Ugh, you made it up to TSA and you are sandals or sockless. This is not good for you or anyone else.
If you want to go barefoot, that’s your gross choice, but if you would like to follow the advice of a podiatrist , here’s your warning…. “The risk is raised in cases of open sores or wounds, cuts, abrasions, dry, fissured skin, or poor circulation, diabetes … children are more susceptible to catching warts because their immune system is not fully developed.”
Upon further web searches you’ll find alarming quotes, including this one from Dr. Rami Calis, DPM: “Athlete’s foot is not the only issue … Think of all the things that fall off people’s shoes. Also, there might be small tacks or sharp pebbles that could cut you–and if you have an opening in the skin, that is asking for infection. Even a sock won’t protect your foot. If you do step on a tack, then we’re talking about [possibly] having to get a tetanus shot, and possible infections.”
The TSA, of course, disagrees. According to its blog, the TSA actually commissioned a 2003 study on this issue with the Department of Health and Human Services. The study found that as long as the floor wasn’t moist, the possibility of contracting a foot fungus while walking through barefoot was “extremely small to remote.” Well of course they say this, they want to see your tootsies.
I was traveling one summer in sandals and I have plantar fasciitis . It’s a painful condition made even more painful by being barefoot. I was requested to take off my sandals ( they had a sturdy arch support) and I declined while explaining my condition. The TSA agents were very rude and were speaking behind my back that I was a spoiled princess and there was no reason why I couldn’t go barefoot. After I sat down, took off my shoes, they checked my feet and ran my sandals through the X-ray. I then headed off to the TSA office to file a complaint about their behaviour.
My world traveler advice is to bring or wear socks through the line. There is some funky stuff down there and you don’t want it to sit on your feet during the flight.