Shower shoes are a must in the minor league world. Some of the showers your feet will venture into are so nasty the diseases you could catch while inside them may result in amputation. Unfortunately thats what happens when you mix sweaty guys, bad drainage, and stagnant water together. You wear a cup to protect the loss of certain other things while living this competitive lifestyle, and you wouldn’t dream of forgetting your cup would you? Then don’t forget the stuff that protects your feet. You need your feet just as much as you need your… well, you get the idea.
If you have a pair of shower shoes, great, you earn a gold star. Now you just have to remember to pack them every time you leave town. You can forget a lot of things when you travel as a minor leaguer, and most things someone else will be able to spot you. However, shower shoes are the one thing (pair of things?) that the habitual borrowing of will earn you the reputation of mooch as well as team plague barer. Before you zip your travel bag shut, make sure your shower shoes are inside.
So, now that I’ve told you not to forget your shower shoes, let me give you some advice for when you inevitably do.
1) If you barrow from someone, don’t go back to that person multiple times in a row. If it’s a long road series you might need shoes 8-12 times, and what starts as an easy favor can became a serious annoyance by the fourth request, and outright hate by the tenth. Ask to many times and you’ll get rung up in kangaroo court for the same amount a cheap replacement pair would cost you. Which brings me to my next point…
2) Shower shoes are cheap and easy to pick up someplace. You play during the summer when beach wear is in abundance, which means Wal-Mart has a about a billion cheap plastic sandals in just about every variety imaginable. Go cheap if you have too, but remember, a pair of Super Mario sandals, or Care Bears or some other whimsical oddity could make your teammates laugh, earning you locker room cred. Hell, support the economy and buy a bunch—your girl friend probably has 7 pairs of her own, you can have two, its not going to break the bank.
3) If you decide to go caveman and shower without shoes, do a flesh eating virus counterstrike after you’re done. Gregg Maddux didn’t wear shower shoes most of his career, and when he was asked about neglecting the use of them, he’d always say that everyone else was doing it, so what did he have to worry about? Unfortunately funguses come from more than just other people’s feet. Luckily your trainer has a cornucopia of creams, sprays, and powders that can help you treat the symptoms once you get them, or stop the itch before it shows up.
*we’ll talk what to do when you forget your cup later.