YOU'RE TUTU SMELLY; Ballerinas' Shoes Beat Dirty Rugby Boots for Nasty Whiffs

By McLEAN, Jim | Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland), June 5, 1999 | Go to article overview

YOU'RE TUTU SMELLY; Ballerinas' Shoes Beat Dirty Rugby Boots for Nasty Whiffs


McLEAN, Jim, Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)


WHAT would you rather do - breathe deeply on a pair of Gavin Hastings' size 11s or take a whiff of Margot Fonteyn's old ballet pumps?

And worst of all, would you dare to smell a locker- full of cheesy Premier League football boots?

The results of the latest research on feet are not to be sniffed at - for incredible numbers of bugs have been found in smelly shoes, boots and trainers.

We already know that millions of bacteria live in the insoles of our shoes - but new scientific evidence lifts the tongue on the hundreds of thousands of fungus spores that are lurking in there too.

And the more spores there are, the smellier the shoes will be.

Chemical analysis has shown that ballet dancers have 100 times more fungal spores in their delicate satin pumps than there are in those smelly jogging trainers crawling around your gym bag.

Ballerinas will also be shocked to learn that their feet ooze 12 times more fungus than the big bruisers of the rugby world.

But scientists on the scent of the world's foulest footwear didn't even rank ballet pumps in the top three.

In the Champions' League of cheesiness, the runners-up were golf shoes and ski boots. The outright winners, with a fungal count of 140,000, were football boots.

Microbiologists at the British Analytical Control Agency tested hundreds of students' boots, trainers, pumps and shoes to reach their verdict.

One scientist later admitted: "A few of them were unbearably smelly."

Doctors say the warm, moist conditions found in sportswear give bugs and fungi a perfect breeding ground. …

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