Shoes have become more than just something to shield our feet from the ground, it has also become our fashion statement and our sense of identity. But if you’re one of those people who get rashes from wearing heels or leather shoes then shoes have also become like a bittersweet partnership.

Because who doesn’t need shoes? And when you do why can’t your feet learn to love them?

Fortunately, there are ways to curb those nasty allergies whenever you’re wearing your favourite pumps, but in order to avoid getting allergies you should first know what triggers them.

Causes of shoe allergy

It’s important to know if the symptoms that occur on your feet are direct results of the shoes you are wearing. Otherwise, you might misdiagnose yourself and think that your allergies are caused by other things like food or pollen.

The best way to know what causes the rashes and blisters on your feet is to consult a physician but just so you know more about the allergens found in your shoe here are the usual culprits in shoe allergy:


If you like wearing leather shoes and you start to notice that you’re developing rashes and blisters on your feet then chromate is your allergen. Chromate salts are what shoe manufacturers use to tan their leather and this chemical can trigger an allergic reaction to your skin if you’re exposed to it regularly.

Easy fix: Stop using chromate tanned leather shoes and choose vegetable tanned ones instead. Leather shoes that were leather tanned are safer for you.

Rubber compounds

There are different chemical compounds in rubber that could trigger an allergic reaction to your feet. But the most popular ones are: mercaptobenzothiazole, thiuram, mercapto compounds, black rubber mixes and carba compounds.

Easy fix: Avoid these chemicals if you start developing rashes or blisters whenever you use rubber sneakers/shoes. These chemicals are often found in the soles of the shoes so your blisters would often occur on the bottom of your feet. Instead of rubber shoes you can wear plastic shoes or wooden clogs, but if you really can’t avoid wearing rubber shoes then shield your feet from the rubber soles by wearing hypoallergenic socks or placing cork inserts at the bottom of your shoes.

Glues and resins

The chemical often used as an adhesive that can trigger your allergy is butylphenol formaldehyde resin. The chemical that attaches all the parts of a shoe together could be the harmful substance to your skin. So if you’re developing an allergic reaction to this adhesive, avoid it as much as possible.

Easy fix: Aside from avoiding butylphenol formaldehyde resin you can also look for shoes that were not assembled together, rather they were manufactured from a single piece of material. This way you’re sure that no adhesives were used in this shoe.

Metals and pigments

Metals and pigments can also trigger allergic reactions on your skin and most of the time your rashes will appear on the top or sides of your feet because of the location of those substances.

Easy fix: Try to avoid leather shoes with metal parts. And as for avoiding pigments, shoes with dark colors (black, blue, and green-colored shoes) often have strong pigments so avoid those.

Avoidance is still the best solution to keeping shoe allergies at bay.

But if those beautiful black pumps you bought at Saks 5th Avenue are too good to be stuck in your closet then try your best to protect your feet by following the suggestions above.

November 16, 2018 — Admin Cottonique


Carmen Luiten said:

My allergies are chromate, blackrubbermix and resins. Please tell me what I can wear besides crocs.

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