic, and cardboard

The coronavirus can live on various non-living surfaces like cardboard, plastic, bags, and doorknobs. However, experts suggest that shoes can house a variety of germs, including the coronavirus.

Mary E. Schmidt, an infectious disease specialist, spoke with Huffington Post U.K. and warned that the coronavirus could live on leather, rubber, and PVC-based soles for five days or even more. She suggested that people can opt for machine-washable shoes.

Meanwhile, according to Carol Winner, a public health specialist, no evidence can suggest that shoes can bring coronavirus into the house. “Pragmatically, they are on the body part furthest from our face, and we do know that the greatest risk of transmission is person to person, not shoe to person,” she said.

Georgine Nanos, a family practitioner, believes that shoes can contaminate if they are worn in crowded places, including grocery stores, trains, buses, etc.

Winner also cited an article by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which states that “coronavirus can remain active on some surfaces, like plastic, for up to two to three days.”

Cwanza Pinckney, an emergency physician, mentioned that it is important to pay attention to the sole of a shoe as it can be the breeding ground of bacteria and viruses.

She also suggested that a person can have a pair of shoes dedicated to any outdoor activities and a separate pair of shoes to change into before stepping inside the house.

The shoes can also be disinfected from time to time. Winner said that using the right disinfectant and cleaning products is key when dealing with a virus.

“Viruses can be inactivated by heat, cleaning solutions like Clorox, and soap and water. Soap alters lipids, and disinfectant oxidizes and heat denatures proteins,” she said.

If the shoes are washable, Nanos suggested that shoes can be machine washed or one can use hot water and soap. However, some products spoil the finish of shoes made out of natural material like leather.