Are Second Hand Shoes Safe? You Might Want To Consider This

Has the time come that you received a second hand pair of shoes? Are you thinking about buying some? Maybe you just want to safe a few extra bucks so you can plan a vacation, no one is judging.

Here are some things that you might want to take into consideration before you strap up someone else’s shoes.

One key thing to think about is are you getting these shoes from a close friend or relative, or a random person? Just food for thought. Think about everything you have put a pair of shoes through.

So are second hand shoes safe? Let’s try and make a mutual decision.

Bacteria / Fungus

Shoes are a great place for bacteria to live. When your feet sweat and get hot it creates a heaven of an environment for all kinds of bacteria and fungus and no telling what else.

You may not think this is a big deal, but you don’t know what kind of funk someone else has going on with their feet. If you already have a weak immune system you may be more acceptable than others to fungus and viruses found in shoes.

One common virus that can be transferred through used shoes is the “human papilloma virus” which is planters warts. Gross.

Other things like athletes foot can be contracted from second hand shoes.

Arch Support / Stretching

You know how when you get a new pair of shoes they are all stiff and have tons of support? Well that is not always the case with a used pair of shoes.

Even if a used shoe looks brand new it could’ve been being worn for months and just had a good cleaning. Over time the shoe is going to break down, the arches aren’t going to be as supportive anymore and the shoe will actually be molded in a way to the previous owners foot from wearing it.

As far as safety, having no arch or ankle support is not a good thing especially if this is something you look for in a shoe.

So now lets figure the previous owner of the shoe flattened out the arches from being worn, also if the shoe was too small for the wearer then the shoes could very well be stretched out to try and conform to their foot.

If the shoe is stretched out then it is not going to fit true to size.

Materials like leather are known for stretching and customizing to your foot so be careful with second hand leather shoes.


Hopefully the used shoes you are looking into getting have been properly cleaned and deodorized. But then again that is not always the case.

You may have some sort of pungent oder coming from these second hand shoes. Smells like that have me wondering what these shoes have been through.

Often times the horrible smell in shoes is caused from a build up of sweat, bacteria, and even mold.

You don’t want someone else’s smelly feet making there way into your closet.


Another important factor to point out is the tread of the shoe could be worn down, increasing your chance of falling or slipping. You don’t want that.

Over time the bottoms of shoes will wear down, the last owner could’ve walked way differently than you and this will create an unpleasant experience when you walk in your new (used) shoes.

Assessing how worn out the soles of the shoes are should be a factor when buying used shoes.


Wearing used or second hand shoes can be safe. Unsafe features are things like bacteria and lack of support.

Do your own due diligence before pulling the trigger, I hope I could help you with your selection.