‘Full of germs’: ‘Gross’ TikTok trend of wearing socks and sandals to gym

Gym goers have been divided by the rising number of people wearing sandals or slides to work out as part of a “gross” new trend.

TikTok — or “GymTok”, meaning the gym-obsessed users of the app — has been flooded in recent weeks by fitness influencers who claim to have discovered wearing sandals, slides and Crocs to the gym offers a new level of comfort.

Videos shared to the platform include people doing pull-ups, walking the StairMaster and even lifting weights with nothing but socks and sandals on their feet.

“Socks & sandals for upper body day,” one woman wrote, sharing a video of herself working out in the ensemble.

“Hot girls wear slides to the gym,” said another.

But critics have warned the trend is “gross” and even dangerous.

One man took to Reddit to voice his confusion.

“Being straight up, I don’t care what you wear to a gym but I have seen so many guys in my gym wearing socks and sandals, even doing leg exercises,” he wrote.

“Shouldn’t this f**k up your grip on your feet and you’ll slide around.”

“I have seen so many people have accidents in their sandals then turn up in proper footwear a week later. It is dangerous,” another person replied.

Many users joked how “times have changed” since the days when wearing socks with sandals was the “daggiest” fashion faux pas.

“A lot of young people are wearing slides exclusively with socks. I’ve told some students at my work how that was seen as really unfashionable when I was a kid and seen as an ‘old man’ thing. They told me that wearing slides without socks is ‘gross’,” one person, a teacher, wrote.

A separate video shared to TikTok showed a woman wearing socks and slides while walking on a StairMaster, before both shoes fell off her feet, causing her to slip.

“My life flashed before my eyes,” she wrote.

“Proper footwear can save a life,” one user said in reply.

“Wear sneakers, genius,” added another.

A third said: “No way anyone actually goes to the gym in slippers … right?”

Other users warned the trend might have negative health outcomes.

One man warned gyms were “full of germs” that could be picked up from skin contact or through sweaty socks, because sandals don’t offer the same coverage as closed-toe shoes.

“Ever heard of athlete’s foot?” he asked.

“HPV [human papillomavirus] has also been found on these gym floors. That is warts! You don’t want to get these problems, so wear a good shoe.”

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