Keeping the feet clean is important to our health. Inadequate cleaning can unfortunately lead to problems like foot odors, buildup of excess skin, and even bacterial and fungal infections.
Cleaning the feet is challenging for those with limited mobility. The elderly, overweight, and people with injuries can have difficulty bending over to do this.
New products have come to the market to address this problem. We recently tested and compared two products: The Avivo Shower Sandal and EasyFeet.
Our testers were: an overweight, diabetic man in his 40s who has trouble bending over; a woman in her late 60s who is recovering from surgery and has occasional dizziness; and a healthy woman in her 30s.
Upon initial inspection, EasyFeet and the Avivo Shower Sandal look very similar. Both are made of durable hard plastic and resemble a slipper-type shoe, with suction cups on the bottom to secure the sandal to the floor or wall of the shower or tub. Both are lined with nylon brush bristles on the footbed and on the top part of the sandal, for scrubbing the feet.
Here are some observable differences: EasyFeet has an embedded pumice stone on the heel part of the footbed that cannot be removed. The Avivo Shower Sandal has brush bristles on this part of the footbed, and no pumice stone. EasyFeet’s footbed is made of a solid, inflexible piece of plastic, and the Avivo Shower Sandal’s footbed can be flexed. Avivo Shower Sandal’s footbed has a more ergonomic shape that mimics the sole of a foot, and curls up slightly in the toe area. Also, the Avivo Shower Sandal has many more suction cups on the bottom, and these suction cups are smaller. EasyFeet has larger suction cups, and there are fewer of them. The Avivo Shower Sandal seems to have more brush bristles as well.
Both products are used in the exact same way. The sandal is affixed by the suction cups to either the floor of the shower, or, if using it while lying in the bathtub, it can be affixed to a tiled wall. Get your foot wet, then squirt liquid soap onto your foot (easy to do if you are standing up or sitting in a shower chair) and slip your foot into the shower sandal. Moving your foot back and forth in the sandal across the brush bristles, you scrub and lather your foot. Do this first with one foot, then the other. Then remove your foot from the sandal, and rinse the soap off. If using the product in the standing position, it is recommended that you are holding onto a secure handrail, since you have all of your weight on one foot.
How do the two products compare for safety, effectiveness and ease of use?
While EasyFeet and the Avivo Shower Sandal look similar, our testers found major differences.
Safety may be the most important issue. EasyFeet and the Avivo Shower Sandal are especially meant to help people with injuries and limited mobility. Since these products are used in a wet, slippery environment, it is essential that these products are safe to use.
An instruction sheet that came with the EasyFeet includes the following “Caution” notes: “Diabetics must consult with their physician prior to use of this product.” and “Those with equilibrium impairments or the elderly should only use this product in the sitting position.”
The first test was securing the products to the floor of the shower using the suction cups. The surface of the floor had to be first moistened with water to make the suction cups stick. Once the Avivo Shower Sandal was affixed to the floor, it stayed in place while it was being used. This was not the case for EasyFeet. While our testers moved their foot back and forth across the footbed, EasyFeet slipped all over the floor’s surface. Add to this situation an injured or elderly person balanced on one foot in the shower, and this is a recipe for disaster! EasyFeet’s instruction sheet states: “Small shifts and movements during use are normal. Use caution when placing your weight on this product for risk of falling.” Our testers actually found these movements to be more than “small shifts” and more like major slides of several inches.
Another safety issue is EasyFeet’s embedded pumice stone. While a pumice stone is a good tool for sloughing away dead skin and calluses, our testers actually found this feature problematic. The stone is a poor quality stone that arrived broken in transit. It had a crack in the middle of the stone that could potentially catch and pinch the skin of the feet.
The pumice stone is of particular concern for diabetics. This stone could cause abrasion to the skin of the feet, possibly resulting in scratches or small cuts that could become infected and difficult to heal. This is why this product may be dangerous for diabetics. So, our diabetic tester was unable to even try this product. That is a big minus for EasyFeet.
For safety, the Avivo Shower Sandal is the winner.
How about effective cleaning?
Our testers found the Avivo Shower Sandal’s more secure grip helped with cleaning the feet better. Since moving the foot back and forth didn’t result in moving the shower sandal, there was more scrubbing power.
More brush bristles resulted in better lathering and scrubbing. The Avivo Shower Sandal’s ergonomic shape resulted in superior cleaning as well. The Avivo Shower Sandal’s contoured footbed curls up slightly in the toe area, positioning the brush bristles at the optimum angle to scrub the tips of the toes and to get in between the toes (the most difficult parts of the feet to get clean).
Our testers preferred the feel of the Avivo Shower Sandal’s brush bristles on the feet. They reported that the brush bristles felt strong, yet soft and luxurious. They created an excellent lather, gentle exfoliation and good stimulation of the feet. In comparison, EasyFeet has fewer brush bristles and they don’t seem to scrub as well or feel as nice. There are not enough bristles in the toe area to create much lather, or thoroughly clean in between the toes.
EasyFeet’s embedded pumice stone also made it nearly impossible for our testers to clean the heel area of the foot. To get the heel of the foot scrubbed, our testers had to turn their feet in an awkward position and rub their heel over the middle part of the footbed. But their feet kept bumping against the top part of the EasyFeet. For people with larger feet, scrubbing the heel using EasyFeet would be truly impossible.
For thorough and effective cleaning, Avivo Shower Sandal is the superior product.
Which product is easier to use?
They also liked that the Avivo Shower Sandal’s footbed flexes. That makes it easier to rinse completely clean of dirt, soap and debris. Also, the Avivo Shower Sandal is safe to wash in the washing machine or dishwasher.
For ease of use, our testers prefer the Avivo Shower Sandal.
For safety, effective cleaning and ease of use, the Avivo Shower Sandal is the clear winner. Our testers all found the Avivo Shower Sandal to be a well-designed, durable and high quality product that greatly enhances the bathing experience. While it is especially helpful for the elderly and people with limited mobility, it can be used for people of all ages, whether healthy or injured. Cleaning the feet effectively is an important task. The Avivo Shower sandal makes this easy to do. Keeping your feet clean never felt so good!